This is one of my favorite stories of all, even though it's still evolving.
Get this.... I found out on Wednesday October 29th that effective November 1st as part of a larger restructure my job was being change and a 30% pay cut was necessary. A 1/3rd lopping off in my salary as the sole breadwinner in the most expensive area of the country with a toddler at home and another one on the way, well, it presents a gloomy outlook.
Or does it?
Since Whitney and I are getting used to the "wild ride" that is a living and active Christian faith, we quickly realized that maybe God was up to something here, and that we shouldn't grumble too much. I'm not going to tell you we weren't pissed off for a couple days, but we prayed hard, and I felt like we just had to find a way to be grateful for what we have each day.
Right away, we began to experience unexpected provision.
First, we had planned to take a trip to Mexico to spend time with the Derfler grandparents. Planned months in advance, we were now forced to cancel--spending any extra money on a vacation was not wise now that our salary wouldn't cover our monthly expenses.
Yet, when we informed the grandparents about this, they quickly came back and insisted that we allow them to pay for the trip. And that's what ended up happening, we were blessed us with a fully paid vacation that we never expected, and cannot thank them enough for.
That was just the beginning.
Whitney had friends flying into town planning to do a "girls day out" at the spa and for dinner to celebrate a birthday. She woke up and on top of not having the cash to go out she wasn't feeling pretty (a common sensation among new moms, especially pregnant ones!). As I left for work, I knew there was nothing I could do to fix it, so I simply prayed over her, "Lord, shine down on your daughter today, who I know you love so much, she is the apple of your eye, would you show her that today as a reminder?" Then I left for a breakfast meeting a block away.
A colleague and I were meeting with a guy who had lost his wife of 40 years somewhat suddenly and he had come to mind so I asked him to meet with me. I specifically felt like we were supposed to pray together. After catching up a bit, and talking mostly about his wife and his Christmas without her, the three of us prayed and then got up to go. As we did, he reached for his wallet, and my colleague said we wanted to treat him to breakfast. He then replied that he wasn't going to pay, but that while we prayed God had told him to give all the money in his wallet to me for my wife.
At this, I was immediately choked up, and I told him I couldn't accept it. He insisted, telling me again that God had told him to do this. As I took the money, I held back tears and told him how much it meant. I left the restaurant, walked home and into my home to find my wife. I shared with her what had happened and she was just astonished, and we both cried.
A couple of weeks later, my wife was opening the mail when she found a letter stating she had unclaimed property. Of course, these are all assumed to be scams, but something looked different about this one. She asked me to look at it, and when I did I agreed that it looked legit. She called the next day to find out that an early employer of hers from over a decade ago had socked away $5,000 for her in a retirement account. This was literally a day after we had been discussing that with our pay cut we were now saving nothing for retirement.
Another tension was how to buy some extra supplies for baby #2. Fortunately, he was a boy so he had all of the hand-me-downs, but there were a few things to pick-up. Whitney entered a contest for one of the items and sure enough, she soon found out that out of hundreds of applicants, she had won! And, she didn't win just one contest, she soon won another contest too. An amazing windfall!