A Lost Job and Signs From Heaven

+J.M.J.+

This past week our family received two signs from our friend in Heaven, Fr. Kenneth Walker, F.S.S.P.+. If you don’t know of this holy young priest who was tragically killed during a church burglary in 2014, I have a whole post here on his story. In the comment section of that post you will see one from Fr. Walker’s sister mentioning that he often sends rainbows as a sign that a prayer has been answered. (So like St. Therese and her roses!)

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I didn’t realize just how soon we would be asking for a rainbow ourselves.

“Well Mariette, they fired me.”

A few weeks ago my family was thrilled on a Saturday morning as Ethan headed off to work. It was the last day of his probationary period before having union protection at his job. Supervisors had already said they wanted him to consider management in the future, he had always had excellent performance reviews, and he passed his first probationary period with flying colors.

A few weeks prior he had been transferred to a short-handed location with a manager known for firing well over half of her employees in this role. He had never missed a day, been late, or had a customer complaint, and she had just worked him over 107 hours in a solid 10 day stint. Surely after nine months of incredibly hard work with no complaints form management or customers, everything was secure.

Halfway through the day I got a call from Ethan. I’ll never forget answering and hearing him say, “Well Mariette, they fired me.”

She let him go. The manager who so often fired didn’t give a real reason. Just vague comments about unreliability which she couldn’t pin point examples for.

We. were. crushed.

We knew we needed many prayers so as we began the job hunt, we went out to the FSSP seminary grounds nearby where Fr. Walker is buried, and we prayed.

We begged Fr. Walker to please bring our petition for a good job that would provide well for us before God, and to please send a rainbow as a sign that our prayer had been answered and we chose the right one.

For the first couple weeks it was very discouraging to receive rejection emails. One particularly depressing day there were three within a few hours, one of which we had really thought was a good possibility.  The bulk of Ethan’s adult life had been spent as a teacher. We had finally discerned we want to leave education for good, but breaking into another field was proving very difficult.

We persisted in our search and in visiting Fr. Walker’s grave every Sunday evening asking for help.

Finally a friend suggested a prominent local tech company. It turns out they had a position that could use Ethan’s teaching background to help schools learn to use their software designed for processing tuition and other education needs.

We applied, received a phone interview request, and on a Friday afternoon Ethan chatted with the hiring manager for half an hour. The job paid what we needed, it had many fantastic benefits and perks, it really interested Ethan… and they wanted to see him on Monday for an in-person interview.

A Rainbow

On Saturday, the day after the phone interview, we were driving down a street we had been on many times when Philomena called out from the back seat, “A rainbow! Look! A rainbow!” Painted on the side of a daycare was a rainbow we had never noticed before.

We had mentioned the rainbow just once during that first prayer at Fr. Walker’s grave a few weeks before. That’s it. We hadn’t even said the word again, but Philomena so excitedly and loudly noticed this rainbow that I couldn’t believe I’d never noticed before after so many months here.

Immediately I wondered if that was a sign from Heaven about the job.

On Monday afternoon Ethan had an in-person interview, and the following day they called not only offering him the job, but $1,600 a year more than we were originally expecting.

A Second Sign For Good Measure

The girls love to look at the toys at Walmart when we get oil changes, and Ethan had promised them when we got a new job they could go pick out a toy. Zelie chose a baby dolly with a panda on it’s outfit. Philomena wanted one as well; I told her to be sure to get a different color so they could tell the dolls apart. It wasn’t until we got home that night I noticed Pihlomena’s didn’t have a panda on it like Zelie’s did. Her dolly’s outfit had a little rainbow on it.

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Next week Ethan embarks on a new job that he is excited to start at a company with a reputation for really taking care of their employees. This position pays better and has a much better schedule than the one we lost, and it is one that could open many doors for corporate education and training, his dream field.

Yesterday we got an email requesting an interview for a position we had applied for almost three weeks ago that actually paid quite a bit more than the one we just accepted. For a single split second I felt disappointment – “ugh, why are they just getting back to us now?! We already signed a contract!”

But then I remembered our rainbows from Fr. Walker. We didn’t pray for the job with the most money. We prayed for a good job that would provide for our family and future, and to know we had chosen the right one.

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We bought a beautiful bouquet of flowers at the farmers market this week, and left them at Fr. Walker’s grave with a prayer of sincere gratitude and thanksgiving for his intercession!

God is so good, not only in granting us what we really needed and sustaining us through the trial, but also in giving us a special friend in Heaven to support us through the journey and sending two signs confirming our choice along the way.

Fr. Walker, pray for us.

_______________________

10 thoughts on “A Lost Job and Signs From Heaven

  1. I am so very sorry you had to go through this, but very happy to hear of a great outcome. I myself went through the same exact situation this summer. What made it even more painful was that it was my local Diocese that fired me, and like Ethan, any reasons they gave were poorly supported. I was DEVASTATED; to be honest, I spent most of the following week in bed because I was so crushed and depressed. I am still struggling with how the church could have done that to me.

    Within a couple days after being let go, I had a meeting about a potential position to start in mid August, but struggled with whether or not to accept it, as it was another position with the church. After a summer of no real leads elsewhere, I accepted that position and very pleasantly learned that it paid more than any job I had ever had, and seemed much, much more secure than my last job working for the church.

    Like Ethan, I also got a couple calls for interviews after I’d already accepted the position (one after I’d already started) and second guessed myself a bit. But I’m just trusting that this is where God wants me, or else those calls would’ve come a lot sooner.

    I still have a lot of hurt to work through from this past June, as I’m sure Ethan does too. Let’s all hold each other in prayer!

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  2. Oh Mariette! How heartbreaking I’m so sorry your family has been going through this but praise God for rainbows and the promises they hold!! I pray Ethan continues to settle nicely in this new job!! As I’ve shared before, without knowing you were going through this, my husband and I had a similar situation two years ago, losing his job suddenly in just a days time. These experiences are so difficult but refining for our families and marriage too! Thank you for sharing!!

    We’ll continue to pray for your family! God bless!

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    1. Oh thank you for those prayers. So many other people have shared with me today about going through similar situations. You’re so right, God really does refine in these situations. We’ve come out of it with so much more calm, patience, and trust.

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  3. I am so glad your husband was able to get a new job so quickly and with several signs that it was the right one for your family! My husband was just laid off from his job this past Thursday so we are going through a similar situation, plus we have a baby due in 2 months! I am praying something like this happens for our family as well.

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  4. I am sorry your family had to go through this! My father was let go when I was in college and it was a scary time for the family. Thank you Jesus for a new job! A better job!
    You know it’s really interesting. I honestly had never heard of Fr. Walker until reading your first post and was happy to read this one as well. I feel close to him. I can’t really explain except that he feels like a friend. I the last 3 days I have received 3 rainbows, all after specifically asking him for them. It’s like something in me just can’t believe it’s him and I keep asking. I am so glad his sister mentioned the rainbow thing. It’s a really beautiful gift.
    thanks for your sharing.

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