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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Employment (01/26/12)

TITLE: The Harsh Reality
By Brian Haugrud


Do you have a job? We did...had...got again...had...got again...had...got again.
Does this sound like a roller coaster? Well, it’s not only an extreme roller coaster ride, it’s an adventure of a lifetime!

It started back in the fall of 1979 when two young kids, (18 & 20), decided to get married and work on life together. His family was in dairy farming at the time so they were invited to “invest” in the farming operation. Borrowing money was very easy in those days. Many thousands and less than two years later another sibling bowed out, thus leaving the dairy to mom, dad, son John,(not real name) and daughter in law Ruth, (not real name).

Jump ahead to 1997. Eighteen years of struggle with a constant down dairy economy, a debt load from day one that was non maintainable, two kids almost through high school and a very weary mom, dad, John and Ruth. All was lost that year but with John and Ruth absorbing the bankruptcy, mom and dad were able to retire with their home and small acreage paid for. John and Ruth moved foreword still owing $85,000 in back debt. GOD IS GRACIOUS!

That year John got a new job in the city managing a lumber yard for a home building company. A few months later Ruth was also hired at the same lumber yard so they both worked hard and were being blessed by the Lord graciously. Life seemed good! Fast foreword 11 years to 2008 and the economy has started to tank for the home building business forcing changes to come. One morning two of the upper management people showed up to tell John and Ruth the news. They had ten minutes to gather all their personal items and “GET OUT”.

Getting this knock out punch sent them home in total dismay and discouragement. They had sensed that God would have them retiring with that company. GOD IS FAITHFUL!

After a couple of weeks Ruth was hired as a warehouse manager for a shipping company while John bought a distressed home and renovated it. After the renovation, it sold quickly and the owner of the company Ruth worked for asked John to work for them also. They were told if layoffs came they would be the last ones to go. Fast foreword to the “stimulus” program. A total surprise came for 14 people that day which John and Ruth were two of. Your all being laid off. It was early 2009. Some were later offered their jobs back at a reduced salary and more hours. The company was able to get “subsidized” new workers through the stimulus program. GOD HAS A PLAN!

Now jump ahead once again to today. Both John and Ruth are Motor coach/ School bus drivers knowing that God has put them there. They both relate to people every day and continually pray for God’s leading, guiding and safety as they serve Him and His purpose. The fields are ripe for harvest but the laborers are few.

Are there lessons to be learned here? ABSOLUTELY!
They are: God Is Gracious.
God Is Faithful.
God has a Plan.
Life is not all about me and what I want.
The materialism of today is fleeting.
Our focus should be on His will and eternity instead of my will and the here and now.
God has given to us and taken away from us. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

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This article has been read 353 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Hiram Claudio02/02/12
Wow ... what a ride and what a message! I was inspired by the journey of your life and the way, at each juncture, that God's hand was acknowledged. A powerful life testimony to His faithfulness. Thanks for this blessing.
C D Swanson 02/02/12
Amazing testimony and a wonderful journey walking with God and His plans.

I loved it - thank you for sharing this rich story.

God Bless you both~
Leola Ogle 02/02/12
Great story. I especially, ABSOLUTELY loved the lesson learned at the end. Thanks for sharing. God bless!
Theresa Santy 02/07/12
What a story. What a testimony. My only complaint is the limited word count. My suggestion? Turn this sucker into a book. It's an incredible story and there's plenty of rising tension and conflict to keep even the laziest reader flipping pages. And oh my goodness, it just so happens the FaithWriters Page Turner Contest is 'nonfiction' this year. (I'm assuming this piece is NF)...

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/08/12
This is an enjoyable ride. Life is often like a roller coaster for sure! I know the dairy farming wasn't an easy path.

Have someone proof your piece to catch little errors like forward instead of foreword and capitalizing Mom and Dad when used as a substitute for a name.

You covered the topic for sure. The ending is a wonderful message we all should remember.