December 17, 2008

A Moment of Encouragement

[Found in my inbox this morning]

So, here I am, on the verge of getting all panicky again about not having a job. After a couple weeks of initial hysteria & serious depression after my Halloween day layoff, I was OK with it...till tonight.

Tonight, we (me and 3 of the 4 kidz) FINALLY got around to putting up the Christmas tree and hanging up the stockings... the extent of our decorating this year. Unhappily, 3 of our 5 strands of lights were dead... and having literally less than zero in the bank at the moment, going out and getting a coupla more strands of lights was out of the question. Luckily, our fake tree (finally unearthed from the depths of the shed in the backyard) seems to be nearly a foot shorter than it's normal six-foot height... looks like a piece of the "trunk" is missing or something... so it needed fewer lights. :) Yay! I kinda tossed the lights on randomly and haphazardly (two totally different varieties of lights, completely mismatched in every way), trying to cover as much of the tree as possible. Got all but the bottom last row of branches (and the back of the tree by the wall that nobody sees anyway)...i figure, no worries, the doggies won't be able to eat the lights if they can't reach 'em, right? (one can only hope, lol). We tossed on some ornaments -- all the important ones, the hand-made kid ornaments - went on first, then a few of the boring usual glass ball ornaments in various colors and styles. Yep, it's definitely a mish-mash, unmatched christmas tree... but I couldn't care less, at least we are fortunate enough to HAVE a tree, and the kid ornaments on it give it character. :)

After it was all put together, I went outside in the yard to see how it looked from the street, make sure it was neatly centered in the middle of the window, etc. I remembered last year, how excited we were to finally have a real house to decorate. We went all out - lights on the roof, lights on the porch, lights on the bushes, and those animated deer in the front yard. It was sad to see the yard and everything all un-Christmassy looking! Then I started thinking that our second Christmas here in our house could quite possibly end up being our last Christmas at our house, unless I land a job within the next couple weeks or so. A mortgage company will only be patient for so long... and after three months of no work? Well.... Right now I'm hoping against hope that my 401K disbursement check arrives in the mail extremely soon... if there's enough left of the eensy-weensy amount that was there to begin with after taxes & penalties, it should cover our January mortgage payment, and hopefully buy us more time. Then I'd have at least 2, 3 more weeks to find a new job again. Hubby is not working AT ALL next week OR the week there's NO hope of using his pay, such as it is, towards the mortgage. Not his fault; his one boss closes down the business for those two weeks (I really wish he worked for a different, larger, and especially better-managed company - not that any are hiring right now...but that's another rant for another day, LOL!), and his second job has him working a whole ten hours a week at best. My unemployment check, such as it is, will have to go to the vehicle payment, car insurance (which has been thankfully lowered by nearly a hundred dollars a month)... his checks will have to get us some groceries.

So... I was feeling rather melancholy about the state of things at the moment, but shook it off and went back inside. At least (for present) we HAVE a home and are not living under a bridge somewhere... or worse, living under a bridge in an impoverished, war-torn third-world country where such silly notions as "freedom" and "equality" and whatnot are vehemently discouraged and/or outright illegal. Presently poor, but actually very rich in many ways.

Anyway, I was writing a letter tonight (yes, FINALLY i'm slowly getting back into my weekly correspondence mode!) and mentioned that no matter what, everything is A-OK because God is ultimately in control. I said, "Romans 8:28 is still in effect, even when we can't see it just now! God is up to something behind the scenes that we don't know about yet!" To save you a trip to Google or what have you, Romans 8:28 says:

"And we know that ALL THINGS work together FOR GOOD to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purposes."
(Emphasis mine)

Then, a thought popped into my head, completely unbidden: "Don't forget about the verse in 1 Thessalonians 5 about being thankful in EVERY situation!"...followed by the verse, word-for-word, reciting itself in my memory.

Huh? Where did THAT come from?! Yes, that was a rhetorical question, of course it was the Holy Spirit, He's just cool that way. :) Anyway, I flipped on over to 1 Thessalonians 5:18. This was a verse that I had literally, completely and totally forgotten even existed. Seriously. So for it to "randomly" pop into my head like that, in full quotation, lol - well, I know that didn't come from ME! God must be trying to tell me something, methinks. :) To save you a Google, here it is:

In EVERYTHING give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
(Emphasis mine again)

Give thanks in EVERYTHING. Not "some" things. Not just "good" things. But in the middle of the most lousy, rotten, horrific, terrible situation you can think of... Give thanks. The situation I'm in (or you...or you... or you...) is not by accident... for whatever reason, God has permitted it to be so. And if He has allowed it to be so, it is for a reason...and if it is for a reason, then He is hard at work behind the scenes, preparing the way for something we can't even remotely begin to picture just yet. (see also Ephesians 5:20) He didn't CAUSE this... but if we cooperate and trust Him, He can and will bring about something amazing on the other side of this tunnel. :)

Sure, it may suck for a while. Heck, things may continue to suck for a very long while, for all I know. But. It is not without plan or purpose. Whatever is going on right now? He's in control, ultimately. He's going to bring us through this.

I pray like crazy that we are able to keep our beloved home that means so much to us, because of the love & hard work of so many in the community that was poured into it before we even moved in... but if not? Well. Devestating, yes. But. God. Has. A. Plan. He sees the end from the beginning, and everything in between. And really...that's what matters. He is faithful and will take care of us throughout every situation, somehow. We can't see it yet - or at least, I sure can't - but HE can.

S0. It's all good. It sucks right now - but it's all good. Because GOD is good - and He will ultimately turn things around to something wonderful in the long run, and it will be a fabulous testimony of His great love and faithfulness! Seen it a buncha times before, will see it again... God is up to something!

The last verse that "randomly" popped into my mind was one I'd read a few hours earlier just in my casual evening reading, Mark 5:36. Jesus said,

...Be not afraid, only believe.

Aye, aye Captain! And, thank You.

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