Argh! One of those Major Life Events

I had one of those “major life events” a short time ago, but haven’t posted about it to this point. I guess I needed several weeks for the dust to settle.

In early-July, my boss informed me that one of our company’s major corporate customers was not renewing their contract for 2020. That was definitely NOT good news. That particular customer accounts for about 40% of our sales. My boss advised me to prepare for the inevitable. For the next couple of months, I read the daily reports as the customer in question began methodically pulling our equipment out of their stores and returning it to our warehouse. Arriving back to work on the Tuesday after Labor Day Weekend, my boss called me into his office the first thing in the morning, usually not a good sign. As I suspected, I was being laid off at the end of the month.

I began working at K* in 1976 when I was nineteen-years-old. At that time there were 60,000 people working at K’s massive manufacturing, research, logistics, and administrative facilities in Rochester. But foreign competition and the subsequent switch from analog to digital technology began impacting K in the mid-1980s. The layoffs started in earnest in 1985 and have continued non-stop for thirty-four years. From what I can gather, there’s now probably less than 2000 Rochesterians working at K and KA (the company that was spun off from K and where I ended up).

My boss asked that I continue doing my job in the interim while simultaneously training my replacement. Needless to say, September was a difficult month.

So, here I am, 63-years-old and unemployed, with twenty-two more months until I’m eligible for Medicare. To complicate things further, my wife was forced to discontinue working in early-August because of health issues and was placed on short-term disability. There’s a very high probability that she will eventually be switched to long-term disability.

But this is not a self-pity party. The Lord is Lord of the valleys as well as the mountain tops. I was blessed with 43 years of employment at K and I’m not all that far from retirement. As part of its limited severance package, KA has provided three months’ worth of assistance from a “career transition” company. I’m currently using those services and creating a resume in preparation for some job hunting.

I have many brothers and sisters in the Lord who are dealing with challenges much more serious than losing a job at age 63, so I didn’t write this as a whine fest. But I was still a bit angry and bitter. All I needed was two more years, Lord! Well, the Lord has been teaching me many things in the last six weeks. When everything seems to be going fine and we’re living in our “it’s all good” bubble and familiar routine, our faith can tend to become lackadaisical, but it’s in trials and tribulations when we truly lean on and lean into the Lord. This is a fallen world and if you haven’t experienced any “major life events” yet, you surely will. This world doesn’t offer much in the way of safety nets, but our Sovereign God, who knows all of our circumstances, is our immovable Rock and High Tower!

Postscript 1: One day I was feeling particularly stressed because of all of the red tape issues I had to take care of due to my pending unemployment, mostly signing up for various types of insurance. To make matters worse, I had let my reading material queue run dry. Oy vey! In “desperation,” I went back to my half-finished and neglected copy of Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ “Studies on the Sermon on the Mount.” The next chapter just so happened to be “Be Not Anxious,” followed by “Birds and Flowers,” “Little Faith,” “Increasing Faith,” and “Worry: Its Causes and Cure,” all sermons on Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus’ teaching on worry and anxiety. Praise God for His care and encouragement!

Postscript 2: My 24/7 full-time job and joy is following Jesus Christ. Everything else is secondary.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” – Matthew 6:25-27

*Due to legalities, I’m being purposely circumspect about the name of my former company, especially in regards to their current troubles.

36 thoughts on “Argh! One of those Major Life Events

  1. ((((( Hugs))))) and prayers for you and your lovely bride!

    I did not read this at all as a pity party just a simple share of what happens in this world! I read it as also as advice to those that maybe or will go through things like this in this world!

    One day all these things will be irrelevant-but for now we go through them-and as Christians we allow our faith to grow -(like that tiny mustard seed that blossoms into a tree) trusting God!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Beth, for your prayers, gracious encouragement, and virtual hugs! I think of the apostles in the boat with the Lord on the Sea of Galilee during a storm (Matthew 8:23-27). Circumstances unsettle and frighten us, but our Shepherd is Sovereign over all of our circumstances.

      RE: One day all these things will be irrelevant

      Yes. During this time I have often thought of when I was a child and was absolutely panicking the morning of a big test. I can chuckle about it now. Yup, we need to focus on the Lord and the “big picture” amidst challenges and trials. Our faith would be weak and anemic if we all had a $10 million trust fund and perfect health and we had nothing to do but lay about a beach resort all day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so very welcome!

        I think it’s human reaction to be devastated over things immediately-then the dust settles and we are like “ok, Lord, I’m sorry I lost my head for a bit! I AM TRUSTING YOU!” Or am I wrong on that?

        “Our faith would be weak and anemic if we all had a $10 million trust fund and perfect health and we had nothing to do but lay about the beach resort all day.” Amen, brother, Amen!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: Or am I wrong on that?

        Yes, I think we often react to serious adversity with fear, confusion, anger, disbelief because of our weak flesh and faith, but the Lord is there to lead us forward. As you know, there are sooooo many passages in Scripture of faith in difficult circumstances. It’s one of the major themes in God’s Word. We can be grateful for the Lord’s light in the darkness.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I recall one time telling The Lord that I was feeling to complacent I needed His help to get out of that place!!! Guess what??
        He gave us two boys with Down syndrome! Some would scoff at me but believe me that was the beginning of me really searching scripture- and in that search- it brought me out of Catholicism!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The Lords ways are definitely not our ways! The Lord knew exactly what you needed to seek Him. And I know from your testimonies that your two sons with Down Syndrome have continued to bless you in ways you could not have foreseen.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! Taught some homeschooling and are at a more restful pace than on Sunday. If you can pray I finish all I need to do by tommorow, I’m going to cram everything. I’m so worried the translators don’t have enough time to translate everything…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, brother! I was in a bit of a funk that first week without a job, but I have a lot to do now with learning the ins and outs of preparing to job search. Several bloggers knew I was unemployed, but I thought it was high time I was transparent and posted about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Jimmy. I know other brothers and sisters in the Lord have challenges and trials much more difficult than my circumstances. I have some good help with the “career transition” people.

        Liked by 1 person

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