A few years ago, my wife’s college, Heald College, was shut down by the Department of Education in a push to try to punish its parent corporation, Corinthian College. It was a shame that Heald was shut down partly because a lot of jobs were lost, and partly because the school itself had a rich history of education without all of the shady dealings that Corinthian College engaged in, and who had only bought it a few years prior. At any rate, this also meant that my wife’s income was going away, and this meant God had to bring us into a new level of trust regarding our finances.
Almost all of our married life up to that point, my wife and I had both been employed, and for most of that time, she made far more money per hour as a college professor than I did as a nursing assistant—multiple times what I made, in fact. After graduating from nursing school and working at a rehab facility my wage rose to meet hers, but with her losing her job, we simply weren’t going to have enough money to meet all of our monthly expenses.
We had known this school-closing was coming in advance, and I had already been looking for a new job, so I was pleased to finally get an interview for a position at a local hospital. I ended up being offered the position, and when they told me how much I was going to be paid, I was blown away. I literally got a $10 per hour raise moving from my current job to the new one based off my nursing experience. Furthermore, that didn’t include a sizeable shift differential for working night shift. I accepted on the spot—so quickly, in fact, that the HR person stopped me and said “I haven’t told you the whole offer yet.” I was clearly excited to get the job.
All of our money troubles did not evaporate overnight, but my I began the new job right as the school closed, and my wife did receive six months of unemployment on top of that—which helped us out a lot as we transitioned into this new level of income which, in spite of the raise I got, was still less than we had been making before. Eventually, with cost of living increases, raises from yearly service, other bonuses, and picking up additional shifts here and there, my income has roughly matched where we were at before.
This hasn’t been especially easy on my wife, partly due to her job loss and partly due to a much-needed transition due to health issues. Even the transition to spending more time at home raising our grandchildren and homeschooling them has presented its own challenges, none of which have been any easier than going to work. What I did discover in that situation was that God was not only ever-present to help in our time of need, but everything worked out SO smoothly! Not only did I get a higher-paying job at just the right time, but I was able to time it to get myself two weeks off for a road trip, storage clean-out, and ended up writing Gemstones From Heaven while on that trip.
What I felt the Lord show me from all of this was that His goodness and abundance are ever-present. Certainly there are times we feel and/or experience more lack than at other times, but there are other times such as this where even though we didn’t spend hours in prayer over the situation, and in fact I began job-hunting before the College closed, God positioned us just how we needed to make everything work for our good. I am reminded that in every situation God is working things in our favor, even as it says in Romans 8:28 that, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” God calls everyone to His purposes, so we can trust that He is actively at work in our lives to bring good things out of those that appear less-than-good. And I thank God for that!