It Was Unexpected – Really.

Photo Credit:

Last week was one we’ll not soon forget. On Tuesday it was my 53rd birthday. Tom left for work to meet with his boss only to find out this meeting was to inform him he would no longer be needed.


This was where Tom has worked for the past 30 years. It was my first job out of high school 35 years ago. We have loved this business as if it were family. In fact many of the people have become like family to us.

This was surreal.

We have counseled and listened to friends who have faced this kind of news, but never experienced it ourselves. Tom was told he could go home. So he did. He called me to tell me the news and my first reaction was, “You’re kidding, right?” But he wasn’t. We were suddenly on a new path with what seemed like a new destination.


No not really. Our true destination was secured on the Cross at Calvary over 2,000 years ago. This fact hasn’t changed, and it is the one fact that truly matters. Jobs can change. People can move. Old friends are replaced by new ones. But God is always there leading us forward one change at a time. He is good, whether or not what we are currently experiencing seems good in the moment.

When Tom walked in the door all I could do was hug him. There were no words right away. But when they came, this is what I said, “Thank you. Thank you for how faithfully you have worked all these years. Though we have faced many trying times, you have continually set our eyes on the One who holds tomorrow. I am proud of you and thank God I get to begin this adventure with you, and I can’t wait to see where it is God will lead us.”

We will miss our normal routine, but enjoy being together everyday.

We will miss our dear friends, but enjoy meeting new ones.

We will miss the benefits of working for a great organization, but enjoy the benefits of reorganizing our lives at home, with our church and hopefully with a new job.

The door on a wonderful chapter in our lives has closed. We could look at this as a sad ending, but instead Tom said, “Since this happened on your birthday, I see it as a sign that this is the birth of something new.”

I still feel numb to it all, but not in a bad way. The only word we have come up with to describe how we feel is “weird.” It’s just weird. 

We appreciate your prayers as we anticipate the next chapter of our lives. And we would love to hear how God has helped you face unexpected times in your own marriage. Did you find yourself growing closer together? What Scriptures helped you stay focused on what really matters?

We thank God for our community here.

We’ll keep you posted as the days and weeks unfold. Our pastor told Tom to take his time and listen to God. This is a chance like none other in your life to purposefully seek Him. And he is right.


Tomorrow we’re going to begin a new week where the only thing on our agenda is to listen, pray and read together. Who knows? Tom may just get a good start on that to-do list I’ve he’s been wanting to tackle too. 🙂


Don’t forget our Summer Lovin’ Photo Contest taking place now through Labor Day. For details click here.


This is post #23 in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in July.

About Debi Walter

Face it, marriage is hard work. But when cultivated daily the fruit produced will satisfy for a lifetime. We're here to help with ideas and encouragement along the way. Having been married 36 years and counting, we share what we've learned with practical tips, Biblical Truths, Date night ideas to help you plow your own vineyard for God's glory.
This entry was posted in Christian Marriage, Difficulty, Growing Strong Marriages, Seasons of Life, Testimonies, The Gospel & Marriage and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to It Was Unexpected – Really.

  1. Walter says:

    Hi Tom and Debi,

    I am very very very sorry for what you guys are going through. Such things have happened to me many times; not necessarily with employment but many other areas. Some words I use to comfort myself is the fact that God never closes a door without opening another way before. Verses that encourage me here include James 1:2-5, 2 Cor 1:3-11. I believe God wants to do great things with your lives. Let HIM have his way.

    Stay blessed

  2. What a SHOCK after 30 years!! Wow. I do hope that he ended up with a very nice severance package. But your pastor is right… now is a fantastic time to consider “what’s next in God’s plan?” I wish you guys the very best, and I know that God honors faithfulness. His Word says so.

    Tiffani and I stand right beside you both in prayer. God’s blessings are coming your way… keep your eyes open for them!


    • Debi Walter says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and esp. your prayers, Jason (and Tiffani). God is good and everything He does has a purpose–we just don’t know what it is yet. We appreciate you!
      Tom and Debi

  3. teachermomof2 says:

    Wishing you all the best as you start this next phase of your life together. God does have a plan. Stay strong.

