Door of Uncertainty
by Kim Schuelke
On a warm day in early May of 1992, I sat at my desk in California, where I worked as our Pastor’s executive secretary. When he came out of his office I knew by the wiggle of his right hand pinkie and ring fingers that he was agitated.
“Mrs. Schuelke,” he said, “we’re going to have to lay you off this summer.”
I didn’t ask him why. He was very pleased with my work, and had told me so several times. Speechless, I just nodded. That evening, I told my husband. Just a year ago, Eric had graduated at the top of his class from Bible college. Upon graduation, he was uncertain of his next step. His first assignment in full time Christian service? Church and school janitor.
It was definitely a full time job. It was also definitely not the position in which we dreamed of him serving for the next thirty years. Or even the next ten years. Apparently God agreed with us, because just one month previously, Eric was notified that he, too, would be laid off at the end of the school year. Super!
Were we supposed to stay or leave? If we left, where would we go? Again, we were uncertain. We’d talked about leaving sunny Sacramento and traveling east, probably to Pennsylvania, where our parents lived. That idea seemed even better, given the news I’d just received.
It wasn’t a very plausible idea, though. We’d only owned our two bedroom one bath stucco home for five years. Our savings account was empty. Sacramento was in its worst home sales slump in over 100 years. Should we try to keep our home as a long distance rental? Could we hope to sell it?
We felt empty of options. Looking back, I see how good it was to be without a plan of our own. The only option we had was to cry out to God. And cry we did! We were uncertain, though, about the feasibility of such a plan. The more we cried out in prayer, the more we sensed God’s leading to leave. Finally we put it to the test. We put up our house, car and most of our belongings for sale. And guess what?
Our home sold in two weeks. Our car sold in two days. Our household furnishings sold in ten days. We loaded ourselves, our three young boys and the bare essentials of household goods into a medium U-Haul van. God had used the pressure of circumstances to push us through the door of uncertainty. Ten days later, we were in Pennsylvania, on the next leg of our spiritual journey.