As I’m writing this, my husband is about to lose his job.
Our family, which includes two young boys, runs off his income. I bring in a little “bonus money” working part-time.
Life often takes turns we do not want or expect.
The office where he works is unexpectedly having to close, which means the days of employment are quickly counting down. For all we know, tomorrow could be the last day.
Anthony and I never would have guessed this would be our story, but this will be our third time facing unemployment in our married lives.
The last time, only a little over a year ago, was one of the hardest seasons of my life, likely Anthony’s as well. Even though we experienced generosity again and again through those around us, still the weeks gruelled on and there were so many times when I felt we were alone or unseen in our struggle.
I remember the day I walked into our kids’ school to pick up a box of holiday food gifted by others. There I stood, in front of staff who knew me, as I waited for someone to retrieve the box. I was embarrassed and so humbled by our situation that I cried as I later drove out of the parking lot.
I remember all the times I had to tell my kids no. For months, it seemed it was always no. Yearbooks, art gifts, book fairs, school shirts, restaurant trips, special trips…they were all “no”.
I remember the struggle with guilt and exhaustion. When money is tight, you can’t afford most conveniences. We both worked odd jobs. Guilt over knowing my husband carried the weight of finding full-time employment and wondering if I was doing enough to support him.
God’s Grace is There
Yet, with the struggle came a greater experience of God’s faithfulness and grace. I watched in awe as my husband did whatever it took to provide for our family. He delivered food, searched for contract work in IT and even faced cold, rain and charging dogs working long hours delivering for Amazon. He was and is amazing and evidence of God’s grace in providing for our family. God also surprised us in so many ways, little and big. Whether it be free fruit included in a grocery order or an anonymous gift of money from someone in our church family.
We had shared the journey with our kids and looked for ways God provided. We had to tell them that we would not be able to buy Christmas gifts that year. By God’s grace, they handled it well. (It helped that Grandma & Grandpa still had gifts for them!) The week before Christmas, however, we received a larger financial gift from our church family. What a blessing it was! We were able to buy gifts for the kids after all, and the money allowed us to pay for gas for our trip to see family and to buy snacks along the way.
Through that season, we didn’t get everything we wanted, but God DID provide for every need and a few little extras along the way. We only had one late payment during this season! We learned to be more grateful for things we had previously taken for granted.
During that time, Anthony and I were humbled enough to be able to accept a significant decrease in salary when God did provide steady employment again.
This one may sound like a negative, but we came to trust that God needed to bring us there in order to accept His good plan, even when it would look different than our plans. We’ve learned along the way that we don’t have to understand all the “whys”…we can still trust that God is good and His ways are better than what we could think up on our own.
So, as we approach yet another season that we would not choose, we have more experience from which to glean. I have more confidence that we will be ok. All we have to do is trust. Keep trusting. Joyce Meyer once said trusting in God is a privilege we have. We, as God’s kids, have the privilege to not worry; we have the choice. It doesn’t mean it’s easy…my faith will still have its wobbly moments (it already has)…but God is steady.
He will not leave us.
He is faithful.
Do you have a story, big or small, of God’s faithfulness in your trials? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”Jeremiah 29:11-13 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)
“Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I [will] not, I [will] not, I [will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?”Hebrews 13:5-6 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)