  4. Donald says:

    “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23

  5. Kate Aldrich says:

    Love you guys! We are praying for you and know God has amazing things in store, no matter what. Not always easy, but amazing! My dad went through the exact same thing this January and it broke my heart. After 35 years at the same job, they told him he was done. As we were shoveling his driveway, he broke down and told me how much it hurt him. I will never forget that!

    You guys are a beauitiful example to Brad and I! Thank you for being who you are and following God in all things! Love you! Kate

  6. Sharon O says:

    When a door closes it is hard to not get disappointed and even angry.
    My first thought when reading this “Oh now they can work on a book together”….a marriage book AND they can do couples retreats where she can work with ladies, he can work with men and they can work with both in an evening session. Like some of the retreats I have read about.
    There can be beautiful music like Steve and Annie Chapman who sing about marriages and turning your hearts toward home.
    You already have a platform…it could be very exciting to see how what was supposed to slam you down and discourage you actually rose you higher into the ministry God has been leading you to all along. He knows our future. We don’t often get a ‘heads up’ about it.
    I will pray that He who began a good work in you will complete it.
    Love your website and your heart for marriages.
    I will pray as you wait now for a new wonderful direction.

    • Debi Walter says:

      Wow. Thank you, Sharon. Your encouragement and ideas mean so much to us. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.
      Blessings to you, my friend,

  7. With all the wonderful friends that you both have and all the people that are praying for you both I am sure you will get through this with flying colors. You are so blessed and so loved by so many. All our love and prayers, Mom and Pops.

  8. Diane says:

    After 30 years? Thats got to be heart wrenching. My fiance lost his job after 5 years. We had started looking at houses to buy but something told us to not make any offers. We never spoke about it, but we both felt it. We felt something holding us back from buying. One day while I was at work he called me and was like I know im going to be laid off later today. I was like how do you know did someone hint it? He said no, he just had this feeling. Sure enough a few hours later he was laid off. I told him it was ok, we would figure it out together. I got off the phone and cried my eyes out in my coworkers office. He was out for 2 years but we got through it , together, and one step at a time

    • Debi Walter says:

      Yikes! I hope Tom finds something before the 2 year mark. That’s a long time to wait for the new direction. But God knows, and we’re trusting Him for the next step.
      So glad you made it through.

  9. Michelle says:

    We will be praying for you, such a tough call. We are so grateful everyday to have jobs. May God open new doors for you guys.

  10. I know what I feel- this is despicable behavior. It’s part and parcel of how “corporations as people” have been allowed to process things in America. Get rid of those that cost money. Replace with cheaper folks and hope they can do the same job (generally, not). In the meantime, resources (institutional memory) suffers. And, folks become more fearful and timid- ending up doing things like adjusting rates illegally (the LIBOR) crises, or not saying “that’s not right” (since they will be terminated, too), letting shoddy products out, not recalling products (or worse yet, trying to buy them back from the vendors so no one else will know they are dangerous).
    May Tom find what he wants- soon- and enjoy the rest of his life with you and the rest of your family.

    (OK. Self-serving promo today- because it is totally relevant. My blog is on point today.)

    • Debi Walter says:

      So glad to have the opportunity to link-up with your post today. Thank you for chiming in. I esp. like your last line, “May Tom find what he wants-soon-and enjoy the rest of his life with you and the rest of your family.” Amen!

  11. Yes, it happened to me March 2011 – 25 years with the same company that I thought I’d retire from and after a year I finally found work at a bank phone center. I was stuck for that year – no confidence, no clear direction – Don’t get “stuck” – You’re better than that and together, you can do anything! Just sayin’!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hi,am Janet(Walter”s wife,who commented up there).Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.I strongly believe that God never takes something away from us without the intention of replacing it with something much better.I totally agree with Sharon O.,that this is a new beginning for.May our good Lord of ALL comfort be with you during this time.Exodus 14:14.

  13. cherilynde says:

    I hate to hear that this has happened to you, and I wish you only the best as you move forward. I lost my job of 13 years in March, so I have some small idea what you are going through. My husband has been great through it all, and we are making it work–together. Good luck to you both.

    Also, I wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award because I enjoy your blog. You can check out today’s post for the details and to accept your award.

