We really didn't stop coming to church for any particular reason, we just used Sunday morning as family time since we both traveled extensively in our jobs. As expected we drifted far enough out that we didn't feel the guilt anymore, and our spiritual relationship with God just dropped off to no interaction or concern at all.
I heard about the Crossing for the first time from a friend David Leonard. A few months later Jay & Britney Hagy moved across the street from us and encouraged us to attend also. And so we did, we recommitted our lives back to Christ's service, we began tithing again, and I started attending Iron Men when I wasn't traveling.
We thought life was back in balance and on track....
Then in February 2010, I (Tim) was laid-off from my job after 5.5-years as a Safety Manager while the construction industry continued to deteriorate.
My professional life was devastated, as I loved my job and I truly felt that mentoring people to be safe was God's mission for me in life. I couldn't understand why God would bring us all the way down from Tennessee where we had a nice home and family life.
Bad things however, were happening all around us as many other people we knew were also having the same issues of losing their job.
Praise the Lord, my wife's job was holding up and I still had the Air Force Reserves that helped out a little.
The area I struggled with was applying for Unemployment, as it just dug into me that I would lean on the government for my needs.
Please understand that I was not in anyway judging those who take unemployment.
I even spoke with two Godly financial advisors at the Crossing that gave me absolutely sound advise on why I should take it. But I just couldn't bring myself to take it. I truly wanted to rely on God during this time of need and Barbara (to no surprise) was completely behind my heart on this decision.
There was also one more adjustment we decided to make together, to increase our tithe and offerings to 15%.
Six more months passed and our bills were taking a toll on us, but our commitment stayed steady. Every morning I got out of bed just as if I were going to work and hit the computer to submit 1000s of resumes, make phone calls, and network with others 15-hrs a day.
Spiritually, I was praying and reading my Bible, and coming to church & Iron Men.
Then one morning in October (2010), I had a very bad phone interview with a very rude HR person that went out of her way to point out all the things I didn't have going for me.
I just broke-down, and cried out to Jesus for hours weeping uncontrollably. After I had cried myself out and was completely exhausted, I felt this strange urge to get outside for some fresh air. The grass needed mowing, so I started into that task thinking maybe I could at least accomplish something that day.
I hadn't mowed the grass for awhile, as we had a 16-yr old son who wanted gas money for his new passion in life.
The strange thing is, mowing the grass is what I used to do when I wanted to spend time with God. I used to mow the grass 2-3 times a week, I really enjoyed it!
As I was mowing, I was pondering about the story of the Prodigal Son and how I felt my return to my commitment was very similar. I was doing all the right things, showing obedience and sacrifice. "But Father," I asked, "why haven't you welcomed me with your open arms and restored me."
The Holy Spirit spoke to me in no way that I have ever heard it before!!!
"Tim, my son, delight in your suffering, for you haven't given me time to prepare the feast. You're sitting at the celebration table before the Master has arrived. You will be restored!"
I was so excited that I mowed two of my neighbor's yards and probably would have done the whole street had I not run out of gas.
Two weeks later, I received a call from a potential employer to interview for a job as a Technical Trainer that I had applied for seven months earlier and just forgot about.
On Monday the initial interview went very well, but I didn't hear anything the rest of the week.
Still not discouraged, I decided to go to church during the Saturday evening service and asked my wife for some alone time. She of course understood, so I went to church alone that evening.
After service, I went forward and asked a couple (prayer partners) in the front of the stage to pray with me. They both were eager to hear why I was there, so I explained my situation and asked that they pray for God's will regarding the job opportunity.
But before we prayed, the gentleman told me that God was revealing to him that the job was not going to be what I had expected and to be prepared for that.
After the prayer, I walked away completely confused and discouraraged by what he had told me. He was so confident in his statement and I felt like he was stepping on my hopes for a job.
I told my wife that I would never say something like that to a person with such a need. I could take God telling me that wasn't the right job, but from someone whom I was seeking prayer with, I was actually insulted.
The next Tuesday morning I received an email asking me to come in for another interview and to call my potential boss Brian before I scheduled the time with HR, so I called him immediately.
Brian told me that, they needed to move on their decision quickly and that he expected me to meet with the VP and division managers on how I would develop and head up the Training department as the Training Manager.
Training Manager? I thought it was just a Technical Trainer opportunity?
Brian said, we decided that you know more of what our needs are than we do, so we need your experience to run the show. It will be all yours if you can win-over the rest of the team!
It all made ssense now, I had thought God was preparing me for a let down, but it was actually as the prayer partner couple had stated. The job was much different that I had originally expected!
In November 2010, I started my new job in a position that I had been pursuing for 15-yrs but could never break into. In an office that I never dreamed of sitting in overlooking Tampa Bay and the spot where my Dad asked my mother to marry him.
In just one year, since being re-employed, our salaries have increased 60% from before my being laid-off. My wife Barbara finished her 4 year degree with honors. Our oldest son Bryan completed his Master's degree. Our youngest son Scott graduated with honors; received the ROTC Sabre & two scholarships: completed Army Basic Training; and recently accepted into the Army Airborne.
God has answered our prayers and restored us beyond our wildest dreams!!!
Doc. No. 2893640