Part 2 - The Boss
Part 3 - The Father
Part 4 - The Earring
Part 5 - The Budley
It’s the one year anniversary of my husband receiving a pink slip. At the time, for us, the loss of his job meant moving. We spent the month or so after that day last year cleaning, packing, making plans, and dealing with the loss. The pink slip was the result of a budget issue. Mostly, anyway. When you work at a church, it’s always more than just the budget because it’s “family”. Not by blood, but in spirit. The letter of explanation regarding his job elimination that was addressed to the entire church membership was signed by members of four different committees, all of which were involved in the decision. I know they agonized and deliberated over it. I’m certain it was not an easy thing to do. I’m also sure they consulted everyone about the decision except the one person whose life it affected the most.
Scott was not oblivious to the budget situation and was very much aware that something needed to be done. He was willing to offer some personal sacrifices to help the situation and make their decision easier had he been included in the process. I know the decision was not his to make, but he does have more insight about his specific responsibilities than anyone else. While Scott was spared any burden from being an actual decision maker, he might have been able to help them make their task a little less daunting. But, alas, the decision was made for us, not with us. We accepted it and saw it as an answer to prayer; not exactly what we were praying for, but an answer nonetheless. We also saw it not just and AN answer, but THE answer.
We had been trying to make a change like this for quite some time. This simply was going to force us to do it and we were grateful the push. We came close to making that change on our own several times before, but in the end there was always something that swiped it from our hands leaving us to wonder again about our discernment and purpose. Even in all the uncertainty, the one thing we did know was that God had placed us where He wanted us. To move us from that place would also be up to Him; not us, not them.
Yes, God gives us a choice. For us, the desire to be in the center of God’s will meant there was no other choice for us but here. The choice God gave us was solely about following Him; not about where He was going, or staying.
This time was no different. Within the month, more meetings and discussions were held that involved the entire church membership (not just the committees) and the result was that Scott’s job was reinstated.
Before that final full-membership decision, I begged one of the committee chairpersons to let their yes be yes and their no be no and to please just let us go. I begged God to just let us go. I just wanted out. I did not want us to be a reason or excuse for such strife.
Then, all the other options were off the table. Staying here is what God had in mind for us.
We accepted that with mixed emotions. We had already begun to work through the loss and once you do that, some of the stuff you deal with is gone forever and you just can’t get it back. Like relationships. It changes them. Some for the better, some not. Some, just different. It is sort of like learning the truth about Santa Claus. Once you know the real story, you can still go through the motions and even enjoy it, but you just don’t love Santa like you used to and you will never be as excited or hopeful about that unknown as you once were. It’s just not the same.
The names at the bottom of that original letter that dismissed Scott were more than just signatures or committee members to us. They were people we live and work with and depend on and are faithful to and are called to serve. In their original decision to eliminate Scott’s job, as difficult as it may or may not have been, they felt like they were making the right decision and we honored that. Then, the greater majority overruled them and told them they were wrong. And we had to honor that.