Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An Unexpected Vacation

In late January this year, Dave became an unemployment statistic. The Army program he had been working on through his company, i3, had an unexpected budget shortfall, and in a matter of days half the civilian engineering force was unceremoniously asked to clear out their offices.

Using the three weeks of vacation he had saved up, Dave began the process of searching for another job while still under the cover of i3. That kept a paycheck coming in for a while, but eventually even that dried up and i3 had to let him go.

Interestingly, the money didn’t seem to stop coming in. First there was the refund on our mortgage escrow. It seems we had overpaid what was necessary for our property taxes last year by a good bit, so they sent us a check. Then there were our tax refunds, from both federal and state, which should arrive any day now. Plus the i3 severance check. Karen also started noticing that her grocery money seemed to be multiplying. Every week when she went to put in what she normally budgets for groceries, there was already enough there to cover things.

We had to leave the company medical plan and start on COBRA, which we weren’t looking forward to, since it normally costs and arm and a leg. But it seems there was a little provision in the federal stimulus package last year that cut COBRA payments by 2/3! And it turns out that the provision was scheduled to end just days after we applied.

The outpouring of support from friends, coworkers, and even strangers has been amazing. We’ve long preached to others that accepting generosity from folks who care about you is as much an act of service as the giving, but it sure looks different from the other side :-) Our hearts have been touched by cards, phone calls, emails, gift certificates, and roughly a million offers to personally shop Dave’s resume around.

The search for a job still continues, now 40 days on, but our hearts are full of gratitude and peace. God has granted us an awesome gift of seeing life from an angle we never expected, and the view of His grace from here is pretty awesome.