James Charles scored for the first time during his soccer game on Saturday and I can’t get the image of it out of my mind.
All of a sudden I looked up and I saw him with the ball, fiercely kicking it across the field, his team and opponents behind him. I could hear parents from our team cheering, Jason and I were jumping up and down and Audrey was shouting “Yay!” from my hip. Then he kicked the ball into the net. He was so excited knowing he scored. He ran off the field and gave everyone high fives. Jason and I were so proud and got a little emotional. Our boy was really enjoying the game! (Of course, it happened when I wasn't recording or taking snapshots, so it's now just a cherished memory).
The moment meant so much to me because my family has been through a lot in the last couple of months. Back in late August, I vowed here to start blogging a lot more and was truly serious about my plan. But then life happened and I've needed time to process all that's come my way.
It was the first week in September. Jason called me from work and told me we needed to talk. Urgency was in his voice. I knew something was wrong. “I’ve been laid off,” he told me. "Budget cuts".
I was in shock and felt numb while trying to come to terms with the grim reality. Jason is the sole provider so it was a scary situation, to say the least. He was shook up, but my husband isn’t a person who wastes time feeling sorry for himself.
He came home about an hour later and immediately started sending out emails to his contacts and resumes to job openings. I was amazed when he told me that several of his former coworkers were sending him messages saying they were already putting in good words for him when they heard of job leads. I’ve met some of his coworkers before and it was touching to know how much my husband was truly liked and respected at work. They were very sorry that he was let go.
For the next few days, Jason immersed himself in getting a job, spending almost every moment glued to his phone or the computer for updates. Then he just left the rest up to God.
He had two job interviews by the end of the week. And another one on the following Tuesday.
We were excited about the job interviews, but didn’t get our hopes up too high. Everyone knows the economy is bad now, with some people being without work for more than a year. We were preparing for the worst.
Long story short, he was offered and gladly accepted a job with the first company he interviewed with. He was blessed to not have to take a major pay cut and is looking forward to getting back to work again. It all happened so fast we didn’t have enough time to start panicking about our situation!
I’m not going to bore you with all the things we’ve done during Jason’s time off. I will say that we’ve used the time to grow closer as a family and in our faith. And we’re learning even more than ever, to not take anything for granted. Jason loved his job, but it was gone in an instant.
So as I replay James Charles’ first score once again, I realize it wasn’t so much about him making a point for his team. It was a symbolic proof of how far he’d come. He barely ran during the first game. In fact, at one point he just stood still on the field looking into space while his team ran after the ball. We thought he hated the game, that he didn’t even want to understand it. Then something clicked on Saturday. I see the same happening for my family. The layoff will not define what is next for us.