  14. Cindy Wright says:

    Hi Debi, We’re in shock over this. We just got back from Kenya yesterday so we’re more than a bit jet-lagged. But I hope that through this fogginess, I can express our sincere love and hopes we have for you and Tom, and prayers that we’ll be continually lifting up on your behalf. This company sure has let go of a treasure, in releasing Tom. I can’t even imagine how they could consider this –knowing Tom’s work ethics, his expertise, and the history he has with this company.

    I don’t know if you remember, but Steve went through something like this several years back. It was extremely difficult. If Tom ever wants to talk to Steve about this issue, please know Steve would be happy to do so. Tom can just give him a call.

    Also, please know that we have a few articles posted on this issue with links to additional articles posted on the Internet, on our web site in the “Assorted Marriage Problems” topic at: I hope this will help in some way –to give you some info that you can glean and use from them. We know that God will take care of you and Tom and that eventually he will find another job, but in the meantime, please know that our love and prayer support is with you. May the Lord shine unexpected blessings upon you both. MUCH love to you and Tom, Cindy and Steve Wright (

    • Debi Walter says:

      Dear Cindy,
      It’s so good to hear you made it home safely from Kenya. I’m sure you’re happily exhausted. We can’t wait to hear about it.

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, your prayers, your support, but most of all your friendship and love. We are blessed to know you.

      We’ll give you a call soon. When would be a good time?

      • Cindy Wright says:

        Next week would work great, if it works for you. We’re still prying open our eyes and are trying to engage our brains at this point in the jet lag journey. This will give us more of an opportunity to pray before talking. Our love and prayers are continually with you. If you need to talk before next week, we’re here for you.

      • Debi Walter says:

        Next week will be good, Cindy. Now just get rested from your travels across the globe. We pray your time was wonderful and filled with lots of precious giggles and kisses.
        Talk to you soon,

  15. Dear Debi & Tom – Robert and I stand with you in prayer during this adjustment. God carries us forward and we’re along for the ride. Companies change. Leadership values change. The only One who does not, and will not change is God. It’s wonderful that He’s in charge!

    When Rob and I met with you and Tom last summer we were navigating through a similar time – Rob had disengaged with his company partners after 15 years because we no longer shared similar values.

    I understand the re-organization of daily routine. This last year has been a ‘growing’ time for Rob and me. (And it continues!) Prayer is the fuel to move forward – but you already know that! The verse that has been my navigation companion is Psalm 28:7:

    “The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
    My heart leaps for joy,and with my song I praise him.”

    May you and Tom feel and know God’s greatest blessings – we’ll be praying for it!

    • Debi Walter says:

      Thank you Lori and Robert. You guys are becoming dear friends to us. So glad we had the chance last year to meet, and now for you guys to be supporting us in prayer–wow. What a gift and blessing.

      We’ll keep you posted. Anymore Scriptures the Lord gives you pass them on to us. There is nothing like His Word to encourage us in our weakness.

      Love to you both,

  16. I too am so sorry for the shock– but what a testimony of faith that you are open to seeing what God has in store for you next. I know from experience that after you catch your breath (and sometimes, clean up the mess) that God can bring about amazing things, “abundantly beyond all we can ask or imagine”, and I pray that we will see His hand in this situation do just that for you. Thank you for your ministry to marriages!
    M at A Marriage Restored

    • Debi Walter says:

      Restored Marriage,
      Thank you for your encouragement. The Lord has us reading through Ephesians this month, so it was confirmation to us that you quoted this verse for us in this season. Thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit and your willingness to share with us what you’re hearing on our behalf. So kind.
      Tom and Debi

  17. Wow, I just read this news. I’m so sorry. I know other couples who have been through the loss of job after many years of devotion to a company, and it can be a challenge. I will pray for a smooth transition. Blessings on you both for all you do and for keeping the Father ever before you!

  18. Keith says:

    Will be praying for and with you. We are currently in the same situation, waiting on God to clarify His “next adventure” for us. But the waiting period is a great season in its own right.

    • Debi Walter says:

      Thank you, Keith! You’re right that the waiting is an adventure in itself. And it requires heightened listening skills. We pray you’ll hear the Lord speaking to you!
      Tom and Debi

Comments are closed.