I remember it vividly, the day my husband made a work call and finished with the life altering words, “The board and I will talk and decide if you will continue working here.”
My heart sank and yet I was certain I misunderstood. He spoke to share information with his boss and ended it with a probability that he may no longer have a job. We entertained every angle of that conversation and feared the worse, what we heard was what she meant. We clung onto hope, knowing good was to emerge through was seemed only to be lined with pain.
We knew hope was what God desired for us, He didn’t want us to have hopeless lives and we knew no matter the outcome, this is what we’d cling onto.
The following morning, our spirit sank when he received the dreaded call, “We talked about it and decided to let you go.” Immediately, our hearts broke, we had three kids in our home, three kids we had to provide for, how could this happen?We looked up, with our hands held together to see the oldest in the entry way, “Mom, Dad, what’s wrong?”
We gently shared with our kids that dad no longer had a job and through clinched teeth mouthed how Jesus would care for us, yet, in the depths of our heart, we were uncertain ourselves. Those first few days were difficult, yet, we decided a few things had to change.
We were angry, let’s put that out there, we were saddened, upset and embarrassed, and so angry. We felt unworthy on so many levels and yet we knew we couldn’t remain there. It was so easy to remain there, to remain angry, upset, and play a game of blame. It’s so easy to sink into a place of isolation, to feel alone, to convince yourself that you’re the only one whom has experienced this level of pain.
And I did, we sank, we sank low; we isolated ourselves away from others, hearing only negative words satan repeated, little else penetrated our soul, even when spoken, they couldn’t be heard. It’s amazing how a situation can pull one from hearing truth of God’s words and promises to hearing only satan’s lies. We too had amazing days, days we could see God working, breathing into our family, teaching and reassuring in the midst of what would seem hopeless.
We muttled through those early days and those days quickly turned into a year. We sought to know peace, to feel peace, to know with the slightest conviction that all would be well.
As I sit on the couch reflecting on this time in our lives, I remember so clearly what helped us grow in those days. And isn’t it often we don’t know where our weak areas are until the dam breaks, until the comfort of your life changes? For us, we were no different. And yet, isn’t it true that when the comfort of our world changes so does our hope? We were there, many of those early days hope simply was a word that contained no meaning, however, as time passed, we found the following to be true and continue to be true today:
1. Place one foot in front of the other, walk forward though your mind is full of doubt and concern for the next moment, continue walking forward, never backward.
2. Pray, use it as a time to talk, to share your heart with the Lord. He desires to listen, to hear your heart. The task of finding peace isn’t solely in what you do or don’t do, it’s in the journey.
3. Finding peace isn’t a task on an agenda, it’s handing our heart over to the Lord, knowing we cannot control what He can. It’s seeking Him and less of ourselves.
4. Pour into your mind good things; listen to good, encouraging,things. I was reluctant at first, I wanted to listen to what matched my mood, however I quickly found what I took in, my mind began to feel. It was almost a sponge, I found I craved to hear encouraging, positive words and needed to hear them.
5. If having a rough day (and you will), give yourself a moment to talk about it, even if to yourself, but cap it off so that you’re not dwelling on it too long.
6. Create an opportunity to share, even daily what good has occurred in your day. Celebrate even the small things, don’t wait simply for the large things, celebrate the small things.
7. Find a way to help others, it’s been shown that when we help others it takes our mind off ourselves and our situation.
8. Talk about the future, I steered from this for sometime. I felt it was much like jinxing myself and there was a certain sense that it wasn’t my right to think big about my future, yet, do. This season isn’t forever, it’s that, simply a season.
9. Be thankful, yes, that’s correct, be thankful for what you’re walking through. Pain is one of the worse emotions, yet in it, it can mold you into the best you.
Friend, stay strong, continue walking forward, one foot in front of the other and know this too will pass. To know peace is to know Him.