In between building my business and creating a line of designs and products, I worked as a barista part-time and worked on various freelance projects. So in that sense, instead of potentially getting coffee for superiors that I worked under, I still was serving coffee but instead to strangers. Asking, “would you like whip cream with that?” seems an obligatory precursor job one has when pursuing creative work.
Time passed. Various side jobs and consignment projects that had no reason not to work or to continue to be a revenue stream would dry up from time to time. Things were so unpredictable. We did briefly ponder taking advantage of the housing market. Oh, but the houses we were shown had such amenities as crime scene tape, screen doors instead of bedroom doors, a garage turned into a room with a driveway leading up to it, and a house that came with its own raccoon.
House-hunting was an awkward adventure.
We kept getting the sense that God was saying, “Not yet; I have something else for you. Don’t get too comfortable.” Every time we’d try to settle down, a circumstance would change with my husband’s job that would set relocating out in front of us as, once again, a possibility.
So we waited.
Then my husband lost his job. Corporate restructuring is a fancy way of saying “because the company doesn’t know what it needs to be successful, all your jobs are at risk of changing or being eliminated.” This was a common reality for a lot of companies post-recession. There were other times his job came near the chopping block but would be preserved because, frankly, he was often doing the work of at least 4 different people. Raises and promotions that were promised would evaporate. Finances were unpredictable.
Later, for me, an interview for a good-looking temporary-to-possibly-hire job did come up. It had an incredibly long commute that would have meant I would be driving more hours to get there than actually spending working there…and it came up a few short weeks after my car had been vandalized, totaled, and hauled away. In its damaged state, my 22-year-old, rusty car was worth exactly $120. This, the car that had been hit twice while it was parked and minding its own business. This, the car that had had parts of it literally fall off while I was driving it. But it was my car—always so dependable except on maybe the coldest of cold days when it didn’t want to start when temps with wind chill dipped into -40 degrees. In those temps though, who could blame it? A couple months before the incident we’d lowered the insurance on it from “comprehensive” to “liability” because—get this—it never went anywhere far and was therefore at a very low risk for comprehensive damage.
I cried as I watched it leave. It felt like we couldn’t win for losing.
Despite that, we knew that if anyone needed our prayers it was someone who would vandalize someone else’s car for seemingly no reason at all. On the positive side, we managed really well on one car. Well, that is, in between our other car breaking down repeatedly. It wasn’t the only thing held together with prayers and God’s grace. I used to joke that my computer was powered by the Holy Spirit; I’d used the same iMac computer for close to 9 years. Near-daily use of a computer doing graphic arts work is some pretty intense use for a computer. It was by no means fast, but it worked. The Apple spinning rainbow (aka: the spinning beach ball of death) could possibly be the universal sign for patience development.
This is part 12 of 31 in a personal story participating in the Write 31 Days Challenge. To start at the beginning or to see all the posts in order, click here. If you want to follow along, follow on social media or subscribe as a reader to Eclectic Affinity.
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