To be honest, normally I would have to really think of something out of the ordinary hustle and bustle of life that I might be proud of.
Not the case this time.
In mid-September, my husband suddenly lost his youth ministry job, due to irreconcilable differences on doctrine…the church essentially feared and didn’t want to risk him teaching youth something outside established curriculum (denominational differences). After we both spent a couple days on our old couches feeling sorry for ourselves, he got to work, finding…work. We had just bought a home in the community and we have a one year old and a dog, so sulking wasn’t an option.
Sometimes, I let myself go to a place where I think “why didn’t a marry a man’s man, a blue collar guy that can fix anything and bales hay?” I grew up in farm country northwest Wisconsin…it took a long time to get over the fact that I married a comic book nerd who loves to play with toys and strategy games and isn’t handy, like at all. My husband is into creating lasting relationships and can spin retail to do his bidding in a red hot second.
Like, he’s REALLY good at retail.
When this storm shook our family a few weeks ago, we discussed a plan of action. One of us had to continue staying home with our daughter, that was the given…we couldn’t afford groceries, let alone childcare. I can easily work in offices doing a vast assortment of tasks in many business types. But we rested on this fact: turnover in retail is one of the highest in any business sector…as much as he did not want to return to managing retail (what he had left to pursue his ministry passion), we both knew it would be where the fast hiring would be.
He applied to everything within a half hour radius he didn’t think he would have to sell his moral soul to do. He got callbacks from every one of them, and he scheduled interviews. He always came back feeling like it wasn’t where he was supposed to be.
He happened to need to get a haircut before officiating a wedding (something he does on the side occasionally), and I went nearby with our daughter to a toy store to waste time…we only have the one vehicle, and obviously I needed to get out of the house for once. By the front door, there were paper applications-I grabbed one.
Turns out, this place only takes paper applications, so he would have never seen it online. He quickly received a callback for their assistant manager position. After the interview, he accepted the position, to start the following week.
He then decided he would go talk to the owner of the pizza place located in the town with the church he had been working over the last year. He and the owner had gotten to know each other over the last year, as my husband would add youth events to the bulletin board, and he often also popped in for lunch during the day. He’s always been curious about delivering pizza. That man could survive on pizza. I’m not kidding. Anyway, the owner asked him to come back later that day to fill out paperwork, and to not even bother with an application. He actually started delivering that day, and after three weeks without income and an empty gas tank, he filled it with his tips.
Looking at six weeks of no income was looking very bleak-but his tip money continues to float us in necessities while we wait for his first check from both businesses.
He delivered pizza every day last week, and loved it.
This week, he got back into assistant managing retail…in a toy store. He loves it.
He has been working both jobs every day to try to get us back, and without complaint.
I am so grateful that out of a very crappy situation, he’s flourishing. He’s optimistic that this retail stage in his life will be different than the others, and so far, he comes home after a 13+ hour day pretty happy.
He is brainstorming how to best get back into youth ministry. But for now, he’s loving where he was placed.
This week, I am proud of my husband – his talent, his networking, his faith, and his unwavering sense of duty to his family when life threw him an overwhelming curveball.
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