Guest Post: At the suggestion of a friend, my husband, Dave, wrote down his 6 month journey about being laid off and how God provided for us. Enjoy! Cindy
I was sharing with a friend, Wendy Albrecht, after church, on how God had been providing for us during my unemployment and she encouraged me to write it down. I didn’t think too much of the idea, but Wendy said these stories would be great for the kids and others to read as examples of how God provided for our family, an encouragement for future times. I had forgotten all about our conversation until this morning when I was leaving from an interview. Theses are actual events that happened during the past six months, not all are being told and I am sure that there are many times that I didn’t even recognize Gods’ provision for us. The entire purpose of this writing is not to brag about my spiritual strength or how I constantly depend on God for everything, because I am weak and still try to do it all myself instead of laying it at the feet of Jesus. I am writing this is to give examples of what an awesome, loving, gracious, and caring Savior we have watching over us.
On Dec. 29, 2008, I was walking into the warehouse, where I worked, and a co-worker told me that they were letting a bunch of people go. My heart just sank; I knew that I was going to be laid-off. I entered the break room, sat down and prayed. I asked God for strength and also that He would let me keep my job. I clocked in and started working, silently asking God for strength and a job. I was called to the GMs office by my supervisor and knew I prayers were not being answered the way I had hoped. As I walked to the office I prayed again for strength and also for an opportunity to be a witness for Him.
I entered the office, shook their hands, and thanked them for the opportunity to work for them. They explained the situation, gave me my paperwork, and started to leave. As I was leaving the GM asked me if I was going to be ok, I told him, “I put my faith in Jesus Christ and I know He will get me through this.” These are the words that came out, they weren’t planned, and they just came out. My prayer was answered.
Once word got around that I was laid-off, the prayers, support, and encouragement from all my family and friends was indescribable. People that I didn’t even know were praying for me. What a testimony to the Christian faith having people you do not know and probably will never meet praying for you. How does one describe this? I can’t but I would love to be able to thank them. So if you ever come across this and you were praying for me, THANK YOU!! I am unable to describe the feeling of peace you blessed me with.
Within two weeks of losing my job I had two interviews. I thought this was going to be a piece of cake as God was really watching over me. I waited the two weeks and called back the interviewers, one was a sorry (he filled the position) and the other never called me back. I entered the woe is me stage: Why didn’t You give me one of those jobs? I am a good guy. I follow the rules. I do everything I am supposed to do..,blah blah blah.
The song “Word of God Speak”, by Mercy Me, started playing on the radio;
I’m finding myself at a loss for words,
And the funny thing is it’s ok,
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say,
Oh word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see,
To be still and know,
That You’re in this place,
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness,
Word of God speak.
I’m finding myself in the midst of You,
Beyond the music, beyond the noise.
All that I need is to be with You,
And in the quiet hear Your voice.
I’m finding myself at a loss for words,
And the funny thing is it’s OK.
The words of this song made me realize that I wasn’t resting in God, I was going to do this, and I would find that job. I needed to be quiet and hear His voice. I just started to cry, God was washing my eyes so I could see Him. He didn’t promise me my dream job but I knew that whatever happened He was taking care of us.
The first hurdle we faced was the Mountaineer needed new ball joints. We have a couple of good old boys that have worked on our cars for years and if they tell us something needs to be fixed, we trust them. The price of the repairs was more than we could afford at the time, so we drove it home and parked it until we could get the money. A couple days later, we received a check in the mail from my Mother that covered the cost of the repairs. I never told my Mom that the car was broke down. She sent a note with the check, saying that she thought we could probably use a little help.
Grocery shopping, I can’t stand it. The layout of the store confuses me. Cindy only asks me to go as a last resort. I always buy extra and forget coupons. I just want to get it over with. Cindy would get the list ready and then tell me to be sure to grab the in store coupons. I would stand off to the side of an aisle and cut out the coupons with my pocket knife. What amazed me was there was almost always a coupon for everything on the list; one time it was buy one get one free for the entire list, another time it was 10 for $10 for most of the list. I always left the store spending less than Cindy had planned for. I want God to do big earth shaking things for me, to answer my prayers with blasting trumpets, and angels singing. Instead, He chose to use a small piece of paper that is worthless unless I take a hold of it and use it.
Our main drain, for our house, was starting to slow down and needed to be snaked out. Most places have a base rate, several charges (just because they can), and a service call. It usually amounts to a minimum of $100. Nothing horrible but on a limited income it is not good. I went to get the mail and there was a flyer in the box advertising drain cleaning for just $50. Cindy called them and there were no additional fees so we made an appointment. God is so amazing, He just kept providing over and over for us during this time.
I like to wear nice clothes. I do not have a lot of clothes but I like to dress nice. I do not do thrift stores or garage sales. I get a creepy feeling wearing clothes that some one else has worn. I needed some casual shirts to wear to church and non t-shirt type events. Each spring my church, Redeemer Baptist, has an annual garage sale giving the donated items away at no charge. I was helping clean up and I found 6 shirts in my size and I liked them. I confess I am quite picky about the clothes I wear. The shirts were hardly worn so I said ok. I will take them home and wash them twenty times and try to wear them. I am still wearing them and have even been complimented on them. It is funny how pride can control a person.
There were no major catastrophes. Every thing that came up we were able to handle because of God’s promise to provide. I am a firm believer that God chooses the little things in life to teach us the greatest lessons. This experience made me stronger: I would have not seen Gods’ hand in these happenings if I was employed. I have heard and read stories of how God would remove ones cancer, cause a semi to just miss the car, and all those indescribable events that would make a great movie, thinking how cool of an experience that would be, but I am thankful for paper that came in the form of: coupons, a flyer, an unexpected check, or a card with words of encouragement from a loving caring friend. I am thankful for: heartfelt prayers of friends, family, and people that I do not know or may never meet for the peace and comfort that comes from being lifted up in prayer. I once saw an interview of Harrison Ford when he was at the height of his career. He was asked, “What is the one thing you didn’t have?” His answer was inner peace. I get so wrapped up in the things I do not have or think I need to have or why can’t I have them when really I have something as priceless as inner peace because the Creator of all things chooses to care for me.
Cindy, Rachel, and Kyle were my strength throughout this time. Kyle was amazing! He had to give up things that we were not able to help him with. Kyle had to pay for things with his own hard earned money. He showed great maturity for a 17yr old young man and he didn’t complain, he just stepped up to the plate. Rachel was encouraging and kept asking how things were going. Rachel is making all the right choices, including Andrew. It gives me great joy to know that she associated with a young man that is striving to please God. To have children that want to honor God above all make difficult times less stressful.
Cindy, you are my rock. You constantly encouraged me, asked me if I was ok, you stood beside and held me up. I have no idea how you were able to stretch out the money that we had but you did. Thank you also for all the tears and smiles. I never want to go through this again but if I do, you are the one I need beside me.
To all my family and friends, I have never felt as loved as I have these past six months. There was hardly a day that went by that some one would “check in” to see how things were going. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by such a loving and supportive crowd. You have touched me in an indescribable way; all of you are why I now have a job.
Again, I did not write this to call attention to how strong of a Christian I am as I am weak and fearful. There were many times I believed I would end up on a corner holding a piece of cardboard, “Please Help”, God Bless”. But when God lifts me up, I am strong. It is because of His mercy, grace, and compassion that I made it through this. He alone gets the credit.
My prayer for you in reading this is that you would be encouraged. When you cry out to Him, He hears you and is ready to care for you. He wants you to rest in Him. I have felt this and know it is true. If you would like to talk more about this, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To God be the Glory!