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My alarm started buzzing at 6:15 a.m. this morning.
The last of our family members that traveled cross-country for my little sister’s wedding would be leaving promptly at 8:15 to catch flights, so I wanted to be up for “coffee time” to say goodbye before settling down with my laptop and getting to work.
After two 5 minute snoozes, I started sifting through notifications.
A couple comments on Facebook photos from the wedding and the Fourth of July, some needless spam emails that didn’t make it into the promotions folder, my fitness app asking me if I slept a full eight hours — and an email from my biggest client.
That Email You Never Want To See
The email was gracious, but brief: “I’m sad to say that I will not be needing your services from this point on.” Effective immediately. Revenues are down. He’d be happy to write me a recommendation. “Wishing and praying the best for you.”
It’s never fun to lose a job, but two days before my due date? Cue mini panic attack.
Why tell you all this?
Because it’s easy in the age of “Is this Instagram-worthy?” to only post the good things: The filtered photos. The exciting moments. The new jobs, the baby on the way, the successes of working from home for 10 months.
It’s hard to say, “I lost my job.” It’s devastating to watch our main source of income for the past year disappear. But that’s just as much a part of life, if not more, than the big milestones, sunsets and good times. Pretending like hardships don’t come doesn’t do anyone any favors.
So Many Reasons To Be Thankful
And may I never forget that I still have so much to be thankful for. I am hoping that this baby girl comes close to her due date, meaning that I was just about to start my unpaid two-week leave on Monday. So I’m losing two days of pay, but no more. I’d just seen an advertisement for a virtual assistant for a budgeting blog, and now that 20 hours of my week are “freed up,” I can send in an application.
Casey starts work at the beginning of August, meaning he’ll be making a full time income (with benefits!) that’s thousands more than we’ve been living off of for the past two years of our marriage. Even though it’s been steadily dwindling, we still have savings in the bank. I still have another job (albeit only 4-8 hours/week) to see us through the next month.
I am about to welcome a tiny baby girl into this world. I have a loving and supportive husband. Our families couldn’t be happier. We have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies (maybe too much food…). We need nothing, and our only wants are for superfluous things. God has never forsaken us, and I have a great peace that He isn’t about to start now.
And to be honest, I didn’t really know what I could or couldn’t handle work-wise with a baby. I have to trust that God knew my plate was too full — or full of the wrong stuff. It’s cheesy and cliche, but “when one door opens…” Seriously.
The Closed Doors That Brought Me Here
A little less than a year ago I was panicked that I hadn’t found a job in Scotland yet. How would we survive? Casey wasn’t working and I needed to support us. Even though I just lost this gig, it was God who opened the door to it back in September, along with a few other jobs that gave us full-time income during our stint overseas.
Now I have a whole new skill set and more than a year of experience to help me find work because of dozens of closed doors: Nanny jobs, housecleaning gigs, administrative positions. I kept getting the “sorry” emails until at last, my virtual work blossomed into a career.
Maybe now I’ll have the time to really build my own virtual business, a dream I put on hold because we needed cash and I’m not a risk-taker by nature. We’ve been living off my smaller income for a whole year, so if we keep spending small, we’ll have more than enough as soon as Casey gets his first paycheck. Maybe a year from now I’ll read this blog post and think, “Wow, Lord, losing that job was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
God’s Faithfulness, and a New Beginning
After saying a tearful goodbye to my family members, I cooked myself some eggs and toast (my favorite pregnancy breakfast) and sat down with my Bible. For the past couple months Casey has been reading our family one Psalm a night, and the next morning I re-read it for my morning devotions.
Today’s was Psalm 71:
19 Your righteousness, O God,
reaches the high heavens.
You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
21 You will increase my greatness
and comfort me again.
22 I will also praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy,
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have redeemed.
24 And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long,
for they have been put to shame and disappointed
who sought to do me hurt.
Now it’s time to get to work for my other boss. Time to put on some makeup and wipe up those hormonal pregnant lady tears. Time to say, “Lord, You’ve got this,” and send out that application.
And hey, if you are looking for a virtual assistant or writer, or someone who can help you market your small business, get in touch. Seriously! Give me a couple weeks after this new little bundle of joy arrives, and I’m ready to hop right back in. My business website is www.nataliecmckee.com.
And remember, God is good. All the time. And all the time, God is good.