On January 17, 2008, J was laid off from his job doing media arts for a church in Tulsa. This was the church Jason grew up in. The security officer that escorted J out of the building had been J's Sunday school teacher as a kid. The pastor who told him he was being laid off was the father of one of J's best friends as a teenager. It felt personal.
For about a year, it was obvious that church's attendance was declining rapidly. I told J that he needed to look for another job and to leave. I said, "The church is declining. They are going to get rid of the fluff first. You are the fluff." Even though I wanted J to leave and had predicted the lay off, it was still a hard blow. I cried harder that day than I had ever cried before. That day was the beginning of an extremely difficult and painful time in our lives. It was one of my darkest periods ever.
That was also the day that our friend, Starr, left the same church. She put in her resignation the same day J was laid off. They told her to leave by the end of that day and she was out! A week later, we met Starr and her family at The Cheesecake Factory to celebrate.
What we did not know at The Cheesecake Factory that day was how wonderful our lives would be and how January 17, 2008 would be one of the very best days because of the possibilities it opened. We love living in Chicago and it has been the most amazing 3 years for us. Starr is currently working for a large, healthy, progressive church in Tulsa and happier than I've ever known her to be.
Happy 3rd Anniversary J & Starr!