The last year and a half has been shitty. That sounds crude, but there isn’t a better way to put it. A year and a half ago the rumor mill first started spinning about the dealership I worked at being sold. I was told then the prospective new owner tended to get rid of most of the existing management. That was when the job uncertainty started.
In February rumors were confirmed, in March the new owner took over. My job instantly got harder, but I embraced the challenge. However, despite the store’s success by mid September I had confirmed reports I was in line to be replaced.
In October I left and took a short term job as a service advisor. I left there for a management job in Nappanee. We put our house up for sale, found a condo, and packed all of our belongings. The day before we were going to move, I was informed the company was going a different direction.
We were ready to move. The kids had been withdrawn from school and we had appointments to register them in their new school. We had all of our utilities set up. I called Krista, she had to call the kids at school. I was in shock, but still had to call the landlord, utilities, and cable to cancel services. The 3 1/2 hour drive home was numb.
During this time, my dad’s health was failing. He was in the emergency room every 2-3 weeks. Eventually he ended up in a nursing home. The third day of the new job in Nappanee my dad passed away. So this was being carried on top of the continuous job uncertainty.
My sister came home last spring to help with my dad, but by fall it had been confirmed that she was using drugs again and lying to Mom and Dad about a number of things. Because of Dad’s post stroke reduced mental health, this created a new set of problems. On two occasions mom left and came to stay with us because of the stress. On a third occasion she stayed with her sister in Tennessee. Even now she keeps all her doors deadbolted.
So I sit here writing this, unemployed, missing my Dad, worried about my mom. What helps me through? Two things. One is my amazing wife who has been so encouraging and supportive through all of this. The other is the cross.
You see, I don’t believe the cross was a place where Jesus pacified an angry God and took the beating for us. I don’t believe what that tells us about God who is supposed to BE love. What I do believe about the cross is that it was the place where Jesus joined us in the darkest, most painful parts of humanity. Whatever we suffer, Jesus has suffered first. He has felt our pain.
So when I sit here feeling hopeless and hurting, sitting in the middle of the shit, I know I have a savior who is sitting in the shit with me. I know He’ll be there until we come through on the other side. And when I find myself in the next pile of shit, He’ll be there too.