Friday, April 9, 2010

Valleys




Where to begin...





We had a wonderful Easter. Probably my very favorite Easter that I can ever remember. I don't know why it was so special to me, but the day was just good. The food was good, the weather was beautiful, the kids were all feeling good and having fun, Abbey looked like a picture of health, the company was great and it was just fun. Celebrating the resurrection of our Saviour with our church family in the morning and our extended family that day was wonderful. It was one of those days where I wished it could have gone on longer. We talked and laughed and watched the kids play. We ate and ate some more and I felt like there wasn't a care in the world. That night I went to bed with a smile on my face. That day was definitely a peak in the midst of this valley that we are in.

We have had a lot of uncertainties that have been looming around us for the last month or so. I haven't mentioned what's going on here and honestly, I haven't been blogging because there have been so many unanswered questions with some things lately and I haven't even known what to say. When things are good it is so easy for me to share. But when we feel like it's another valley on top of what we are already going through with our Abbey, it's harder to open up.

I have mentioned on here before that my husband Jim is a police officer. He has been a police officer for over 8 years and he is one of those people who truly loves their jobs. Jim is an amazing provider for our family as we are a single income family. I am blessed to be able to stay home with our kids and Jim takes care of me and our kids better than I could have ever dreamed of. Jim works hard and never complains about the early mornings, late nights and sometimes long hours. He picks up overtime and side jobs when he can to build up our savings in hopes to move soon into a new home. He has told me his dreams of moving up in position there and someday retiring from his current job. We have always felt secure in his job there and never thought about the possibility of not having his comfortable income and good health insurance.... until lately.

Jim and I when he graduated from Police Academy

It came to light a couple months ago that the city that he works in (which is a very affluent city) is having some major financial problems. On March 1st, all city workers, except for the police force got a 25% pay cut. The police department are in a union so the city could not just give them a cut like that. To make a long story short, there have been several proposals back and forth between the city and the police, trying to come to an agreement. The majority of Police Officers have voted not to accept each proposal from the city as no one wants to take a pay cut. Jim is the 4th from the bottom so since day 1, he has been voting to accept the pay cuts since he knew that eventually lay offs would be inevitable and he'd much rather keep his job with a lower income then have no job at all. It is a very hard situation for all these guys. They have a very demanding job where they put their lives on the line each day to serve their community. It's so sad that it has come to this, where they will either need to take a substantial pay cut or loose their jobs altogether.


Jim and one of his best friends at a parade in downtown Cleveland a couple years back

Unfortunately, it has come to the point where it is really looking like 5 police officers are going to be laid off in a couple weeks here. We are praying for another chance for these guys to come to an agreement and praying that his fellow officers would look at the situations of the 5 guys that will loose their jobs completely if they don't agree to taking a temporary cut. There is a levy for the city in August and if that levy passes, they will all return to regular salary by the end of this calendar year. So, we are just praying for Jim's job (along with the other 4 at the bottom) to be spared. Would you pray with us?

Just a few short months ago, we were so excited about the possibility of selling our house to get into something bigger. We have planned for years to be able to comfortably be able to make a move and here we are, not sure if we are going to be living off our savings instead of using it for a down payment like we have been planning.

Jim has his resume in all over the place. He has tested at some other police departments and has some other potential job opportunities as well. I am thankful for a man who doesn't sit back like a victim, but gets out there and makes sure that he has food on our table and a roof over our heads. But, I am also sad that it has come to this. I am sad that he even has to be thinking about this with everything else that we have going on. I am sad that the best officer that they have (my Jim) is being re-paid in this way after he has been 100% committed to his job for the past 8 years.

Jim reminded me of a very good way to look at this the other day though. He said, "Couldn't it be worse? We could be dealing with death or something like that here. This is a temporary obstacle that we will get past." And I truly do believe that. Although this has been hard, we have much to be thankful for! We have seen God working in many ways, which I will save for another post, but although this is another Valley, God again is walking through it with us. The next two weeks are critical in the outcome of all of this. We don't know what to expect, but one thing is for sure.... we will be on our knees praying for God's mercy on us. We will keep you posted.

10 comments:

Bethany said...

I know it is hard for you to express all of this, but now that we know about your situation we can pray for you! I definitely will pray over this situation during the next few weeks until they come to a conclusion in Jim's department and beyond that if needed. Please keep me posted. Remember that in this and all things God is carrying you through and only he knows the ultimate outcome(s). It is tough to know when friends are enduring difficult times and I hope that this time for your family is a short-lived one. We love you!!

Sewconsult said...

So sorry to hear that life has thrown you a curve ball. Will keep you in my prayers for a good outcome.
Beckie in Brentwood, TN

Beth said...

We have had a similar valley in the past. I truly believe that if one door is closed then God will open others. He will be with you each step of the way!

Certainly no one wants to fear the loss of income, especially when you are a single income family. Yet despite how difficult change can be, it is sometimes for the best.

I will keep you guys in my prayers.

Steve and Amy said...

We'll start praying about everything you mentioned. Like Bethany said, now that we know we can start to pray! Thank you for having the courage to post about what is going on.

Kristine said...

I'm sorry to hear that you have some new worries. I'll definitely be praying for you and your husband!

Cindy Bailey said...

Shelley, I know it's hard to share difficult things, but what are friends for? I'll be praying for Jim and you for the best outcome for your family. God knows your needs and will take care and see you thru. Thanks for sharing the pictures, the kids looked so cute in their coordinating outfits.

Your young men sure are growing and getting more handsome each time I see them. Abbey is definitely the picture of health and she's growing up so fast. Please keep us updated, I know things are going to be okay. God Bless!

stacey said...

Love u Colbert's:)

Jen said...

Hi Shelley,
This is Jen Gunning. My husband Bob went to PhilMont, so Jim probably remembers his younger brother and cousins. We've been keeping you all in prayer during Abbey's journey and we've already started the new prayer thread for the job situation. Thanks for sharing as it gives other members of the body a chance to support a precious part that is in need!
I wanted to share a great ministry site that I've been tremendously encouraged by over the past year. I found it while going through my own cancer battle last summer and the pastor who runs it has a wonderful page of Scriptures specifically about healing and restoration. It carried me through with such peace and I didn't have to hunt for passages when I really needed them. Last month, he began a page dedicated to God's Word on the topic of providence/abundance/supply, etc. because so many people were asking him about the topic. Just like the healing page, it has been so encouraging. If you're interested, drop me a note at my blog and I'll get the info to you.

We're so happy to see Abbey doing great and the boys looking so wonderful as well. What a precious family you have to dote on!

Blessings to you all,
Jen

Andrea said...

Hi Shelley-
Will be praying for God's guidance and peace through this uncertain situation and that you will continue to feel that you are in exactly the place where He wants you to be - even as you feel at the mercy of others.

The Mrs. said...

I just wanted you to know that I am lifting your family up in prayer.

We continue to pray for Abbey every day.