But what about Brian’s job situation? That’s a lot more complicated.
While we were home over Christmas, people asked how the job was working out, and Brian told them about his dissatisfaction with the company. However, the night before we left, he talked to his dad until two in the morning, and he convinced him to stick it out for at least one year.
The day after he started back at work, everything changed. Two managers approached Brian and informed him that the CEO wanted to fire him, and they had talked him out of it. They worked out a deal so that he would work in the shop for an indefinite time before travelling for the company. We were relieved that he wasn’t fired on the spot, but this was a far cry from the project engineer position he’d been hired for, and being apart from each other for long amounts of time was not going to work for us.
After the initial sense of panic subsided, we decided that this was our sign – time to start job searching.
But it wasn’t that simple. For a couple years the idea of attending seminary has been tucked away in the back of Brian’s mind. This situation brought it out to the foreground, so not only were we considering engineering jobs, but also seminaries across the country.
In light of that, the job search was…slow. Like, crawling. Right away we found 15 or so possibilities, and I suggested applying for one a day. Brian insisted that he would do better than that: three a day and six on weekends.
After almost three weeks, guess how many we’ve applied to so far?One.
Panic returned. I did not want to move again, I also did not want Brian to get fired if the CEO changed his mind before we found something else. I did not want to go to seminary for the wrong reasons; namely, as a last resort for not being able to find a job. I did not want to nag and frustrate Brian, but I did feel that we need to pick up the pace with the job applications, or seminary applications, or both. Or just make up our minds which we were going to pursue.
Our seventh month anniversary came and went. We’ve lived here in Arizona for around six months. We thought this job was the answer to our prayers, but it’s been something of a disaster. Why did God bring us so far from all we knew and loved? Why did He bring us to wander in the desert?
Right around the time of our anniversary, Brian had a six month performance review. Based on the review, you would think that he was one of the most incompetent and worthless employees ever hired. They made ridiculous claims about him not being able to work without direct supervision, lacking judgement, professionalism, and confidence. I assumed that this review was just an excuse to fire him.
As part of the review, Brian had to evaluate himself, so he bought a couple books about writing performance reviews and spent the weekend writing, researching, and revising. By Monday he had a solid five page response ready. Then we waited for the meeting between the CEO, the head manager, and Brian to discuss the review.
The CEO arrived Tuesday but didn’t have time to meet that day, or the day after that.
Thursday was a bad day. Tuesday night, I’d only slept for three hours-2:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m., and Wednesday night I went to bed at 10 and got up at 5:30 a.m. again to see Brian off for work. I feel asleep on the couch, and after an hour woke up to my phone ringing. Why is Brian calling?He’s supposed to be driving to work. “Hello?” I mumbled, still mostly asleep. I heard voices talking loudly in the background and the sound of traffic zooming past, and then realization hit me: Car accident.
“Hi babe, I got in a car accident.” Yep.
My heart was somersaulting. “Are you ok? How bad is it?” I was wide awake now.
“I’m fine, everyone is ok. A car ahead of me rear-ended the car in front of it, and I slowed down in time, and the truck behind me slowed too, but the car behind it didn’t, and it pushed the truck into me.”
He had called ahead and let his boss know the situation, and that he’d be late. Of course, this was the day that the CEO could meet with him.
Exhaustion took over and I fell back asleep, waking up 40 minutes after I should have been at church, helping out with the secretary work. I didn’t make it there until 12, and then, I couldn’t get the bulletins to print. After maybe an hour of frustration and tears, I called someone who was able to come and help me figure it out. But while we were working on it, I missed Brian’s call about his meeting.
He called on his way home from work, but he didn’t tell me much because I “interrupted” him. Even after he got home, he wouldn’t tell me anything. When I brought it up, he’d say, “Well I was going to tell you, but you interrupted,” and refused to say what he was going to say if I hadn’t interrupted. Sometimes he’s stubborn like that. FINALLY late at night, after much frustration and tears on my part, he told me all about the meeting.
It was very positive, he said. They weren’t going to fire him. In fact, they really never seriously considered it; the managers who informed Brian must have been grossly mistaken. The CEO seemed to be willing to work things out.
So Brian didn’t lose his job. Answer to prayer, right?
Honestly, I don’t know. Brian was miserable before the threat of being fired. He says he will still look for jobs, but just not as “gung ho” about it as he was. So, maybe he’ll apply for one every three months? I’m not holding my breath. And what about seminary? Is that out of the picture now too? I don’t care where Brian works, or goes to school, or how much he makes, as long as he’s happy and enjoys what he does every day.
I’m frustrated and confused. What was the point of all this? After an emotional roller coaster, we’re right back where we started.
God’s ways are certainly not mine right now, but I can be certain of this:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
That’s a comfort!
If you think of it, please remember us in your prayers; even though life seems to be back to normal, we still need God’s direction. And, we’re a little worse for wear after all the stress of the last two and a half weeks. I need your prayer, so that I can be supportive of Brian and accept that this is where God has us right now.
I know this was a very long post, and it really didn’t resolve in a very uplifting way, but thanks for sticking with me to the end! I appreciate your kind words and thoughts so much!