Despite our worrisome situation, wonderful things happened

Never in my life did I think I'd be 41 years old, unemployed, pregnant for the first time, and moving 2,000 miles across the country with my husband, John, (who had just finished graduate school and was also unemployed) to live with his parents.

Living with his parents while we looked for jobs wasn't our ideal living arrangement, but we were thankful just the same.

I had imagined it would take two weeks tops for John to land a job. All told, it took almost six months.

Despite our circumstances (and dwindling savings), wonderful things happened during that time. Having always dreamed of furnishing a beautiful nursery with brand-new everything, my focus shifted quickly.

First, my mother asked if I wanted her grandmother's rocking chair. Did I? You bet! I didn't even know it had been in my mom's attic all these years.

One of the rocker's legs was missing and would need replacing. My dad had been woodworking for years and was delighted to play a part in getting ready for the new baby.

He searched all over the county for the right wood and fretted over the white paint he brushed on, thinking he didn't do a good job. I loved it! When I sat in the chair to test it out, I felt like Goldilocks on the third try; it fitted just right.

One of my best friends immediately offered the crib, mattress, and changing table her youngest child had just outgrown.

It occurred to me one day that even though our situation was worrisome, everything we needed was coming to us. This revelation gave me hope as the months passed.

Yes, things were coming to us, but where were we going to put all this good fortune? My husband mentioned seeing a "for rent" sign on a townhouse that was in a great location. On a whim, we called, and 10 minutes later we were taking a tour. While it needed a good bit of work, it was perfect for us.

Even though neither of us had a full-time job, we put in an application anyway. Amazingly, we were approved. The townhouse was ours! We negotiated a reduced rent for the first month in exchange for doing most of the repair work ourselves.

Two weeks after we settled in, John landed a job, and we breathed an enormous sigh of relief.

Seven weeks later, our beautiful baby boy was born. We named him Nathaniel, which means gift from God. Although we haven't completely forgotten the stress of those job-searching, marriage-testing months, mostly what we remember is the blessings that came from them.

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