Sunday, August 29, 2010

God's Plan

My mother always told me that God has a plan.  We may not know what it is at the time; we may not ever know what it is.  But he has a plan for each of us.

Several years ago, my husband was successful in a career that he loved.  He enjoyed what he was doing and he excelled.  He was in sales and he exceeded every projection (this was before the economy tanked).   Sure, there was stress involved and there were employees who called out at crucial times or had their own agendas, but for the most part Jason enjoyed what he did and was good at it. One day, out of the blue, his division manager came to him and told him that they were taking him out of sales.  They were, in fact, demoting him.

We were absolutely stunned.  Shocked.  Horrified.

We couldn't believe this!  How could they do this!  Why would his boss do this!?!!  He had exceeded his quotas!  His clients called to complain.  I didn't sleep and couldn't eat.  He walked around like a zombie.  I ached to see my husband like that.  It was devastating.  I spent a lot of time praying.  It was one of those times where I felt that the only thing I could do was pray.  Prayer got me through.

We talked about starting our own company, but he really believes that the company he works for is the best in the industry, they have labs and scientific data to back everything up.  We talked about looking elsewhere, career changes, going back to the end he was offered a pretty good deal to stay with the company, but in a lesser position.

So he did.  And after a while, he started to enjoy it.

We had known when he was in sales that his company was bidding on a very large project.

Within weeks of the demotion, we learned that the company had in fact won the bid for the very large project.

Within weeks of that his division manager "suggested" that he get a certain certification.

He studied and within a few months, took the test and got the certification.

Within weeks of getting the certification he was selected to work on the very large national project.

It was kind of exciting.

It took a few months before the project began. Jason is the only person in his company to regularly work on this large project; others work for a day or two here and there, but this is his 'baby'. Once the project began, Jason met other people involved at varying levels of the project.  He found out that his company won the bid just days BEFORE he was demoted.  He later discovered that his qualifications had been discussed prior to the company being awarded the project.

He felt a little used.  He wished his boss had been up-front.  Jason probably could have demanded more money.  BUT, it's really not all about money.  Not for us.  The opportunity to work on a project of this size and importance is an honor.  We focused on that.

A year into the project, we were in church and our pastor asked us to pray for someone that we didn't like, someone we were angry with or someone that had wronged us.  Jason prayed for his Division Manager.  The next day his Division Manager asked him if he would consider developing the sales territory in the area near where he was working on the project.  Jason agreed.

There was a catch:  he would be paid to work on the project 3-4 days a week and the sales was straight commission.  In effect, his pay was cut by 20%.  I was not working at the time, it seemed stressful, but we managed without ever touching our savings.

The following year, in order to make his quotas, he needed to sell 2 days a week.  His pay was effectively reduced by 40%.  A month later the stock market crashed.  Jason sold some large jobs, but the clients were unable to pay.  Again, I prayed.  It was all I could do.  I prayed alone.  I prayed with friends.  I prayed in prayer groups and church groups. Somehow we managed to get through that time without ever touching savings.  I never made a budget, I just paid bills and trusted.  Somehow the money was always there. Four months after the stock market crash, his Division Manager decided it was not the time to develop the area.  We celebrated by going out to dinner!

At the same time, there were additions made to the project (we will never know if his manager decided to take him out of sales because of the additions to the project or the economy; but either way we were happy) which required Jason spend at least 40 hours a week on the project.

Over time he has met different people, made connections.  People high up in the project requested that Jason stay on the project after the initial phase is complete.  Things have been worked out so that can happen.

I firmly believe that this was all God's plan for my husband.  As scary as it sometimes was, I am so glad that we trusted God.