Uprooted & Transplanted: When God Moves You
Ten+ years ago, I was struggling. After having lost my job due to the company closing its doors, I went from a six-figure income to ZERO. Unconcerned, I thought I would do what I have always done - go get another job! After all, I have been working since I was 11, so this was no big deal. Newly married, I thought my severance package would help us until I found another position.
I couldn't have been more wrong! Despite applying for literally thousands of jobs, from high paying executive positions to low paying hourly jobs (Hey, $10 per hour is better than $0 per hour). The high paying positions were few and far between, and at the time there were far more professionals looking for jobs than there were jobs to be found! I was denied low-paying positions because employers knew the first chance I had to move back to a six-figure income, I would be gone!
So, I got creative and with my entrepreneurial mindset, I tried countless options to create my own job, but to little avail. Nothing destroys and diminishes a man's character than to have your wife as the main breadwinner of the home. Not that she couldn't or shouldn't be, but it was my job to take care of her and our family as the protector and provider. Call me old fashioned, but I felt out of order and quite frankly, less of a man, less of a husband, and less of a father.
Add to that, the mortgage crisis of 2008, when our beautiful dream home we had just purchased 2 1/2 years earlier, was literally stolen from us. The mortgage company (a very large bank whose name will not be spoken of), had made some bad decisions and called in the loan on our home. And they gave us a very short window to come up with the balance we owed on our home before they would basically foreclose on the property if we didn't pay it off.
Come to find out they, along with a handful of other large banks, they were illegally stealing homes back because they had loaned too much money and the housing market dropped, unemployment was on the rise, and many people were upside down in their equity. Out of panic, they called in loans to help save themselves from going bankrupt. Some of them still ended up bankrupt, and if you remember the Gov't bailed some of them out!
A number of state Attorneys General filed a class-action lawsuit, of which we were a party of, against these mortgage companies in an effort to stop them from stealing people's homes. After almost a decade of fighting, we won! And long after we had lost our home, and had no choice but to move in with my mother-in-law, we received a restitution check of a whopping few hundred dollars! It wasn't enough to pay one month's rent on a small apartment!
It seemed like the rug had been pulled out from beneath us, and this was no way to raise a family. By this time, the cost of living had erupted. Still unemployed and struggling on one income, and frustrated by it all, I prayed for God to rescue us from our dilemma.
Although He took awhile to prepare us and prepare the next chapter for our lives, God finally opened the door to move to Florida, where the cost of living was more affordable, jobs were more abundant, and opportunity was more available.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate snow and how much I love sunshine and the beach, lighthouses, and Disney. Honestly, Florida was never really on my radar. Every time it snowed, I would jokingly say, "That's it! I'm moving to Florida!" But, I never really considered it or meant it. It was just a reactionary response to my disgust. Or so I thought...
You see, often when God is getting ready to uproot you and transplant you elsewhere, He starts to prepare your spirit for that transition, even when you are not fully aware of it. He begins laying the foundation, pulling the pieces of the puzzle together, until it's finally time to reveal the next chapter of your life.
Because of all we had been through - from losing a home, due to no fault of our own, to being unable to find a job or create a job that would support us, along with myriad other bad memories from years past, it was clear God's rescue plan included a second chance, a redux, a land of opportunity, and so when the door opened, we ran! Was it a 100%, smooth transition? Nope! It was a bit rough at first. After all, we were leaving the only home and people we knew to move to a foreign land we had only visited a couple of times and new absolutely no one! We were completely on our own, and it was a bit frightening. But, what I did know is we were not alone. God would not open a door He had not already prepared. And He wouldn't deliver us into something worse than what we had.