Thursday, January 12, 2012

Grateful For Trials!

Over the last 2+ years we have gone through SO much in our lives and of course we are still currently going through trials, but I can honestly say that I am truly grateful for the trials that were brought our way. Over two years ago I remember Michael coming home and tell me that he was unemployed. At that moment I couldn't even deal with our new reality! I actually told Michael I couldn't talk about it right then and then I took the kids to IKEA and met a friend. I just needed to get away and digest everything. Just for my records I want to list things out as they happened and how God worked things out for good.

November 2009 - Michael becomes unemployed. We go from a one income family to bringing in no money. Michael feels strongly that this is God's way of opening a new chapter in our lives. I'm 6 months pregnant with Ella and we discover she has an irregular heartbeat. Praise God it wasn't anything that would require surgery and it just fixed itself in the womb!

December 2009 - Michael starts receiving unemployment and I start the process of applying for state assistance. God uses this to humble me and help me understand people in the same situation and have more compassion for them. Michael applies for numerous jobs daily and obtains a job with a Life Insurance Company. It's a self employment/commission based job so Michael continues to receive unemployment while he's learning the ropes and not actually earning income.

January 2010 - Michael is gone on numerous business trips learning the ropes. I hold down the fort at home. When Michael is home he only sees the boys for about a half an hour a day because of his odd working hours.

Feburary  2010 - After praying and talking about what is best for our family, Michael makes the decision to leave the Life Insurance job.  Since the job was a self employment job and he really never made any money, Michael never lost his unemployment income. A week and a half later Ella is born via C-Section. Due to our financial situation we receive a 100% grant from Swedish to cover Ella's birth.

Thankfully during the previous summer of 2009 Michael had quite a few painting jobs for his own business so our nest egg had been built up. Looking back I know that was God preparing us for this time of financial strain. From the beginning we knew that even though Michael being unemployed wasn't ideal we also knew that it was also a gift. How many fathers get to stay home and really be with their kids during these early years? Boys need their Daddy and we knew that this time in their lives was crucial for their development. We in no way took for granted this family time!

March & April 2010 - Michael continued to look for work and put his resume out there. During this time we were just adjusting to our new normal as a family of 5.

May 2010 - I go through a mini breakdown and end up taking Ella with me down to my parents house to have a break.

Summer 2010 - With little advertizing God provides painting jobs for Michael during the summer. During the weeks he works he doesn't apply for unemployment. This ends up making his possible pay for unemployment stretch out longer than it normally would. When Michael wasn't painting he was working on finishing our backyard remodel. We weren't sure if God would call us to sell our house, but we knew that we would need to finish the backyard before we would be able to list it if it came to that. Thankfully God provided for our needs for that as well in the form of a friend being able to provide us with free dirt to fill in the backyard.

August 2010 - Michael has an interview and is hired to do the maintanance work at an elderly care facility in Federal Way. His first day on the job he discovers that the hiring manger lied to him about everything the job entailed. He came home from lunch feeling defeated and we decided it wasn't worth it for our family. Thankfully Michael was booked for the entire month of August with painting work. Michael mentions that it might be worth it for me to start putting my resume out there.

September 2010 - I go to an interview for a job in Bellevue. I ace it and know I've got the job the moment I walk out. I sit in my car and sob! I do not want to leave my babies...especially my nursing 7 month old. After officially receiving the job offer, Michael and I go back and forth over the decision of me going back to work. The only reason Michael wanted me to go back to work was to put him through school furthering his chance of getting a job. In the end Michael discovers that the college classes he was hoping to take online while I was working aren't available online and are only offered during daytime hours. I do not accept the job!

November 2010 - God really shows me first hand how much he has humbled me in regards to accepting state assistance. Michael has been laid off for a year.

Winter 2010-2011 - During this time Michael and I really start to feel like we are stuck in limbo. We aren't going anywhere and unemployment has almost run out. Thankfully God has provided for our financial needs during this time. Not only with our bills, but with anonymous cards filled with gift cards to numerous businesses and blessings from my MOPS family. I beginning to believe the lies that the enemy is telling me about failures from our past...praise God I have wonderful friends that lift me up during this time and speak words of truth to me instead of lies. I start feeling like God wants to add to our family, but feel hindered in regards to our situation. I feel like people will judge us for getting pregnant while Michael is unemployed, but I also don't want it to dictate our family size and the timing of it as well. Michael and I make the decision that he will enlist in The National Guard come April if he hasn't found a job.

January 2011 - In order to help out with our finances I start watching Logan 3 days a week. This really helps ease the strain. Ella has a crazy day that consists of visits to two hospital ER's and an ambulance ride. Michael has a job interview at a job we had long given up on being a possibility.

Feburary 2011 - Michael is offered and accepts the job at the King County Water District #20. Three days later we find out we are expecting our 4th child.

March 2011 - Owen has his own crazy day spent at two different hospital emergency rooms. I start seeing my old therapist to work on a few things as a mom, wife and person.

April 2011 - At 13 weeks pregnant we find out that our baby has died. Even during this time I feel God's presence in my life and know that he is working things out for good.

May 2011 - I have my second D&C. I have quite a few emotional ups and downs during this time. I decide that I might need more than just therapy so I make a doctor's appointment and get put on anti-depressants. The meds work and I actually start having fun with my kids.

Summer 2011 - Still going through the ups and down of losing a baby.

August 2011 - Ella's has a traumatic fall in the front yard that results in another visit to the ER.

September 2011 - Due to Ella's fall, we discover that she has Hydrocephlus and has to have brain surgery. We absolutely feel that the fall was God's way of having us discover her condition before any major damage was done. After talking about what would be best for our family we decided to start trying again to get pregnant. A week and half after I ovulate we know without even taking a test that I'm pregnant. It's confirmed a week later with a pregnancy test.

October 2011 - I'm dealing with the emotions of my due date with Kyan coming up and worrying about my latest pregnancy.

November 2011 - Michael gets his first raise at his job. Every week we continue to get good news in regards to the growth of our baby.

Winter 2011 - During our big ultrasound we find out that the baby is developing wonderfully. We continue to feel God's hands on our family in regards to the safety of our children.

As you can see even though we endured many trials during the last 2+ years there were also blessings as well. The main thing that didn't change was God's presence in our lives. He was ALWAYS there...meeting our needs and lifting us up. I love that God used this time and these situations to strengthen our faith and our testimony to His faithfullness!


Momof2 said...

I am so glad you posted this. Your family is an inspiration to me. We have had our own ups and down and I know God is using that for good as well. Thank you for pouring your heart out and sharing. Praise God for his wonderful love, and hand in your life! He has many more amazing things to fulfill!!