“…we were oppressed in every way and afflicted at every turn – fighting and contentions without, dread and fears within. But God, who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us…” II Corinthians 7:5, 6 Amp
My prayer journal 1/24/14: “What does it say about me that I’m okay with being sick because it means I don’t have to work?” and “I’m begging you (God) for relief. Please!” There are more cries for grace, help, and direction throughout my 2013 journal, pages of them. I was in a difficult place at work with no way out but God.
Those are two life changing words, aren’t they?
The situation was this: The job I had a love/hate relationship with for so many years was coming to a sudden unexpected end. It was scary walking away from a place and a position with which I was so intimately familiar and comfortable and where I’d been so successful.
I didn’t realize it at this time last year but looking in the rearview mirror at the start of 2015, I now know God had a plan. After twenty-five years of working 50 and 60 hour weeks and countless weekends and holidays, he put me on sabbatical. I know myself. I never would have walked away from a well-paying full time job without help. It would have been irresponsible and that’s one thing this daughter of an alcoholic could not be.
For me, 2014 was a year of healing, of just being. It was a year of following my passion for writing and enjoying my family. 2014 was sweet in ways I didn’t expect or anticipate. But God is able to do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20) He provided quiet time with my husband, fun lunches with my oldest granddaughter, zoo adventures with my daughter and her little girls, and the ability to stay by my mother’s side as she went home.
In the difficult pressure-filled work situation which culminated last January, I didn’t know what would happen, but God made a way where there was no way, but God never left nor did he forsake me (Hebrews 13:5), but God worked all things together for my good (Romans 8:28), but God was my refuge and fortress (Psalms 91:2), but God said “Fear not for I am with you (Isaiah 43:5).”
I don’t know what you’re facing today. Life is rough. I do know for certain that what he has done for me, he will do for you. Maybe not in the exact way but in the way that is perfect for you. I pray that in the midst of the circumstances of your life, you’ll find your “But God…” and allow God to give you a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit (Isaiah 61:3). Amen. It shall be so.