Posted on: November 23, 2015 Posted by: vudfc Comments: 0

We had a Thanksgiving Feast Forum on Thursday, and here we’ll be collecting any gratitude you wish to share. Contact Matt to be added to the list.

Thankful for Jesus Christ giving up His crown to redeem us :). – Adrienne B

We have so much to be thankful and much of it is due to this company—this family. We were able to build our own home this year and fulfill a dream we have had of my wife being able to stay home with our kids.  We also had a tremendous medical scare with our son this summer and that—blessedly—has been resolved with great relief.  The support I received from VU and management specifically, was incredible. It was a year that saw me move from Sr. LO, to Lieutenant to Team Lead and the hiring of a second assistant. It’s been a wonderful year for us both as a family and here at VU. I’m exceeding blessed and very grateful. – John P

Have a Great job after many months of being unemployed. Having heat that I can set the thermostat and not worrying about the trailer batteries dying or running out of propane.Running my CPAP at night without worrying about the trailer batteries dying during the night. Using the restroom without worrying if there is enough water or the dump tanks are full. Have a nice hot shower without worrying if there is enough water or whether the propane water heater is working. Being in a nice house, instead of in a travel trailer with the weather always changing. I love this company, what it does, who it helps and the feeling here. For me it is worth moving 1300 miles to get here, starting in a new city, new state. I will be even more thankful when my family gets here. – Steve P

Since I have started here at VU in April, I have experienced many personal highs and lows.  From the death of my mother in June to the birth of my daughter earlier this month, life has been a roller coaster as of late.  The constant through all of this has been my work family here at Lighthouse.  They were here to lift me up when mom passed away, and the first ones to celebrate with me when baby Grace came along. For the support and encouragement from my VU family, and the joy and accomplishment I feel from helping fellow veterans through my job with this wonderful company, I am eternally grateful. – Chip C

Chip said he would have bet money on me saying something at the lunch today.  I didn’t want to get up in front of a bunch of people I don’t really know but I do want to express my gratitude for the following: Phil: the way you don’t let us settle for excuses but push us to find solutions and be the best credit consultants the world has ever known, all while motivating us with good times outside of work. Justine: the way we can empathize with one another’s joys and struggles of raising little kids who think waking up in the middle of the night is the best thing to do and the way you encourage me to “Get swole!” Brett: the way I hear you interact with your borrowers (even while I type this) shows how much you believe in them and work tirelessly for them (I mean you are here before I get to work and after I leave for Pete’s sake!). Chip: the way we share an appreciation and love for Dave Matthews band (the greatest group of musicians in the world) and letting me mooch a cig whenevs (and the after cig gum too). Ken: the fact that you make me laugh everyday as well as your inspiration over the past year to a healthier lifestyle and healthier eating (insert semi-inappropriate Ken Joke here). Sarah: the way you pour your energies out into celebrating team birthdays, outings, victories and anything in between (you are very much the glue that holds our team together). Jackie: the way you are willing to engage in deep meaningful dialogue even when we have vastly different world views and still feel like a close friend while you display amazing tenacity and courage in overcoming life’s trials.  And the fact that we love True False (you are on the same level as my favorite aunt – this is no small thing). Kristina: the way you continuously seek out new adventures even when life does not go as you expect all while kicking butt when it comes to monthly numbers (our team outings wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t get to hear your amazing ghost stories among other things.) Ladies of Claymore:  The way you openly love on my daughters and invite my wife to feel like a part of our team.  It is so good to have a family like this. I will not take it for granted especially as I seek to take my family across the world in the nearish future. I am thankful for every day I get to work with you amazing peeps (cue the waterworks… I’m a softy). – Jeremy G

I am thankful for the opportunity to reflect on my past and the ability to see the strength in the struggle. When I think back to Thanksgiving Day last year, I did not even get out of bed from the physical, mental, and emotional pain that was plaguing me. Before I moved here, I was in a very dark, lonely place and getting very comfortable encountering the Enemy on a regular basis. I was ready to give up on life leading up to my move. The Enemy had tricked me into thinking I could disappear and no one would even notice. I knew I was hurting, but I did not realize how desperately my spiritual being needed to be cleansed and renewed until I moved here. Thankfully, about 22 years ago, God allowed me to meet my best friend Sarah, who married Jesse Murphy, a loan specialist at VU. With this couple’s encouragement/support, I applied for a job at VU. Little did I know, I was applying for a job with a company that would change my life… that would give meaning to my life… that would allow me to delve deeper into my faith journey, more so than even before. Little did I know VU would open up the door to endless opportunities, in particular a much-needed faith outlet, almost immediately after I started working.

