I had a very cheerful, happy post regarding our Branson mini-vacation all set and ready to post once I added pictures, but alas, something has come up that I feel I need to address more urgently. If a blog is to reflect my personal life, then something VERY personal has come up that cannot be ignored.
On Thursday evening, my coworkers and I were given the news that our store, Scrapbook Garden East, was closing. Not in the near future, not in the next week or so, but immediately. And permanently. It completely blindsided us all. Not only didn't we see it coming, but the way the news was revealed to us was quite surreal. All of us were left numb, wondering, "Did we dream this?"
We were informed that our help would be "appreciated" in the packing and moving of all merchandise to the West store, which is remaining open. We will be employed through the 10th, then that's it. They did say that some people may transfer to the West store, as their needs permit, but seeing as it's a well-staffed store to begin with, the available hours aren't plentiful.
So Thursday morning I went to work, not a care in the world, no idea anything unusual was on the horizon. Then this morning, I went in and began to pack up all of the merchandise I've been arranging, straightening and selling for all this time. It was incredibly bizarre and pretty emotional.
I am not pleased with the way any of this has been handled. I believe that my coworkers and I (especially my co-manager) deserved a little more than the notice we were given. (In case you're not following, any notice at all would have been more than what we were given.) The shock and despair could have been eased into a little more gradually. I would have also liked to have had the opportunity to say goodbye to the customers I've formed friendships with over the many years I've been employed at Scrapbook Garden. I'm sure they would have liked the same consideration.
I've had trouble managing my attitude since the news was given. Anger, frustration, bitterness, disgust, spite...all of these emotions have been overwhelming. I'm also experiencing sincere sorrow and pain because I have put in a great deal of years into this store. I don't know where to go from here or what I will do. It's a frightening position to find oneself in, especially for someone that suffers from a fear of change, as I do.
But I have found amazing comfort in my Savior's arms. It is amidst the darkness that light appears it's brightest. I've been having conversations with Him about this entire situation and while I know He feels my hurt because He loves me, I also feel His guiding hand, encouraging me to move beyond my immediate feelings and look to the horizon.
My Mom has been the most amazing support and encourager. (I love you mom!!!) Her immediate reaction when I called last night was to pray with me, as it always is whenever we face a crisis. She prayed powerfully while I sat on the other end of the phone crying. Her strength and faith is contagious. Then I can't even begin to list the verses and quotes she has been typing on my Facebook page, all day and all night. I do want to share one thing, however, that I found particularly uplifting. It includes one of mine and Jeremy's favorite verses.
These storms actually become occassions to cast ourselves upon God. We are NOT TO GIVE UP but to GIVE IT UP, casting our cares upon Him who is and who remains the same yesterday, today, and forever....Jer29:11-14 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord"...
I've also been meditating on a story from 2 Kings (that we talked about in my Tuesday night Bible study) about a woman facing a far worse situation than I. She had just lost her husband and because she was so in debt to her creditors, they were about to exercise their legal right to take her sons as slaves as a form of payment. She approached the prophet Elisha, asking that he work a miracle to save her sons. He asked her what she had in her house. Nothing, except a single flask of oil. Elisha responded, "Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting the jars aside as they are filled." (2 Kings 4:3-4) So she followed his instructions, and every single jar they gathered was filled to the brim! As soon as all the jars were filled, the oil stopped flowing. She was able to sell the oil, pay off her debts and take care of her family without further help from those greedy creditors.
What stuck out to me most in this story was that the oil stopped flowing as soon as the family ran out of empty jars. As our book put it, "Indeed, the more of our own emptiness we present to God in faith, the more He is able to pour into us from His abundance!" (from "Completely His" by Shannon Ethridge)
Well Lord, I'm feeling pretty empty. In fact, more empty than I've felt in a really long time. And I'm presenting that emptiness to You, knowing that You know how to fill it a lot better than I do. I don't know where to look for a job or how to handle the remaining time I have with Scrapbook Garden. But I'm counting on You to get me through.
27 months and counting...
6 years ago