More than once in our marriage Jeff has been laid off from his job. Downsizing, I think is what they graciously called it. Some of our friends have been struggling with this exact challenge and my heart goes out to them. It is devastating to lose a job, especially for those who are the main supporters of the family. I remember the first feeling that Jeff and I had was actually shock, it doesn't seem real. Then gradually it became real and when that happened, we realized that we would have to take action and go with Plan B for a while. I have to admit, although Plan B was scary... we certainly learned a lot. We realized what was NECESSARY and what was NOT, that is a lesson that every one could or should learn. We also realized that after we had done all that we could do each day, then we just had to have FAITH and TRUST that everything would work out the way it was suppose to and it did.
I believe that we have gone though that same challenge 4 or 5 times in our 28 years of marriage. Obviously we didn't learn everything we were suppose to the first couple of times. I know you are probably thinking we are slow learners :) We were actually worried about that too!
The lessons that we learned from those experiences were this...
*We could live on much less that we thought we could.
*We appreciated and took care of things better, so that they would last longer.
*We noticed how we took too many things for granted, like our job and what we had.
*We relied on the Lord more and remembered to do that also when everything was going well.
*We both got creative on how to use our talents to make money.
*We learned new talents and skills to help us make money.
*We realized how many caring friends and people there were in the world ( so many of them were there for us)
*We actually spent more time together because we didn't have all those other stresses on our time. We had to make our own fun.
*We were much more grateful... for everything!
*We learned that we could survive anything together and what really mattered most, we already had!
I will close with a quote from on this very subject. Thanks to all of you that have been such great examples to our family, it has been such a blessing!
"Difficult financial times often inspire people to become more extraordinary. Challenge and adversity can push people toward their own greatness. It can launch you on a deeper personal journey toward happiness, fulfillment, and a life of meaning. As you explore ways to gather strength and improve self-esteem, remember, it is not so much about what you have but who you are. May you go from strength to strength and be a source of strength to others." ~Noah BenShea