I still struggle with the battles I was fighting back home – the anxiety, the depression, the eating disorder, BUT I am so much better equipped now to interpret and manage these things, by drawing life and seeking guidance from God and having the support of a strong faith community and work family. Psalm 16:6 reads: “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.” Previously, the Enemy used my limitations against me to make me sad, anger, frustrated…. He used my weaknesses against me. I am learning God has set the necessary boundaries on my life via my chronic pain in order to get my full attention, and gratefully so. In the time He and I are spending together, He is teaching me to transform my struggles into strength and view them as opportunities to develop my intimate relationship with Him. I am learning to ask God how I can serve Him in every aspect of my life verses just going where I think He wants me to go. For these, and many other things, I am eternally grateful. – Stephanie L

I am thankful for the opportunity I had to share at the Thanksgiving Faith Forum today.  When I found out about my wife’s lung disease about a year ago, it crushed me to think that someday she could leave us before her time. And then, 2 months ago when we found out we had mold in our house that was likely aggravating her condition, that just added to the stress on me and my family of 10. We went through some real challenges and struggles during that time. I was pretty depressed about it actually.  Because I am fairly private about this sort of thing, I was pretty quiet about it at first.  But, since we have such a caring family here at VU, the word got out, and I started getting people who wanted to help in some way.  Prayers, encouragement, people dropping by my office to see how we were doing, and on and on.  Someone recommended us for help from the Foundation, which was such a huge blessing.

All that I shared today, but I left out a few other things about this whole thing, so I wanted to take a few minutes to share about those here. 

I was in a meeting with a co-worker, and she asked how I was doing.  At that time, we were out of our house while it was being worked on, and I wasn’t sleeping well at all because I was so stressed.  I was waking up and thinking about all the work we had to do to get back in the house, and I’m not a “handy” kind of guy.  So, I briefly shared with her what we had gone through with the mold remediation and the financial burden it had put upon us.  In a very motherly way, she quickly let me know that I needed to share my burdens with others, and she was not happy that I hadn’t told her about this any sooner.  She then went on to offer her and her husband’s and sons’ help with some of the work if I wanted it.  About 2 weeks later, I received through interoffice mail, a mini toolkit from Lowe’s along with a couple gift cards and a card signed by her and other folks from her team.  That spoke so much to me that she would go to that trouble to share my situation with others, and rally them to help in such a meaningful way.

Both our cars started acting up during the same time we found out about the house having mold, so I shared with a few co-workers through email what was happening with our cars, and just asked for them to pray.  Within 5 minutes, one of them called me and said it was taken care of.  He said he would hook us up with a garage owned by a friend of a friend, and we were able to have all the labor taken care of.  That was huge!

Another co-worker offered to help me with moving out or moving in or whatever I needed.  So, I took him up on it.  He brought over a truck and trailer and helped me take a load to the dump and another load to Goodwill.  It was probably just a small thing to him, but it was huge to us. 

My supervisor was so understanding and good to us through this time, over and over letting me know if he could do anything, to just let him know.  Through his efforts and his son’s efforts and contacts, we were able to find a temporary house for a month that housed my family of 10. 

Finally, regarding my wife’s health and the mold and the house – I just want to say that we are so thankful that this mold thing was discovered.  Her new doctor has said that living with mold and her condition was not a good combination.  She has already begun to feel better since we have taken care of the problem, and we are hopeful for her to be completely better someday! 

Thanks again to all of you, and to the Foundation and all the people who have reached out to us and continued to show us love and support through these times.  We couldn’t have got through it without you. – Matt P



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