0 In Grace

Unemployment & Unbelief

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I’ve delayed writing this post for quite some time now as what I have to share isn’t something I’m necessarily excited about.

I’ve also delayed writing this post reassuring myself that I would share about this season once it had passed because I wanted y’all to know how it ends.

Twice last week I received feedback on this blog from people I have never met and I’ve realized that what I am going through isn’t about me and maybe the Lord will use it in ways I never would have imagined. I figured it would be best to delay no longer and share what I am learning in these trying times.

Six weeks ago yesterday, my husband was terminated from his job – yes, the same job that allowed us to transfer back to California from Texas after two years. This was not expected by any means and has been more difficult that I could have imagined but also a great blessing that has far exceeded my expectations.

While working in Texas, my husband passed the background check with his company and also passed  with Google since that’s who the company holds the contract with out there. In California however, the company is contracted with Cox Communications who, we now know, has some of the strictest background check standards. My husband had to do a new background check in California for Cox and was terminated due to a misdemeanor charge for trespassing in 2011, before he became a Christian.

I was heartbroken upon receiving the initial news about the job loss. I was angry with the company for not seeing my husband as a new creation but, as the organization is not Biblically based, I knew it didn’t make sense to think that they would do so. I hoped that his track record with the company of hard, faithful, ethical work for, what would have been two years in April, would have been enough. I have wrestled through wanting to be angry with the company but I know such a response is personal and emotional and ultimately it is the Lord who is allowing us to go through this.

Once again, it feels like we were back at square one, counting everything as loss. Not is our income gone, but our insurance benefits too. There have been a few tears shed during this season as well as sleepless nights.

Fortunately, Derek and I had just completed reading the book of Job in our Bible reading plan prior to this happening. Most people know that Job is the one who said, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. . . ” but what was most encouraging for us was to see Job’s hope in Job 19:25, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth.”

We have also been working on memorizing Psalm 103 and in the midst of losing our benefits, it was sweet to, “. . . forget not all his benefits. . .,” and to see that the first, and most important one listed is that he forgives all our iniquity. We may not have medical coverage, but our sins have been covered and that is of far greater worth to us.

I have been reading the book Spurgeon’s Sorrows, which has given me much comfort in this season and reminded me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. Derek and I had the privilege of meeting the pastor who wrote the book at a conference by the same name and we were greatly encouraged by God’s heart toward His children as they experience trials.

This season has been hard, but not impossible. Most days, I share the prayer of the father in Mark 9:24 who said, “I believe, help my unbelief!” as I beg the Lord to provide my husband with a job.

We are learning to be content in any and every circumstance which is made possible only by the strength supplied by Christ. After all the crazy things that have happened to us during our almost two years of marriage, this has by far been the hardest but it has also been the first time in a while that I can say my soul’s disposition is truly happy. After much hardship, I am finally learning what it looks like to count it all joy as I endure various trials.

Right now we are waiting quietly and trusting patiently.

Derek has had four interviews but three of the places aren’t hiring until March and are expecting to hear back regarding the fourth at the end of this week. We are able to receive unemployment from Texas, since that’s where most of his work experience was and by God’s sweet grace, it pays more than the state of California (go figure). He has been doing some temporary construction work for a man in our church which has been a blessing and, he has been driving 40 minutes away to donate plasma twice weekly to help with gas and give us a little bit of “fun money,” (gosh, I love my husband). We are fortunate enough to have paid off the remainder of our lease for our apartment in Austin and apart from student loans, car insurance and a few scant medical bills from Addie’s birth, we don’t have too many expenses right now.

We have been able to spend more time together as a family than ever before and when our tax return finally arrives, we will be receiving more than Derek would have made in a month with his former job. We are considering using that money toward a down payment on a small condo since rent out here is through the roof. Although our circumstances aren’t ideal, we may actually depart from this season with bountiful savings which would be quite humorous in an ironic sort of way. This isn’t necessarily how I had hoped or planned for that to occur but I am humbled and deeply grateful for the Lord’s provision in our lives. It has been fun to see the unexpected ways He has had His hand over us during this and every season.

Our faith has been challenged exponentially and the growing pains of sanctification are uncomfortable yet we rejoice and take heart viewing these trying times as God’s gentle care for us in shaping us more like His Son.

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