Friday, May 23, 2014

That Time When Everything Fell Apart

One day, when we're old and gray, I know we will be sitting on a porch somewhere, watching our grandchildren play in the yard, and we will say, "Remember that time when we had two small children, no job, no home...?"  

Just a few weeks after our son was born, he began to cry.  And cry.  And cry.  We tried reflux meds, gas drops, and various feeding techniques to soothe our sweet boy, but he continued to scream all day.  Soon, we were on all sorts of prayer chains, I had to quit several things that were very dear to me, and we cried out desperately for God to heal our son from whatever ailed him.  If you have experienced this, you know what I'm talking about.  This amount of crying, no matter how miraculous this new baby is, can drive you mad.  

Three months in to our son's life, we began to see him smile.  He had two kissable dimples.  His smile actually lit up a room.  However, he still needed lots of extra love and needed to be held most of the time.  

One day, as I stood in the kitchen making dinner with one hand and holding my son with another, I got a phone call.  I remember looking at the phone and getting a sinking feeling in my stomach even before I answered it, as if God was already preparing me for what was ahead.

"I just got fired."

As I held the phone, I looked down at my infant son and my daughter playing in the other room. I found myself hoping I would be able to stay standing, stay calm for them in this moment. No severance package.  No health coverage for my babies.  

What were we going to do?!  

We prayed and asked God to deliver us.  

You see, the next day we were going to put our house on the market.  In the midst of the screaming and caring for a strong-willed toddler, we had decided it was time to find a bigger place for our growing family.  I spent three weeks, during nap times and at bedtime, de-cluttering and staging our house.  

What were we going to do?!  

We prayed and asked God to provide for us.  

Harlan had actually started looking for a new job before his termination, so he had an interview lined up.  He quickly got two more the same week.  We decided to go ahead and list the house, and within 48 hours, we had multiple offers.  We accepted a cash offer and walked out in faith, believing God would provide a new job quickly and we'd move past this minor setback. 

Then, two companies turned him down.  Another invited him to do a project, which led to another round of interviews.  Days ticked by, then weeks.  We crept closer to closing on our home, without another to go to.  Our precious resources began to drain.  

What were we going to do?!  

We prayed to the only One who could help us.  

Harlan was invited to fly out to California for another round of interviews.  He would interview with at least twelve people for a stretch of five hours.  It would be grueling, but surely it was just a formality?  A fourth round of interviews had to mean they were close to an offer, right?  A week after he returned from his interviews, we still had not heard back.  Finally, we got word.  The company had decided to relocate an internal employee instead of hiring a new one.  There was a possibility of a more mid-level position, but the recruiter couldn't be sure.  

What were we going to do?!  

Pray. Pray. Pray. 

Harlan began to interview again.  He found another promising company to work for, and they made him a verbal offer and just needed sign-off from the CEO.  It would mean a longer commute and working for a start-up, but we believed it was God's provision for us.  Then we got word:  The CEO wanted to hold off on hiring for at least one or two more quarters.  

What were we going to do?!  

We prayed to the God who is our Deliverer.  

We heard back on the other position and found out they would be interested in hiring Harlan for a more mid-level position.  He wasn't mid-level, but he loved this company.  It was his dream job, so he waited to hear more details.  Then, we closed on our home.  We walked out the door, officially homeless, jobless, with two children who were counting on us to keep them safe.  

What were we going to do?!  

Pray and pray again.  

That same day, we heard back on the job, and our hearts sank.  He was offered a position, but it wasn't even close to the salary he had been making.  We prayed, stepped out in faith again, and asked for more compensation.  This was his only prospect.

If they said no, what were we going to do?!

Please. God help us. 

We adjusted our home search criteria and began to look at houses.  We came to the realization that we'd need a place to stay while we looked, and we made the hard decision to live with parents.  Loving parents who were willing to give up part of their home for our crazy family.  We would invade their space.  We would live with parents?  At our age?  With two children?  Mercy.

As pressure mounted, we decided we needed to take a moment to breathe.  We wanted to go on a date, the first real one since our son was born, and we decided to use a gift card we were given and see a movie.  We were still waiting on a final word on compensation, but we weren't going to think about that.  We were going to have fun, darn it!  As we pulled in to the movie theater parking lot, the phone rang.  It was them.  Our last hope.  

I sat in silence as my husband spoke with the recruiter.  If it was good news, he sure had a great poker face.  Is it good news?  I prayed and prayed.  

The offer:  a bump in salary and a hefty signing bonus.  A bit more than he was previous making.  WHAT?!!!

What do I have to say about that?

This blog began with an infertility journey.  God has abundantly blessed us with two children.  As our journey continues, we firmly believe that God is our only hope, and HE IS FAITHFUL.  

The newest chapter of our life has only just begun.  It has started with tears, doubts, and questions.  We are thankful that we will never walk this path alone. Thank you, God. 


  1. wonderful post. best of luck in your home search!

  2. Just beautiful, Rachel! Our God is faithful!!