My husband and I married each other 27 years ago when he still had a year of college to go. We lived on just over $800 a month as he worked toward completing his degree in computer engineering. On the Friday before finals week, days after his 23rd birthday, he received a great job offer at a local company, which he promptly accepted. He worked hard, and they treated him well. As years working for the company turned into decades, we began to think that this may be the company he would work for until he retired. Over the years, the company went through a series of three buyouts. With each change came new procedures, less benefits, and more distance between upper management and the workers. It was frustrating for my husband, but he continued to work hard as a loyal employee. The salary, location, and job security fit in well with our family’s lifestyle.
Around noon on our last day of vacation a month ago, I received a text from a friend whose husband works with mine, “Hi, Julie. Have you heard any news today? Call me if you have. I just talked to my husband.” This immediately concerned me, but I wanted the two of us to enjoy our last day away so I texted her back, letting her know that we were out of the country and didn’t know anything. I watched my husband all afternoon for signs that he might know some information but didn’t want to bring up the subject. As we sat down to our final dinner of the trip, he said, “I have some news. The company is closing their west coast offices. If we don’t move to Florida, I won’t have a job after April.”
This news shocked and saddened us, causing us to contemplate our future. This job had been a major component of our lives longer than our children had! He had just celebrated 26 years with the company in May. We had just spent the week in high humidity and had agreed the day before that we would not thrive in a humid climate, so we quickly agreed that the move to Florida was not going to happen. This part of our lives was coming to an end, leaving us with dozens of questions and unknowns about the years to come.
We sat at that dinner table for well over an hour, talking about our next steps. We agreed to look at this change as an opportunity, not a catastrophe. It’s an opportunity for him to consider where he wants to spend his final years of work before retirement, an opportunity for me to emotionally support my husband more than ever, and an opportunity for us to grow in our relationship and in our faith in a God who keeps His promises.
I’m not going to lie. The last month has been rough. My husband has felt devalued by a company he devoted over half his life to serving, but I value him more than I ever have. We have no idea what our future looks like, where he’ll work, or how we’ll easily make it through the next months of an increasingly stressful, low morale work environment for him, but we do know that we will place our trust in God and continue to point one another to Him whenever concerns overwhelm us.