Friday, October 26, 2012

Losses....or Prayers Answered?

One should NEVER and again, I say, NEVER, underestimate the power of prayer! I have had the book, Power of a Praying wife, by Stormie OMartian for years. I've read through it, prayed all chapters, and at times, some chapters that were applicable to that time period, but honestly, I think I've memorized some of that book, and the accompanying verses over the past 6-8 months. It was during his first week at his new job, that I realized, even though at the time, it was hard to see.....I prayed him through this storm! And, God was faithful ALL along!

So I'm sitting beside him on the couch, reading through my journal (it bears saying that reading both of our journals became prophetic at some points....) and it was as if God spoke to me right then and there. He said, "Dee, my child, can't you see? I've been there. Answered ALL of these prayers. My timing is not yours, My ways, not yours, but I am faithful and just and loving. Take a look and see that I am good."

So, I begin to flip through, my journal and my Power of a Praying Wife book. Sure enough, it was all there in black and white (and my doodles of blue, highlighted with pink, orange, and yellow). My favorite line is written in my journal, highlighted and underlined in my book, and starred in my book. It is: "If the work he is doing ins not in line with Your perfect will for his life, reveal it to him. Show him what he should do differently and guide him down the right path." I have written in my journal with that, "Lord show him what You would have him do, and where You are leading, reveal the door of good for him and open this door of opportunity which no man can shut. Lead him to the right people (and my favorite line) and remove from his path (or he from theirs) those who WOULD BE TROUBLE."

Now, I am not saying his ex-boss is a bad man, I don't know him. I only know that he was NOT the boss for my husband or any number of other people he's trampled on. Of course, in my mind, the above mentioned prayers, meant that we would find a new job, give a 2 weeks notice, and start a new journey. But God reminded me of another area I'd prayed and gently led me to another section of my book and my journal.

Again, in black and white (and my additions of color), it was clear again. He answered my prayers. I had begin praying for his health especially back in June when our Dr. forced my husband into a 4 week FMLA leave of absence due to stress. The Dr.'s specific instructions during this 4 weeks, was to find another job and get the heck out of that place. So, we kicked up our search big time. But, that was not the timing. He went back to work in July, and where he was rested from his 4 weeks of normal stress, within a week, he was already back in a not so great place.

So, back to my journal ---- I look and see that I've highlighted: "Even though we pray and have faith, the outcome and timing are God's decision. He says there is a "time to heal" (Ecclesiastes 3:3)." Further on, I have written out and highlighted from the book: "Wherever there is anything out of balance, set it into perfect working order. Heal him of any illness, injury or weakness. Strengthen his body to successfully endure his workload and when he rests, may he wake completely rested, rejuvenated, and refreshed. Fill him with your joy to give him strength."  Then I have written out Psalm 107:1--20 - "They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction."

In my mind, I was praying for healing within his current place of work. My thought was, God hasn't answered our prayers and so maybe our answer is to stay put and trust in Him. This angered me, because I was watching my husband suffer, and lose confidence in what he's spent his life loving and learning.  But, who am I? God knows best, right?

He reminded me on the couch that night, "I do know best. I answered your prayers. I heard your words, I rescued him, gave him rest, and have a new and beautiful path for him. Be patient my child." Well, I'm sure by now, God is FULLY aware, patience isn't my strongest virtue. I can see now, looking back, he took what was out of balance, and fixed it...I thought I was praying for health, but God sees a man as a whole being, perfectly created by His own hands. And so His idea of fixing things and mine, were so different.

He removed from his path all dangers....He showed him which path was not his, because we clearly couldn't see.....He gave him a time to heal (5 weeks to be exact).....and rescued us from our distress. Shawn went to his new job with a confidence I hadn't seen in years (that's a part of the story, I will share later)...and refreshed!

So, for now, I must stop....the kiddos are waking, but stay tuned....this story isn't done.  :)

Be Blessed!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Losses....on the Journey...

 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. - Psalm 119:105

Ultimately, there comes a time in our lives when nothing is clear. Uncertainty looms, and we don't know what to do, what to say, where to go, or what will come next. I've been there. Quite recently, as a matter of fact, and it was (is) a journey I don't regret. 

My husband lost his job. To be quite honest, I was terrified. He is the only income for our family, we are a homeschooling family and I have been a stay at home mom since November 1999. We had NEVER in our 18 years of marriage been on a journey like this. He's always had a stable, dependable job, even throughout the tough economy, even though, he worked in the automotive sector. We've been blessed, I guess, as I know of many who've been down this path several times. 

What made this so huge, to me at least, was the fact that this didn't happen once. It happened twice, and in less than 2 years. The first time, we had stepped out in faith, believing God was leading us back to our East TN roots, which we still don't doubt. We were prayerfully, after 14 years away, coming home. He worked for 29 days at this awesome company, doing this awesome job he was so excited about. Then the bottom fell out, they hit financial difficulties and we were a casualty of that. That journey, while God provided for us, isn't one I'm proud of. Our faith was weak, we tried to do it alone, I spoke the words, but honestly, my faith was quite wishy-washy during that time. After 6 months of searching, and almost giving up and returning to NC (though I'm not sure what that would have accomplished), he found a job. One he was so excited about. One that seemed perfect. 

So ... on to the journey. After about 90 days, his job lost it's "perfect." His boss became demeaning, mean, dishonest and did/said unimaginable things. For the first time, in his career, he was truly in a hostile work environment, and it was HELL. All the time, he'd heard from others that this would happen. I even encouraged him not to listen to the naysayers. He'd heard about the 4 looming lawsuits against the company and his boss, and still, believed he'd be "the" employee that made it past the 9 month mark (to this point, no one in his position had done so) and could prove them wrong. Well, he did, sort of. He'd covered his butt, watched every step, crossed every "t" and dotted every "i"....fought many false write-ups (which he had NEVER received until this job) and proved them false. He missed one "t" or "i".....not really sure which. He was 11 days shy of making it 18 months. And then it ended. JUST LIKE THAT. 

What made this journey different? Our faith. In this 18 months, my own prayers for my hubby to be our leader, to become my godly husband (mind you, he wasn't a bad man, he just didn't spiritually lead us, commit to time with God daily, he was a believer, but definitely, like many of us get at times, spiritually lazy), and a change happened in February 2011. One that changed our life least to this point.....

He came home on August 31st, 2012, with the news that once again, he was unemployed. I was terrified and angry, yet relieved he'd never be under that mans control again. I was shocked, yet not surprised. Something in my spirit had warned me of the point that the morning of the 31st, I'd called a friend to pray with me. 

We had been job searching since January, thinking we'd find a way out of this horrible, hostile environment, that had sucked the very life, joy, and spirit out of my husband. I had desperately prayed, as I will share....for him to be rescued from this place. And God did indeed, answer my prayers. Many will argue, I suppose, that it wasn't God, but I have looked back at my prayer journal (and his) enough to know, it was indeed. And standing on the other side, I've no doubts. 

(I will continue this story.....but for now, this mama is a teacher too, and must go teach children. Stay tuned for the next chapter.)