For the third time in 15 years, it seemed as if my husband’s employer might experience a merger. But this time was different. Instead of the company purchasing or partnering with another, it faced the threat of being swallowed up by a corporation with a reputation for improving efficiencies by slashing payrolls.
We followed news stories and stock prices. We waited. And during the waiting, I had a sort of epiphany.
I recall starting out our married life feeling as if we had nothing to lose. We pursued job offers in a city thousands of miles from home. We spent an entire night filling a moving truck with what little we had and gave away whatever wouldn’t fit. We’d signed a lease for an apartment sight unseen. We sold my car before we left to avoid paying to haul it.
But then, the job I thought I had lined up fell through. So, with no vehicle and the hubs off to learn his new job, I applied for work in an unfamiliar city and studied the bus schedule in order to get to scheduled interviews. It was challenging but we viewed it as part of a grand adventure. We never doubted things would work out.
It seems people spend their early years dreaming of what is possible. We take risks and work through whatever challenges come along. Most everything–from housing to employment–is temporary, and that’s expected, even welcomed.
But then, we accomplish things like working years with a company that pays well and provides healthcare and paid vacations. We buy houses, cars, furniture and timeshares. We have children who become accustomed to things like groceries, sporting equipment, piano lessons and orthodontia. And suddenly, we think we have a lot to lose.
During those weeks when the hubs and I told ourselves we weren’t worried about hostile takeovers or job losses, I realized that I prefer the adventurous nature of my younger self. When did living become about holding on so tightly to what we’ve accumulated instead of believing, as we once did, that everything is temporary and that something even better is just around the corner?
It seems that potential corporate takeover isn’t going to happen, at least not right now. But the experience has reminded me that security is an illusion. The Lord gives and He takes away. Praise be the name of the Lord. I don’t quote those lines as some flippant response to the everyday agony endured by many, but as a reminder that His grace is sufficient. And that life is sweeter when each moment is enjoyed with fists unclenched of what is temporary. Let life’s joys and sorrows run through open fingers. We cannot grasp one and refuse the other. Being open to change, expecting it or even welcoming it, still can be part of life’s grand adventure.