Proverbs 3:5-6 English Standard Version (ESV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Last year I lost my job right before Thanksgiving. I knew it was coming, the managers at that job had taken a strong disliking to me and it seemed like I never did anything right. The day before I got fired, I was at the office until 8pm doing a project for one manager who had to leave for a charity event (actually it seemed every time there was an important project to do, it coincided with a charity event). However, before she left, she sent out a meeting request for 9am the next day. So not only did I know I was getting fired, I knew what time it was going to happen! But that morning I woke up with a song in my heart, it said “Oh father give me grace to forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.” You see, Holy Spirit was preparing me for what was coming. If I hadn’t a clue about what was going occur that day, I knew I would have burst out crying when it happened (the first rule to survive a corporate career is never to let anyone see you cry!).
My husband didn’t go to work that day, he had taken the day off to do some work at the church in preparation for our leadership conference that night. I didn’t tell him what was going to happen; I knew he would be upset and worried. So I went to work all by myself with my stomach in knots. The whole way to the office, I prayed in my heart “Lord, just please don’t let me cry.” I thought about how I should react, should I be angry, should I laugh and pretend I didn’t care? I really didn’t care about the job, I was miserable there but I knew we couldn’t afford to lose the finances. I walked into the office and sat quietly at my desk, a great calm came over me. Nine o’clock came and I followed the managers to the conference room. As soon as I heard the words, “we have decided to terminate your employment,” I felt an awesome feeling of relief!!! I actually smiled and probably made them feel a lot better about firing me. I even hugged them as I walked out! I cleaned my desk, took all my stuff and walked out of there feeling really happy!
But here’s how God works in our lives, earlier that very week, a friend of mine had called and asked if I was interested in interviewing for a position at her company! I had told her I would think about it, but as I left my office the day I got fired, I called her and set up an interview for the very next Monday! I didn’t end up getting that job but that was God’s way of telling me that everything would be ok. I called my husband as I walked to the train station with my bags of belongings to ask him to pick me up when I got off the train. When I told him, he said to me “but you don’t get fired,” and he was right, I’d never been fired from any job I’ve had! At that point, it was the closest I came to crying, not because I was upset, but because my husband was upset. I reminded him that God doesn’t allow things like this to happen without having a bigger and better plan in store! By the time I got home and saw him, he wasn’t upset anymore. He had already told our pastor what had happened so when he picked me up and brought me to the church I ran straight to her with the stupidest smile on my face and she had an even bigger smile for me! We jumped up and down and hugged and celebrated like crazy people! Why were we celebrating? Because while many people praise God for all the good things that happen to them, not many praise God when the storms come upon them. I’ve learned to give God praise in the good times and praise him even harder during the bad times. I know that he has his hand upon me in every situation and he allows us to go through adversity to build our faith.
I spent six weeks unemployed, but during those weeks, I got the chance to volunteer full time at church all through the Thanksgiving and Christmas season which is one the busiest times of the year for us. And the very first week in January, I went back to work!