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TITLE: Staying the Course … God’s Way Posted 10/15/12
By Rachael Severa

Getting through hard times is easier for some than others. Often, our stubbornness causes us to go temporarily blind, but when we look past our hurt, the road is more clear.
Choosing to do the right thing for one’s family can be difficult, often raising self-doubt. For this particular year, it became a choice between: Keeping the Faith or living without God’s Grace.

In 2009, my husband lost his position with a company he had been working for, for five years. He did well in the company; actually, that is where we met. However, the circumstances upon his leaving this position came from a dishonest act by the company, at the very least, poor judgment and an attack on my husband’s own propriety. This left him devastated. Being a person that had never filed for unemployment before, he had no idea of the process itself. Worried about the prospects of having to look for another position triggered concern for him. He would pray for our family’s sustainability, our health, our marriage and for our two children who were facing their first years in high school.

Once the unemployment came in it was easier to get by. I also knew that I would have to seek work again. We were doing better, but still behind where we were financially. Each day, I could see the despair on his face; not being able to provide to the best of his ability. Day by day, my husband tried to work through his anger, bitterness about losing his career, and even considered suing. He was a Christian who acted in good faith to right a wrong and was fired for it. It was beyond his understanding as to how this could happen to someone; but it did, to us. He started to doubt his purpose, his ability, his God given destiny and became angry with God. His depression started to take over, and his bitterness started to degrade his relationships with the children and me.

His desire to search for a job had diminished. He tried to see this as an opportunity to re-focus on his real desire to serve God with his given talent to sing in ministry. He would say, “God has something great for me, for us. I know he will bless us for what happened.” I shared in his faith. I knew God had great plans for him, although, I wasn’t sure that it was going to happen the way my husband wanted them to.

I saw the eagerness, his longing to sing again. He would pray for strength, all the while waiting for God to answer. Week after week, I would check in with him, engaging in the “How are you doing?” questions, and “How is the search going?” conversation. After a while the responses went from “Don’t worry, I’ll find a job soon,” to “Do you really want me to take a lesser position than I had?” and then, “I don’t want to work for the world anymore.” My frustration grew bigger when I saw our finances become increasingly worse. We hit rock bottom when the unemployment ran out with no job offer. Each month the bills would get paid later and later tarnishing my good credit, the only good credit we had and then losing one of our vehicles. The pressure to take out small loans we couldn’t afford in order to sustain ourselves turned our financial mess into financial crises.

The pressure begun to increase when our creditors started to write, collection agencies started to call, and eventually I was sued. The frustration of it all escalated to scolding arguments. He continually repeated his mantra of, “Well, I lost my job by no fault of my own, and I lost everything.” I understood where he was coming from and how that could deteriorate one’s confidence; however, I came to a point where enough was enough. How many more times could I hear him say, “I’m going to look much harder next week?” I contemplated whether this marriage was going to last, even worse, whether my husband would break out of his self-defeat and walk in faith again. Finally, I asked the question “What are you waiting for?”

It occurred to me that while he was waiting for God… God was waiting on him.

By the third year of our financial chaos, I’d make accounts to my husband about his behavior when I’d reminded him of all the excuses he’d given me when he didn’t want to do something, or attend church. I knew it took everything my husband had to start over, which meant putting his pride aside. He agreed to make the effort to make it work, and in his weariness, he prayed for a great blessing.

In his search, I started to see a more optimistic man. Although, looking for work is challenging he realized that any work is helpful. Each day he would inform me about job openings, search the internet, read the want ads, and network. I knew God was working in him already as my husband’s demeanor projected more confidence, and hope.

It didn’t take long before my husband decided to contact a good friend, his former boss that he worked for while working for the very company that let him go. He wanted to touch basis and follow-up. One morning, he came through the door with this surprised look on his face, a satisfying smile I hadn’t seen in three years. He eagerly told me that his former boss had a position for him, but in another town. How elated I was to hear this great news. It surely was God’s work. To place my husband in a position with someone who was also a Christian, a friend, and with someone he once worked with; only The Lord gives these blessings.

The lesson in all this didn’t come easy. It seemed the harder we would fall the more there was to learn. As God’s servants, we know there is a time to wait on Him; but there is also a time to act, that we must move forward even in the anger, distress, weariness, and doubt. When God see’s us doing things His way… His blessings will turn things our way. My husband’s despair kept him from seeking fellowship with other Christians, but it’s in the fellowship that keeps us strong, hopeful and wise. The Lord turned our situation around because my husband realized that our ways are not God’s ways, and in His way we are given His blessings.
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