raising my ebenezer. part four

You can read the first four parts by clicking HERE.  It will catch you up to Fall of 2011 or so.  You probably will need to read that first before any of this will make any sense and to get a clearer picture of how awesome what God did was and is!

So there we were.  Mucking through life.  The summer of 2011 set up a chain reaction that would be the straw that broke the camels back.  We had been planning to go to New Jersey to celebrate Doug's grandpas 90th birthday.  Almost ALL of Doug's family (extended as well) was going to be there.  For a while Doug was told he would be able to go.  So we planned on it.  Then Target changed their minds.  Talk about serious disappointment.  Wanting my boys to get as much time with their great-grandparents and grandparents and aunts and uncles as they could...I volunteered to take them by myself.  Kind of a big deal for a seven car ride.  At least to me.

That was one of many pebbles that started the ball rolling.  Then Doug worked almost every single day in the month of August.  LONG 12-14 hour days.  We barely saw him.  It was hard.  It was almost like someone was making us uncomfortable to get the hint that we could finally DO something about it.

Now Doug is a hard worker.  He does not shy away from working hard to take care of his family.  He also loves his family.  We all just wanted a balance for our lives so believe me when I say, this was not bad because of all the hard work.  Doug continued to bust his butt because he is a man of integrity that NEEDS to do the best job he can do.  When he took over the position that he was doing their scores were all red, they were multiple trucks behind, there was a huge turnover and the process as a whole was a mess.  When he left some of his employees cried, his scores were some of the highest in the COMPANY, and he was never behind on trucks.  He worked hard.

So there was that.  We made it through August.  Then September and October weren't much better.  I went to Blacksburg with the boys so that at least SOME of us could have a good Thanksgiving.  In all of our years together we hardly got to spend ANY time with family for ANY holiday.  Doug was always having to work the day of or early the next morning.  At some point that Fall I think we both knew that post Christmas would bring changes.  Our nephew was born in Blacksburg and that only increased our desire to return home even more.

So we made it through Christmas.  Made just a bit bitter by the fact that for the first year ever since working at Target, Doug gave each of his coworkers gifts (that I made and were awesome!) and barely got a single card in return.  Not that we give to get but it was just crazy how every other year they ALL gave gifts to each other and THIS year, Doug was excluded.  We took it as a reminder to move on.

As soon as the decorations were put away, Doug and I decided that it was time.  It felt right.  We started getting his resume together and polished up.  Then we pimped that sucker out to anyone who would look at it.  Over the next two to three months we must have applied to over a hundred jobs.  Everyday I would look for jobs for Doug to apply to, then when he came home from work that is what we would do.  Day in and day out.  We agreed not to give up until he had a new job.  We didn't want to repeat the last year.  We prayed and asked others to pray. 

We would not give up. 

In the meantime, I got a message from a friend I've known for years out of the blue.  She asked if we were interested in renting out our house.  A thought that we had not talked about out loud for some time.  This friend had a sister that was looking for something more affordable and family friendly.  Turns out they loved our house, agreed to a two year lease and we would be homeless as of July 20th.  At this point we rented out our house in complete faith.  We felt like God dropped these people in our laps and wanted to see how much we would trust Him to take care of the little details, you know, like a job.  

Then one day we applied to a batch of five to seven jobs.  Doug looked at me and said "This will sound crazy, but I think my new job was in that pile we just applied to".  And you know what? He got a request for a phone interview from one of those jobs.  And we stopped looking immediately.  Like that day.  We knew this was HIS job.  We never applied for one more job. 

That was the only job Doug interviewed for.  There were some other call backs but Doug turned them down because they didn't seem quite right. 

God didn't stop there.  Turns out that Doug was hired without having a position for him, they just liked them that much.  He also got a very handsome relocation stipend, after being told firmly that they didn't do that kind of thing.  Instead of going into debt by moving, we moved debt free (not that we had much debt to begin with) and with a nice savings account for the first time in our married lives. 

God can do anything he wants to do but I think he loves to surprise us when we show we trust him.  You know, like renting out your house before anything else happen that would tell you that you should and doing things that the world would say you are crazy for doing.   

I think I'll stop there for now...next segment (hopefully sooner than this one was in coming!) on how we got our awesome house.



Jessi said...

That is so amazing! Funny how it all just "fell" together, isn't it? God is good!

Lorena said...

First of all, I want to thank you for raising your ebenezer. Not only did it help me with a very different dark time that I am going through, but it was encouraging to my sister-in-law who is feeling God calling her and her husband and kids to move, but as of yet, doesn't know where to. I think sharing like this is not only important as a reminder to yourself, but as encouragement for others. Sometimes we forget that being brothers and sisters in Christ means that we need to share the tough times as well as the bad.

My husband and are learning obedience and faith also through a (so far) four year battle with infertility. There have been many ups and downs, excitements and disappointments. Your reminder of God holding us so close and so safe that we seem to be in the dark is very encouraging to me.

Anyway, thank you for sharing and thank you for your honesty! You're welcome to read our story on my blog, but I promise, that was not the point of commenting. I really just wanted to thank you!


Amy said...

So fun to read and hear how God has worked this all out for you. We're in a very similar situation right now. Our summer list was 1. Sell house 2. Find house 3. Find daycare 4. Find a job for hubby Just yesterday we got to cross the last thing off our list. And God did it all in 56 days. Crazy.

Kat Wylie said...

I'm going to go back and read them all. Thanks!

Kat Wylie said...

Thanks for the Raise My Ebenezer posts. I am going to go back and read them all.

TarkheenaCrafts said...

Came for the "20 minute crafter" series, stayed for the stories!
Thank you for all four Ebenezer posts. I really appreciated them and was encouraged by them.

TarkheenaCrafts said...

I came for the "20 Minute Crafter" series, but I stayed for the stories. Thanks so much for all four posts in the Ebenezer series: I was encouraged by them!

jonahbonah said...

Crystal, you kinda know where I'm at right now....this series of yours gives me chills. I know God has a plan for us too!

Judy said...

Love this. LOVE it.

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