Monday, March 9, 2009

Miracles in our lives

Sometimes we chalk miracles up to "good luck". As a Christian, I know that good luck doesn't just happen. God has good things planned for us of course, His word promises us that in Jeremiah 29:11. ("For I know the plans I have for you" says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future".) Therefore, I do not think that when good stuff happens we can just automatically call it good luck of good fortune or karma or whatever the word of the day is. I have found that if we look a little deeper, we can see the miracles God is working in our lives every day. There are also those miracles you don't when you run late for something and don't realize that God had kept you from leaving on time to prevent you being in an accident, etc.

However, this past week has been has been miraculous in so many ways I just had to share it with you!

Last Thursday, Jamie called me from the boat. He was due to get off Friday morning at 8:00. He told me he had bad news; that one of the boats in his fleet was being pulled into dry dock to do an engine overhaul. This means that 2 crews would be displaced. Due to seniority, that meant he would be laid off. Of course, he would be placed on the relief list in the top position for call out work because the only other guy laid off senior to him had already been assigned a shift.

I began to pray as he was talking. You must understand here that call out work sometimes happens, sometimes doesn't, but he wouldn't be able to draw unemployment because he still had a job with the possibility of call out work. So, we would be flying by the seat of our pants so to speak, wondering if he would work during those 2 weeks or if we would be without income until the 5th of next month. Although this post is getting wordy, it is important for you to see the set up here. :)

Then he got an inspired idea, which I fully know that God placed in his heart. There are several school that he needs to attend to get his next license in the maritime industry. These school mean time off work, which equals no pay. That is why he hasn't gone to school before now!

So here is what happened next, in order of the pending problem and the resulting miracle.

First problem: Was there even a class that he needed during the time he was laid off?
First miracle: A quick call found that yes indeed, a school was available.

Second problem: The classes fill up quickly, was there by chance a space for him?
Second miracle: Yes indeed, a spot was open.

Third problem: Due to being out of work with the broken wrist for 14 months, his union dues are slightly behind. Since this was a union school, would that be an issue?
Third miracle: Union dues need to be caught up, but have nothing to do with eligibility for school.

Fourth problem: School requires letters of verification of time served on board each vessel. Jamie's new boss has never written such letters, nor knows exactly what is needed. No time to make mistakes, no time for trial and error.
Fourth miracle: Another phone call to records dept. to explain issues reveals that a quick check on his SSN shows that his time served is recorded in the online log and is completely up to date, including his Navy time. No need for letters for him.

Fifth problem: Application must be submitted and mailed in with copies of medical card showing fit for duty (which you may remember is why we had to go to Jax last month)and union card.
Fifth miracle: Application was onhand at his job, medical card and union card were also in the aforementioned online file. No need to fax them.

Sixth problem: School is in Piney Point Maryland. Nearest airport? 2 1/2 hours away, so trying to get a buddy pass from our friend for travel was useless. Decided driving would be best, but no gas money.
Sixth miracle: Friday morning there was to be a safety meeting at work, where he would get his annual safety bonus. Presto! Gas money.

Seventh problem: Money for lodging and food for 2 weeks.
Seventh miracle: Along with the school paid for by the union, so is lodging in a nice hotel on campus and 3 full buffet meals prepared by cruise ship chefs in training at the same school campus. All free.

Eighth problem: A quick check on the car shows a big bubble in the front tire, not safe for a 10 hour drive. Truck has small radiator leak, also not fit for long trips.
Eighth miracle: Mechanic Father in law drove car to work Friday to see about finding a used tire deemed safe for travel. Drives home with 4 brand new tires as a gift.

Ninth and final problem: Cell phone service may be sketchy at the school. Not sure how we can keep in touch. Wish we had a laptop.....
Ninth but certainly not final miracle: A quick call to a computer repair guru pal who had been keeping an eye out for a fixable laptop for us on the cheap revealed that he had just gotten a laptop for us. He tweaked a few minor problems and dropped it by to us Friday night. No charge for the laptop or for the repairs.

I say that was not the final miracle because so many more have happened that are seen and unseen. Jamie has suffered from insomnia since his mom died, and he was able to get a good nights sleep Saturday night before leaving at 5:30am Sunday. Time change did not affect his sleep. He was granted safe travel, an easy drive, never got sleepy on the way, and is getting an incredible 25.3 mpg in our 15 year old grannymobile. He is settled in, everyone is very nice, has a private room, and orientation starts today.

And did I mention that in addition to having his school paid for, he also received his pay from his company? Half on his regular check, the other half when his license from the Coast Guard arrives. Not bad for what looked like 2 weeks with no pay!!!!

Now...pray for me to have the grace and peace to survive until he gets home in 2 weeks!!!!

(photo of Jamie about Tug Bulldog by J. Tirpak 2007)


the real ~Roxann~ said...

Michelle...what a wonderful story! I agree...this was NOT "good luck!" If you are like me, you will use these 2 weeks to do stuff you want to do, but feel guilty doing because it takes time away from you and your husband. (Know what I mean?)

Good luck with school, Jamie!

Unknown said...

Thanks Roxann! That is why I don't get much scrapping done lately, I feel guilty for not doing other stuff that most people view as productive or important. Of course, Jamie has always been very supportive of my scrapbooking, but I still feel guilty. Mom/wife guilt I guess....

Debbie said...

Hey Sis, I am so happy things worked out so well for Jamie. What a blessing and miracle, all in one. Now, you just have to do things to keep busy so the time passes quickly. I am so happy that things worked out so well for all of you. I know this has to be such a relief for Jamie. It is hard being the only one making a living for a family and then possibly being laid off. That has to cause him so much stress also. Keep me posted and tell him how proud we are of him!

Anonymous said...

I love that dramatic! What a fantastic story, and boy don't we love it when our Heavenly Father lets us see the miracles. Such a blessing!
And as far as guilt...isn't that Satan's weapon? Get over it woman and get your scrap on!

lillinda said...

Great story,I am always amazed at God's timing !
God Speed,

Beth said...

Wow - how awesome for your family!