Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hangin' Tight With All My Might

Life.

Difficult. Scary. Unsure.

Those were some of my definitions of life over the past year and a half. Doesn't seem very positive, does it? Well...for the past several months I was feeling more like Job of the Bible, I thought God had confused Job and me. The last week of January of 2009, my husband found out that he was being let go from his job of nearly 23 years. He and thousands of others. It was no fault of his own...the economy just was going south. Yeah, well I understood all that but, it didn't help any. At all. It seemed like the beginning of the end. The end of life as we knew it. And that stunk. Big time.

So, here is a snap shot of that time of my life and how it all turned out. A chapter of my life story, so to speak. What I learned about life on the road. Not the fast lane. Not the slow lane. Life from the median......somewhere in the middle.

Job loss for my husband. The sole provider for our family. He had been making a very good salary, and now we knew that was coming to an end. Just like that. Within one week everything changed. So fast. I wasn't prepared.

I cried. Frustration. Aggravation. Fear of the unknown. All this happening right smack dab in the middle of building a new house in another state. Things seemed dark. I was scared. Change is not something I love. Security is something I crave......and I felt that I was about to drown.

In the midst of all this I totaled my car in a scary accident. (hydroplaning in a down pour) So no wheels for me. Why? Why now? I'd never had so much as a speeding ticket, much less an accident. NOT NOW.

The money that I got from insurance, that would have paid for a new car, had to be used to pay the IRS. That lovely organization had found a mistake that we had made on our taxes 2 years before. We owed them. Good bye car. My resentment grew.

Because things weren't bad enough, the economy got worse....the housing market froze and we were left with my house in Tennessee that we needed to sell....and fast. We couldn't afford one mortgage, much less two. At this point how were we going to afford the cosmetic changes the house needed in order to sell?

Our other vehicle broke down on the interstate in December and we were stranded somewhere in Kentucky. A lot of money for repairs. Either we paid or we sat on the side of the road. In the freezing cold. UGH.

We gave up perks. Anything that we didn't absolutely need we did away with. I was sad. I resented it. I'm ashamed to admit that I had a poor attitude on many occasions. This is not how life was supposed to be when we decided to build a house and move to another state. It was supposed to be an exciting adventure. It was an adventure alright....just not the kind that I had asked for or wanted.

I went through a bout of depression. Not clinical...but, close enough. I wanted to cry all the time and get out of this situation. I felt trapped in a dark place. I wanted to be upbeat. I wanted to say, "this will all work out in the end". I longed to be "the glass is half full" kind of a gal. I failed. Miserably.

I ended up substitute teaching for a teacher out on maternity leave. 7 weeks. It was okay...but, my heart wasn't in it. This was not the plan. I still clung to my old life. The one that was supposed to be different from where I currently found myself.

I wish I could say that I had a positive attitude, that I knew God would see us through these trials, that it would all work out in the end. I wish I could....but, I didn't have it in me. My attitude was in a heap on the ground, I was seriously wondering if God cared about my pain, and I really thought we might lose everything--- the end seemed imminent.

Sometime in March things changed for me. Really changed. Most of the circumstances were the same. Regardless of all that, something changed in me. God spoke to my heart, through His Word, through friends, through my church, through my family. It was as if a blindfold had been taken off of my eyes. I began to see how things had worked together... How God's hand had been on my family's situation all along. Even after I came to this realization and really took it to heart, it was still difficult. I still had doubt on occasion, but my attitude had changed. Instead of throwing a daily pity party for myself, I began to understand that maybe the reason that God had allowed this situation to continue was to teach me, and my family, a lesson in God's provision.

Life lessons aren't always easy. In most cases, if you are anything like me, it is the most difficult lessons that we learn the most from. I for one learned that my security in life doesn't come from a nice car, a new house, or a fancy job. It comes from the Lord. He alone is where my true security lies. Amen.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."   Matthew 6: 19-21

Addendum:

1. We sold my house in Tennessee, at a loss, but still we sold it so we didn't have to worry about two mortgages. The lady that bought it wanted to move  in by the end of the year. Our church in Tennessee pitched in and helped get all the cosmetic things done around the house so we would be ready by closing. They were Jesus' hands and feet to us. They were part of God's provision.

2. My husband got a new job, just a few weeks ago. This after a year and a half of looking.  Totally unexpected. A job he enjoys. One that provides medical insurance. Again, God's provision.

3. Family and friends that helped us along the way, both financially and with words of encouragement. They were part of God's provision.

4. I still don't have a car....maybe, one day. I'm okay with that. At least we could pay off the IRS and not have to deal THEM. God took an accident and a totaled car and turned it into His provision.

God is good all the time.

2 comments:

  1. Sandy@ Jesus and Dark ChocolateJuly 8, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    Wow Dawn, what a life, what a testimony of the power of God. Over my life that has happened to me, I mean in terms of the attitude (not all that you have gone through!). I fight things, I sulk, I get a bad attitude and somewhere along the line God meets me, and I am truly changed! He alone is our security and rock to which we cling.......thanks for sharing a bit of those hard times. God works during those times!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I so hope to get to the point that you are at...that I can see God in my messy life and the bigger picture amongst the struggle. Right now, try as I might, all I see is the bad. The unpaid bills. The loneliness. The uncertainty. The lack. I've never been farther from God, or so it feels. Honestly, I feel like a child pouting that He won't give me my way! When you get right down to it, I've just been kinda giving Him the silent treatment, as if it'll scare Him into giving in and fixing me and all my crappy circumstances! Actually, I'm pretty sure He gets a chuckle out of my tantrums.

    I truly hope that one day soon I'll find Him in all of this and find myself back where I need to be with Him. I know I will...

    ReplyDelete