Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. (Romans 12:12, NLT)
I threw my Bible on the table. Hard. “I’m done with this,” I told my small group. “Don’t bother praying for my situation because there’s no point. I give up.”
This was two weeks ago. I know it sounds like a bit of melodrama, but I was serious. I really was done.
Let me give you a bit of context…
My husband lost his job 13 months ago. I was seven months pregnant at the time (with an 18-month old toddling around as well) and there was no way that I could get enough hours at work to make me eligible for maternity benefits. My husband was the sole provider for our little, growing family and he had just lost his job.
After months of searching for work, my husband found a part-time job pushing a mop around a hospital. Unfortunately, it was an on-call position and we never knew from week to week if he’d be working. It was a very unsettling way to live.
Yet we survived.
But we couldn’t go on like that forever. So we prayed. We talked to people we respected. Then we prayed some more. And we made a decision. A very big decision.
My husband would go back to school. After all, we had investments that we could cash in for tuition. And I have a university degree and job experience that most people would give their right arm for. So why shouldn’t I go back to work while he went to school to “get an education”? That way, he’d be able to find a stable job in the future.
My husband’s college application was accepted. He was even exempt from some of the courses. Our daycare provider of choice felt God leading her to take our children. Every last detail fell into place miraculously.
Except one: my employment.
I’ve spent hours searching for jobs, tweaking my resume and sending in applications. It’s a full-time job in and of itself. All to no avail. It’s like there’s a wall of silence.
God, where are You? I’ve asked. Have you taken us here only to leave us?
I’ve really struggled lately. I’ve struggled to believe that God honours His promises, that He is unfailing, that He is love.
Oh how I’ve railed against Him! You said You would never forsake us! You said that Your plans for us are good, that You would prosper us and not harm us, and that all of Your promises are “yes” and “amen”. How could You do this to my children? We thought we were doing Your will and now You’ve abandoned us! Where are You?
Last week, Jesus gently but firmly reminded me of all of the times He has taken care of us. We don’t have debt; we have savings. How many people, after a year like the one we’ve had, would be able to say that? We won’t have to worry about how we’ll pay the bills or put dinner on the table for a very long time because of God’s blessing during the good times. We have a roof over our heads, a car to drive, clothes to wear, food to eat. And on top of that, people are constantly giving us “extras” (like a vacation fund…isn’t that amazing???).
Most importantly, we have a beautiful family and an amazing church family.
We are blessed!
God hears our honest desperation. Yes, there are times in our lives where we feel like giving up. Let’s be real: life can suck. We aren’t always able to see what God is doing behind the scenes. We don’t understand His ways. Our faith is weak.
Sometimes, it truly does feel like God has abandoned us.
No matter how discouraging our circumstances are, however, God is good! If we take the time to look, we will see evidence of His love everywhere! God is faithful and He is good!
And so, like Romans 12:12 says, we can rejoice in our confident hope.
From here on in, I plan to do just that.