Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.
Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.
Part 1: The Backstory
It was a pretty balmy morning for March, even for Arkansas. I hadn’t been outside running in several months, as the winter weather can be such a motivation killer. But this morning seemed like a good time to “restart.” The past few weeks had had their share of yelling, weeping, banging fists against walls. It seemed as though things were at their lowest and were not going to get better.
Three years ago about the same time, my faith took a huge leap when I was given my 30 day layoff notice. A job I hated. Money I loved. And now I was about to lose it in a month. The opportunity to trust Jesus became abundantly more obvious, and little did I know that it was the start an expansion of my faith, being stretched beyond any limit I’d ever experienced. A few weeks after losing my job, my wife and I learned that after months of trying, we were pregnant. I think I literally laughed out loud. I spent the next two months waiting for the opportunity to finally present itself, believing that my next occupation existed with one of two jobs.
On June 10, 2012, I began my journey as a multimedia designer at a company that I was somewhat familiar with, seeing as they subcontracted under my previous employer. Two weeks later, the reality of the financial utopia I had lost became reality when I got my paycheck and saw it basically chopped in half. Trusting Jesus with significantly less while my family was preparing for one more seemed par for the course at this point. Trust manifested itself in a second income from my wife, who went from volunteering at a local non-profit to coming on staff. It wasn’t much, but I was grateful, a word that has come to be a regular part of my vocabulary to this day.
CJ came along in January of 2013, two weeks before his dad’s birthday. I believe it was the first time I genuinely cried in a long while. This would serve as a prequel to what was to come just over a year later.
Year one of fatherhood brought adjustments, as it should. Year one with my current employer brought with it a small bump in pay but nothing close to what I was seeing in years past. A good reminder to embrace my reality and keep trusting Jesus with it. September of that year was tough, as my bride and I made the decision to leave our church of five years in favor of a new home close to our neighborhood. That church is and will always be family, and in a way it was like leaving to go away to college or getting married. I wasn’t going to be around those guys who were such an intregal part of my spiritual growth for the last half decade, and I genuinely grieved it.
After several weeks, we found a home with our current body of believers and by the time the Autumn leaves were turning, we were settling in. Of course, past history has shown me that my faith was becoming less like a rock and more like play doh. K’s job had allowed her the flexibility to bring our son to work with her, but as he was getting older and more mobile, it became increasingly more difficult for her to do her job, and so she was forced to resign.
My faith had taken a hit, and so did my pride when, in December I reluctantly asked my parents to help support us until something changed with our income. Grateful for their support and agreement to help out, I didn’t notice what the situation was doing to my heart and mind, not until a couple of months into the new year, when the “incident” happened.