Early last week (just after my last blog post), my husband and I sat at the edge of our bed and said our morning prayers. Things have been tough in our house, living with a recovering addict and helping to raise our beautiful, sweet granddaughter. I can’t remember who said the prayer, but I do remember that we asked for guidance, as my husband’s job security was in peril, and I am working for temp agencies while I try to work out critical career decisions. My daughter just wants to get through school, and to find some emotional and mental balance. Of course, we all want to feel a sense of belonging at church, and only my husband feels comfortable there, despite the fact that he is a convert from Chicago and hates living in Utah.
We asked our Heavenly Father to help us to make the right decisions as we are working to achieve our goals of finding job security, moving to a larger place accommodating to the needs of this extended and blended family, and feeling a sense of belonging in this conservative stronghold. It’s been almost year since my daughter moved in with us, but nothing is really coming together for any of us. I could see a light at the end of the tunnel, but we didn’t seem to be getting any closer, and my daughter often voiced the fear that the light was from an oncoming train.
We finished our prayers and went on with our day. I wasn’t exactly sure what we were praying for, but it seemed to me that something needed to happen to bring the adults in the household a sense of belonging and security. My husband and I both went off to our respective jobs, leaving my daughter to get ready for school and take her daughter to daycare.
During my lunch hour, I got a call from my husband. In the past week or so, the lunchtime calls have been coming with increasing frequency. Most days, it has been to give me more news of changes happening with the company. When he began his job a year and a half ago, the company had just moved out of the CEO’s basement. Started by a local homemaker, the fulfillment house has grown exponentially,to the point that it’s become necessary to move most of the warehouse to a much larger facility near Amazon’s headquarters in Kentucky. As the changes came, it was becoming rapidly apparent that there would probably not be enough work here in Utah to keep my husband working full time. We have been here in the Utah area for six years, and this is the only job he’s found where he felt completely at home. My daughter and I have yet to find that niche here.
Every day, the lunch time calls felt more uncertain. My husband had refreshed and updated his resume, and had begun looking at job ads. This call was different than the rest, and came much sooner than expected. In fact, it was entirely unexpected. The warehouse here in Utah is ramping down to minimal part-time services beginning July 14, and they are letting go of most of their employees.
But not my husband. They offered full-time positions in Kentucky to two of their current warehouse employees. One of them is my sweet husband and they are helping with relocation expenses (of course). “How can we do this?” We both said. How can we not? We both realized. There have been many times when each one of the adults in my household has asked, “Why can’t we just leave Utah?” There are things holding us here (like employment).
But the culture here pushes us away. I’ve noticed that Utah’s culture is divided religiously and politically. If we are active members of the church, we are treated with contempt and distrust by those who are not members or have fallen out of activity. If we are active members and politically progressive, we are treated with contempt and distrust by fellow ward members. All three of us wanted to leave.
I told my husband I would need some time to think and pray about it. His boss said she needed to know as soon as possible. It has been tough, because my granddaughter needs support, and my daughter has a lot of catching up to do before she can live independently. I need to work, but I’ve needed to be home for them as well. After a quick prayer, I resumed my work activities. By the time I got off of work, I had my answer. Both of the staffing agencies I am working for are nationwide. I am currently portable economically. My husband struggles to find a good fit in employment, but once he does, he is a loyal employee. It took him more than four years in Utah to find an employer that matched his skills and personality. It was a no-brainer. I called my him back and said, “Let’s do it.”
Every day, we all feel better about it. So my husband is leaving for Kentucky in two weeks. I am staying behind to pack and arrange for housing and the move in July. My daughter is excited; I am excited, and although he is a bit nervous about yet another big change, my husband is excited to be moving within driving distance of his family and childhood home.
I am convinced this move will bring my daughter back into activity. We all feel like this is a place that we will be able to call home. I am looking forward to finding my niche in a new ward. I do feel that I will find a sense of belonging there. God answers prayers. Many times those answers come in unexpected ways. We are blessed.