In the 90's, the bottom dropped out of the aerospace industry in southern CA. Thousands of highly-degreed workers were suddenly competing with GED-level workers. A simple Home Depot job drew 3000 applicants. The company I worked for, a computer manufacturer, went out of business. The company Frank worked for did the same. Neither of us had ever, in all the years we had been working, had trouble finding a job. Now, however, we hit a wall.
My mom lived in a single wide tin-can of a trailer in Henderson, a bedroom community snuggling next to Las Vegas. She told us it was booming there.
We had no savings, no credit cards, and a junker of an old Ford station wagon. When we had no more money for a month's rent on the apartment we had, we stuffed everything we could into the wagon. The rest went into a storage unit. We grabbed the cat, and Frank and I took off. We were terrified of this change. I was now in my early 50s. I hated imposing on my mom. She had graciously invited us to stay there until we got on our feet. There was barely room enough for her, let alone myself and Frank.
Frank and I felt we had no future now. The drive itself was a mess. We couldn't see over the loaded stuff in the wagon to view what was coming behind us on the freeway. We had no heater and it was February. We kept the windows open so we would stay awake, taking turns driving during the middle of that night. Every hundred miles or so, the headlights would dim and go out for a few miles, then come back on. Needless to say, we made it.
Finding work was a real challenge. Although Vegas hires a lot of people who come from other areas of the country, it often takes six months or so unless you have a real specialty. This is because employers often feel you are just "testing the waters" in Vegas and might not stay.
Bottom line? Within a year, Frank was back into the food industry he had loved and worked in earlier in his life. Within a year, I had an excellent job with a government contractor. Ultimately, my job and its benefits enabled me to get my mobile home and it paid for my Stage 3 cancer bout in 1999. So, when we thought our world was falling apart, it was really being built back up, but better and so much stronger.
Lord Jesus, help me to remember that often you need to tear down a bad structure in order to put up a better one. Thank you for loving us so much and helping us through the bad times.