I am an EA, an Executive Assistant for a very smart woman who teaches lawyers and law firms how to manage their practices. I’m only an EA because she is an executive. She makes me sound important. My commute is 15 minutes. Sometimes I hit a traffic jam half way there at a T intersection between 3 neighborhoods. My place of work is her lovely and very large home in a well-manicured neighborhood in Brentwood, Tennessee. I either park in the front circle by the fountain or I drive around the house through iron gates to park in front of the five car garage.
The house is occupied by her family, a few pets, and a few room-renters. She and her husband are gracious and generous and love to share their home. I have met several different room-renters and houseguests since I began working for her. I have been mistaken for a room-renter. I have told them someday I might be a room-renter. It’s my back up plan, my plan B.
Today, as I was on my way out one of the houseguests started chatting with me. I met her a day or so ago briefly. She and her husband and their two young children are between homes. They recently sold their house and are in the process of finding another. She began to share with me how they are unclear about their future. Where should they live? Tennessee? Florida? I could feel her anxiety. Her words rushed out with adrenaline.
She had just received word that a job her husband was expecting fell through. This on top of the necessity to enroll her son in school not knowing where they will be living and the frustration of not finding a suitable rental in Nashville.
Hey, I was only walking through the dining room to look for two stamps to post a couple of bills on my way out. I don’t even know her. Oh, but wait. I do know her. I am her.
When Jim and I arrived in Nashville we were houseguests of gracious and generous friends – for 5 months. We were definitely unclear about our future. Jim started working for a small company owned and operated by a married couple. I started looking for rentals on Craigslist. Our friends didn’t want us to move out yet and we couldn’t afford to yet, but I looked anyway.
I found a townhome for rent and it seemed like a really good deal. We had no idea how we could pull this off. New in town, recent foreclosure in California, not so recent but still on the record bankruptcy and limited income. We practically begged the landlord-owner to rent to us.
We got accepted! This was in December. The day after we signed the lease Jim went to go pick up his paycheck. There was no paycheck. There was no more money to pay him. His work was done. They just forgot to tell him. I wish you could hear Jim tell this story.
Jim drives away and starts talking to God. What’s up? We just signed a lease and now I’m out of a job. What are You telling me? His phone rings. The man on the line says he got Jim’s name from someone he met at a seminar out of state. He flips houses in the Nashville area and he’s looking for an acquisitions manager. He was told by this guy at the seminar that his acquisitions manager moved to Nashville. That guy was Jim’s old boss in San Diego. Jim started his new job soon after. Turned out to be one of the best jobs he’d had. On January 1st we moved into the townhome.
I share a little of this story to my new friend hoping to encourage her. She thanks me and says she needed to hear this. I needed to hear it more. My future may be unclear to me but it certainly isn’t unclear to God. I wonder what my next phone call will bring?