I last blogged about 6 1/2 months ago. I was elated when I wrote that post . Michael had just been hired after a long layoff. Just six weeks later, he was laid off again as the start-up company quickly realized they’d hired more people than they could afford at such an early point. He wasn’t the only casualty, but that was little consolation.
What ensued was 3-4 months of chaos–and nothing about it was blissful. I’m not going to go into a lot of details, but suffice it to say we were sinking fast. And I guess, maybe it wasn’t fast. Afterall, the initial layoff began on August 20, 2008, so it had been nearly 2 years. Hope was hard to come by. Faith was being tested. Life pretty much stunk.
During all of this financial stress, I had another major stressor in my life. My mother and her continuing decline into dementia.
I have truly never known such stress, such despair, such an overwhelming feeling of, well, being overwhelmed. (Let’s not forget I’m the mother of 4 young children).
My prayers shifted their focus. Instead of just praying for blessings on our family, my prayers became desperate. Something had to give. I believe the Lord won’t allow you to go through more than you can handle–
1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
but, I was truly reaching the end of my rope. Something had to give. You know, I’m very familiar with the first part of the Bible verse above. But I found myself forgetting, maybe doubting the last part–”He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
Then came August. Our darkest month financially.
My friend Elizabeth told me about a support group for caregivers of dementia patients. Oh, my gosh! Talk about a gift from God! Our group met weekly for the first month, and now we meet monthly. I have learned so much and am so much better equipped to handle my mother’s care now than I was before.
Out of the blue, the ladies from my church took up a collection and provided us with a gift card to help with back to school shopping.
By the end of August, Michael’s freelance work was really picking up again.
September was a good month, too. But by mid-month, it got really good!
He landed a terrific job! Two days before he was contacted about the job he said, “When it’s right, it will be easy.” Well, I guess so! This opportunity came looking for him. It’s quite literally his dream job. You can read his take on his blog at Mike’s Points.com.
The Sunday after he was offered the job, I sat in Bible study at church and listened as the teacher read the following passage to us from James 1:
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
I doubt it was coincidence that those passages were the focus of our discussion that day.
Michael started his job on October 4. We’re adjusting to another new normal. It’s a good adjustment to make.
Life’s less chaotic and more blissful now.
Thank you, God!