A funny thing happened two weeks ago…and yet it was a wonderful word to me. I was given a retirement party on zoom!
Here’s what happened: I had been doing a temporary full-time job with a friend’s staffing agency since mid-January to help recruit and hire nurses for COVID testing and vaccinations for a well-known pharmacy. It was outstanding to be able to help people in this way–both to help folks get jobs and to get our country back to being together in-person, as well. Of course, in the middle of this stint (during the Texas winter storm and over my 50th birthday, too!), I would ironically have COVID and would work full-time through it. My symptoms were mild, but I still have a limited sense of smell and taste.
This job came at just the right time for we needed some financial help! We have been praying towards me going back to being a stay-at-home mom, who would be writing on the side. But going from two paychecks to one can be a challenge. When God called us to College Station from Monument and we moved over 5 1/2 years ago, we have been in a place of need. We did not go from one level of paycheck or living to another, but took a huge pay cut and basically had to start over! While that has not been easy or fun, we have all grown so much in our faith and reliance on the Lord. He has truly provided. Even while it has felt like a not-blessing…it really was a blessing in disguise. For we saw God provide in ways we never imagined. We have met people, whom we never would have otherwise met. And we have been humbled by it–in the very best way.
So when Chris was told he was being given a promotion to a new position at work, but it had not been fully approved, I began to pray for a certain number. Then two weeks ago, my job was finally being phased out and I got a message that they wanted to do a zoom party for me and another worker (who was staying home full-time as a mom with her first baby). The zoom info called it a Retirement Party, and I laughed when I got it. I thought two things, “I’m fifty, should I be retiring, yet?” Also, “Oh how I wish I could retire and be fully present with my family again. I miss that so much!”
Five minutes later I got a call from my Chris. I knew by his tone that it was good news. The promotion was approved! He would be making a new amount– $2000 OVER what I had asked of the LORD. It was a 31% raise, and he will be given opportunities to teach in the future, as well! That is precisely why we believe the LORD brought us here. Chris is going to be such a great teacher! He is already pouring into the students from the wealth of wisdom provided by so many different jobs in manufacturing that he has done in the past. Sometimes we wonder why our journey takes us through so many off-course paths…I believe they are precision-based experiences for what is to come.
At that point I went to me knees in thanks. For not only are we going to be back to one paycheck, but I felt like with the hilarity of the word retirement, God was showing me the way forward from this point. No, I am not going to retire from life and service and love and care. But I am going to retire from the responsibility that came with being a bread winner. In all honesty, it has felt like MUCH to me over these past 14 years. I do not take it as a license to be lazy, but as a gift to regain my health and retake my home, making it a place of hospitality again.
All in all, I love how God packaged my gift–with humor and in excess of my request. He is so good, so true, so real. I challenge you today to take your requests and make them known to Him in TRUST, believing that He always exceeds expectations in His job review.
Let me know in the comments how I may be praying for you or you may email me at hishollysmith at gmail dot com. I also shared my latest Counting My Blessings post here!