Today marks one year. One year of Branden being unemployed. One year of learning a little more what it means to trust in Jesus.
I remember when Branden came home that day, December 7, 2013. He was sick actually; he almost never gets sick. He had this terrible flu that would run through our whole family over the weeks that followed. He came home, crawled into bed and didn’t get out for more than a day. I had been at home with the boys, holding it together, knowing it would end, that he would come home from work and that that would be the end of any control we had over anything.
The night went on, Branden sick and me tending to the boys, no one talking about it. I remember going up to check on him the next afternoon. I got under the covers and Branden turned over to put his arm around me. I started to cry. It had been a long, stressful season with the company he’d been working for. We were hurt and frustrated, but we’d been faithful and clinging to the Lord, trusting He had a plan, that things would turn around. But they didn’t. That door was closed now and I felt the weight of this overwhelming helplessness.
I couldn’t talk through my tears. It was like the dam had finally broken.
I was scared and defeated and I’d given in to mistrust. ”If this is what it means to obey the Lord, I don’t want to do it anymore.”
Branden, groggy from sleep, held me tighter. ”God has a good plan for us. You’ll see.”
It was usually me, the reassuring one, while Branden would bear the weight of taking care of us. I would pray with him and encourage him, day after day, week after week, month after difficult month. But I had reached my end. The last drop of hope had somehow run out and I felt like we had lost, like maybe we had trusted the Lord and He had forgotten us. I wondered what the future would hold, how we would pay the rent or electricity bill or buy food. I wondered even, what kind of testimony we would give. Would we say that the Lord had failed us? That’s what it felt like that day. Like we were alone.
But I was wrong.
In Matthew chapter 6, the Bible says, “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
It’s crazy to think about the last twelve months, where we were, where the Lord has taken us. I think, at least in this culture, dependence on the Lord feels wrong, it’s unnatural. We fight it. We have a problem, we find a solution. There’s a need, we inventory our resources. We reassure each other that things will be okay. When they’re not, we shake our fists at the unfairness and wonder where God has disappeared to.
There have been many days over the last year where fear and worry have been our companions. There’s so much to think about, groceries and rent, gas and health insurance, our children, our future, things that we should consider. I’ve asked those questions – What shall we eat? and What shall we wear?
Needs would come up that we were helpless to cover. We would fight and spin, trying to make things happen. We thought we were working against circumstances, but we were really struggling against the Lord. When we were exhausted and there was nothing else we could do, we would surrender. We were at His mercy.
We would come, nothing to offer but what seemed like the tiniest bit of faith. And we would watch the Lord take care of us. In unexpected ways, solutions that we hadn’t even thought of, blessings that would come out of no where, and we would see the Lord work on our behalf, providing richly and causing our faith to grow again.
We went from fretting and wondering if the Lord would provide, to sitting and watching with anticipation, somehow always amazed at His faithfulness!
The Lord has done a lot over the last year. I thought I knew so much, what we needed, what we wanted, what it meant to walk with the Lord, and maybe I did a little. But God has a way of showing us how much we still need to learn :) I don’t know what the future looks like, but it is bright! We know nothing now but God’s faithfulness, and that is more than enough.
It’s been a good year :)