Why What I Don’t Know is Totally OK


Y’all are going to think there is something wrong with me.

So a few caveats are in order before I tell this story:

  1. I’m an intelligent, educated woman, and have, in the past, supported myself quite well.
  2. I am not a backwards ninny who has to ask her husband’s permission to do things.
  3. Jim and I are equal partners and everything is an open book. Passwords, text messages, email and all the analog stuff.

When Jim was RIF’d* a couple of weeks ago, he was handed a large envelope just before he was escorted out of the building. In the envelope (and I’m speculating here) were some papers he had to sign, insurance information, and an outline of the severance package.

Of course, I was eager to know about the severance, and that’s one of the first things I asked him when he got home that day. He told me he hadn’t looked at it, and wasn’t ready to. I respected that and decided I’d let him just do that on his own time.

A couple of days passed, and he hadn’t mentioned the envelope, so I didn’t either. I wanted to know about the severance package, but still wanted to respect his timing. After a few days, when he didn’t bring it up, I started to ask him, then realized something.

It doesn’t matter.

Our security is not in the number on that check. There is nothing in our lives that really matters that can be taken away by anything that’s on — or not on — that check.

Jim knows the number and, more importantly, God knows the number.

In this post, I talked about how I think it’s cool that this happened during Lent. So I decided to give up my need to know about the money for Lent. Not just my need to know, but my need to try to control, to get things done under my own steam. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in la-la-la denial land. We’re not spending a penny on anything other than necessities and I’m working as hard as I can and have several freelance projects lined up in addition to my job. Jim is doing his networking ninja thing that he does ridiculously well.

What I will not do is stress and worry about it.

Because all we can do is all we can do. The rest we cannot control. It is in the hands of the Wise One.

So I still have no idea what the severance package is. I know that I can ask Jim any time and he’ll tell me, but I’m not going to. I’m going to remind myself that:

  • Who we are, how we are and where our hearts are have nothing to do with dollars.
  • Though we don’t know how and we don’t know when, God knows every detail of the next opportunity. He’ll tell us when it’s time. So not asking Jim about the check is practice for waiting on God, which my often-impatient self surely needs.
  • Wherever He takes us, we won’t be alone. If it’s a great new job, He’ll be with us. If it’s … not, He’ll be with us there, too and wherever He leads us, there will be goodness. His goodness, not necessarily human goodness.

Now, that does not mean we can’t use your prayers, and we certainly appreciate a heads-up on any opportunities you may know of, or folks he should talk to.

But if you think we’re smiling more than we should be, it’s not because we’re faking it, or just too dumb to know better.

It’s because God is very, very real and He knows far better.

*Remember, that’s an acronymn for reduction in force, as the kids are calling layoffs these days.

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