David and Nicole’s Story
What were the feelings for you as a couple/family around David being made redundant in 2013?
Nicole: I was prepared for it happening because of the number of redundancies that were happening at BlueScope Steel. I also had a thankful attitude to God for the redundancy package so there was not an immediate financial issue and the 24 years that David had local work at BlueScope Steel. My concern was for David coping with the loss of his job and how to manage long boring days at home, so I immediately encouraged him to have a strategy such as exercising and meeting with mates regularly.
David: My redundancy came unexpectedly and whilst I experienced the normal feelings of disappointment and confusion I was also very concerned about what would come next. How would Nicole react? How would we handle the cost of living? I also suffered from feeling let-down and low self-esteem. Nicole’s response was amazing. During our first conversation she was sure that God was looking after us and we would be OK. I couldn’t understand how calm she was. God’s influence through her was incredible. Prayer support through church also helped me to transition through to unemployment and it was amazing, but not surprising, that God was able to speak through some of our church community at exactly the right time.
What was your mindset as you approached the task of looking for work?
I was excited about looking for work – leaving BlueScope was actually very refreshing and I had hoped that a role close to home would be available and whilst I might not get it straight away it wouldn’t be too far in the future. The reality was different, very different. There has been very little opportunity in the Wollongong region and I wasn’t keen on Sydney, but knew I had to do it. Knowing that God would provide for my family was very calming, and gave me confidence whenever I spoke to potential employers or had an interview. It was also reassuring that God was telling me to take my time and choose the right role, don’t just take something that I didn’t want to do.
How did you see or experience God in that time of unemployment? In what ways did you feel God provided for you?
Nicole: I had faith that God would look after us and provide a job for David, but I was surprised at how long it took David to find a job. We were blessed to have prayer support from our church family which made a significant difference in accepting the change and having peace during this time. I trusted in God’s promises through many scriptures such as:
Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Psalm 23:1: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Psalm 50:10: “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.”
David: During my unemployment God was a very stabilising and an encouraging influence. He gave me confidence that it was OK to enjoy an extended break from work and our family spent a lot of time camping and travelling on a few holidays that would not have been possible if I was still working. God clearly told me that whilst I needed to be focused on my job search I could also relax and enjoy life for a while. The time spent together with Nicole is something that will not happen again for a long time and I thank God for blessing us in this way. During this time I started doing some gardening work at church and ended up spending every Tuesday with Cody Gottle trying to tame some of the wild jungle. After about three months of green-thumbing, having fun and relationship-building, God provided jobs for Cody, Nicole and myself within a few weeks of each other. There was no doubt for me that God had repaid the small amount of time we were investing in His kingdom with an opportunity for all of us. I have been part of a prayer triplet for a number of years and the support and love that has been shown to both myself and my family has been tremendous. Knowing that there is someone to talk to, pray with and share our life experiences is amazing. God never left me during this time and I was surrounded by people who cared for us, prayed for us and lived through this time with us. Thankyou!
How is your life structured now, in terms of work? How has that impacted your lives and how do you see God in it?
Nicole: Ten months after David’s redundancy we both found fulltime work. I was blessed to start work as an admin assistant at Illawarra Christian Sschool, the school where my children are attending. It has been a big change in our lifestyle and it is challenging that David is working very long hours in Sydney now. We are both enjoying our jobs and believe it’s where we are meant to be for this season, but I continue to pray for David to find a job he will enjoy back in Wollongong as time together as a family is our priority.
David: After being blessed for almost 25 years by having a job 15 minutes away from home, the change to working in Sydney has been very hard to adjust to. The travel time plus some fairly long work days has completely changed my home life and family time. Combined with Nicole working full-time, we are still trying to adjust to the new lifestyle, however, I have complete confidence that God is asking us to persevere, to trust Him, and to work through this season whilst He prepares us for the next stage of our lives. The knowledge that God will not desert us and has our future in His hands has enabled us to trust in Him and know that whilst the current situation is not ideal He has something else in store for us if we are good and faithful servants. Bring it on!!