Family, Faith and Friends Friday
What a Difference a Day Makes (or a Year)
My friend graciously agreed to share her story with me and has allowed me to share it with you.
Hers is not an uncommon story, especially in today’s uncertainty. It’s a story of financial hardship, but it’s not. It’s a story with its own set of circumstances, its own twists and turns, but the bottom line is the same. Due to job related issues and injuries, their income was cut in half, and they were juggling bills; trying to stay ahead.
I remember listening to my friend a year or so ago, as she told me of her fear of losing her home. I understood that fear all too well.
She is quick to tell me that even then God was writing their story. And she can’t exactly explain how, but they went from next to no Christmas, only buying for each of their three sons a $50 gift in 2010, to having been able to pay off quite a bit of debt at the end of 2011…and realizing her fear was simply that.
An interesting development took place during that time. As a result of her husband being off work for about eight months due to a job related surgery and recovery, he began riding with a family friend who is a locksmith and owns his own company. When my friend’s husband was finally able to go back to work, the place he had been employed for seventeen years, he felt like God was showing him a different plan.
My friend’s husband did indeed go back to his job, but it was short-lived. He resigned and walked out those doors for good in April 2012, and never looked back. He is now a partner in the locksmith company.
My friend and her husband are now in the best financial position of their 24 years of marriage. She swallowed back tears as she told me this and she gives all the credit to God.
I asked her several questions. I heard passion in her voice as she shared her answers, and the words she chose were inspiring.
Question: What is the greatest trial you have experienced in life? She assured me that this was not the greatest trial she has ever been through. And clearly stated, “ It’s the greatest financialtrial.”
Question: What is your biggest regret? She said, “I wish I would have trusted that whatever happened, God was in control, He was writing the story. But I didn’t get that. I wish I could trust more in what God has in store for me. I wish I could, but I don’t, I don’t.”
Question: Can you complete this sentence, “Don’t give up because______ She responded, “I think that the biggest thing about not giving up…and I don’t know if that’s even the right term, but hanging in there. Looking back and seeing what you get to learn, what you get to do in trials like that. I do things on my own. I try to figure it all out. I like to know what’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen, but you can’t always, and the result of what you get versus what you want, many times, not always, is better. Sometimes you have to find how it’s better.”
She went on to say, “I feel like what I got in walking through this, is the necessity of trusting God, trusting my husband, it has made me so I can trust in both a little more easily now. I get to watch in awe and ask, ‘how did that happen?’ It doesn’t make sense, to walk through that and end up with less debt at the end of the year.”
She also wanted to make sure I understood that the locksmith business isn’t responsible for this turn around in their lives. “We changed” she said. How they manage money, and how they spend it is more of a concentrated effort these days.
She told me too, about a big change that has taken place in her heart. “Having walked through nothaving, it makes me want to give to others in need; it makes me want to give more. My husband has always been giving, and now I am too.”
My next question to her was, is there a message you would like to relate from your experience? “Trust in changes, trust in God’s plan, even in adversity. God was trying to teach me to trust.”
Question: What would you say to other people who find themselves in the same situation as you were in? “I’d say trust in the story that God has written for you. I would tell them it’s not easy. I have come to understand that you can’t do anything on your own. And I would pray, ‘God, help me believe that you really do have your best in store for me. Help my unbelief’.”
Such good words to end with, “Help my unbelief”, yet I can’t stop there. As I sat listening to my friend tell of her struggles, her pain, and the end result, I can’t help the questions that arise within me, the feelings that I try to ignore. I feel sure others who read this, though inspired by the message, may wrestle with some of this as well. Remember, I did write Petty Me.
It’s hard, at times, for me to wrap my mind around just how big all of this is. And how interdependent we are, and so very unrelated at the same time. I have to remind myself that just because I see someone who seems to have a happier ending to their story than I do, my story, our stories aren’t over. Not now. Not until the time we leave this world, and then, I suspect, they’re still not. Another person’s story does not affect or take away from mine. In fact, the opposite is probably true.
And for me that is good news, good news indeed. Lord, help my unbelief.