When it rains, it pours…
Everything than can go wrong will go wrong….
When life gives you lemons……
When life throws you a curve ball……
For the past three weeks, these and phrases just like them have been bombarding my thoughts and trying to assault mind. Three weeks and two days ago (but who’s counting), my husband’s company announced that they were making cuts across the board and would be disclosing details within the week.
When, he first heard the news, and shared it with me, questions began to swirl in my head. Would he have a job? Would our son have a job? What would happen to us, our home, our life, the church we pastor???? My mind was racing as I was trying to collect information to stop my mind from racing and things from spinning out of control.
I asked if he was concerned and what he thought. I asked all the above questions and more. Poor guy. He didn’t really have anything to go on other than 11-12% cuts across the board, internationally. He said, he wasn’t too concerned about his job or his position, and he felt our son’s job would be fine too.
However, the next day as his company began to announce their plans for the first wave of cuts, he received an email, about a mandatory site meeting. They had already begun to make announcements and closures. The ripple effects where beginning to spread throughout the company about what they were doing. My husband walked out of his office and informed me, he had a mandatory meeting in two days and shared what had already been taking place in other areas of the company.
His words to me, were, “Well, maybe God is telling us it’s time for a change?”
Change! NO!!! Not again, change is a 4 letter word in my opinion, I just technically happens to have 6 letters! I have not always been a fan of change. However, the last several years we have been walking through huge amounts of it and God has been working on my faith and trust in Him. (you can read all about our season of change, by clicking on the picture below).
Before, when I would hear the word “Change,” fear of the unknown would creep in and I would go into planning, survival, and strategizing mode. This time however, I had a peace…..Weird …. total role reversal from last time.
We have been here before. Yep, just three short years ago, when we had just accepted an appointment and committed to step into the senior pastor position of the church we were attending. My husband and I stood on the platform hand in hand as the current pastor announced to the congregation that it was official. Our district supervisor had called and given us the green light to officially step in and lead the church. My husband’s words, “We are ALL in here.” Sounded so great in the moment, but five days later, they weren’t so great. I will spare you all the details, but let’s just say, I was stressed, panicked, and well, it was not one of my finer moments. It was six weeks of hell. Six weeks of not knowing. Six weeks of not being in control. Six weeks of figuring out how we were going to live and pay bills without a job.
Three years ago, when this similar situation came up, we watch God do what seemed impossible. However, as I said before, I didn’t handle it very well. I wasn’t filled with the faith to believe God would take care of us. I didn’t trust Him to make a way where there didn’t seem to be a way. The church by no means was in a place financially to support us and we needed financial income.
I worried, had sleepless nights, and I panicked. I tried to plan, to push, to control the situation, and solve the problem by figuring out my own solution. It was not a good season. I can say that it’s not something I wish to ever experience again anytime soon.
I am for the most part a positive person. I see the glass half full. I always look for the best in a bad situation and I look for the gold in the not so nice person. I usually am the one lending out my faith to those around me in need of some for the impossible situations they are faced with. It’s just who I am, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have my moments of weakness or low points in my faith.
The day we discovered my husband’s job of 19 years was indeed going to be affected by the company’s announcements to cut its workforce and become more liquid, I said to my husband, “Well, when life throws you a curve ball, you go kayaking.” He looked at me for a minute and started to tell me that I again got another idiom wrong. However, I said, no, I know you think I got it wrong again, but – let’s go out and enjoy the beautiful sunshine and wonderfully calm lake today. Let’s enjoy the beauty God has abundantly blessed us with, take a deep breath, and take the kayaks outs. So we did.
It didn’t solve any problems or make them go away. We had no solutions or plan of action to take, but I did have a peace. Two days later, when he had more information, we had no more answers. The information he was given wasn’t really here are your options, but more of what they intended to do. It was a, “we will be in touch with the month and let you know.” So we waited and each week I saw my husband’s morale go down… down … down. He watched people he worked with get let go and leave. People would ask, “What are you going to do?” “Are you going to leave the church and move with the job tout of state?” “Will you even have a job in with the company out of state?” The list of questions others and even the ones we had grew.
Today, right now as I write this post, he is again sitting in a meeting where we will prayerfully get the answers we need so we can begin to move forward informed as we continue to seek God about His will for our lives through all of this. We still need an income, the church has experienced much growth and new life over the past two years, but is still not in a position to support us, thus we are bi-vocational. Meaning we work and pastor the church.
When I was speaking at an event recently I shared about our current situation, as an example of going deeper, trusting God, and standing in faith. An example, of not taking matters in to our own hands and thoughts, but RESTING in the shelter of the one who has the whole world in His hands.
Out of my mouth came these words….
When life gives you lemons, you plant a tree so you will never run out of lemonade.
When life throws you a curve ball, you swing for the fence.
You see, when life throws you a curve ball, you get to decide what to do with it. You get to decide to watch it pass you by and leave the call to someone else. You can decide to step out of the box, or swing for the fence. I have always been one to swing for the fence. I love playing softball, and have done so since I was young. When I was up to bat, I hated taking a walk even if I deserved to. I would hit whatever ball came my way and take it for a ride.
We are at a place that we know we are not to leave our positions at the church, but we still need income to support our family and pay our bills. So things are going to change. There is no way around that.
Last year, our verse and word for our church was Going Deeper from Jeremiah 17:7-8
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
This season, right now is so much different than three years ago when this happened. Three years ago, I was fearful, and I had no peace. Now, I feel like I am this tree Jeremiah talks about. I have confidence in MY God that HE is going to do something great, just like He has before. I have peace, I am sleeping at night and am trusting Him. I have changed and grown deeper in Him.
Even when the thought of taking a riskier path than what feels comfortable, and what we may want is on the table, I have peace and full confidence that God is my provider.
I will keep you posted, so Stay Tuned and thank you for your prayers in this season.
My Post: “What’s in a Name?” was featured here:
My Post: “Will You Sit with Me?” was featured here:
My Post: “The Journey through Change” was featured here:
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((Debbie)) I’m sorry your family is going through this season of change. We were there recently ourselves. My husband was laid off too, and, for now it seems, the Lord has called us into a season of self-employment. It’s a little unsettling when you’re used to the regularity of finances, but…God. So, here we are, and here He is in it with us. My prayers for your provision for your household, and for your husband and son to find new work quickly. ((hug))
Brenda – Thank you so much, You are so right …. but God. I have such a peace about what will come and whatever the change may be….and the riskier path may indeed be self-employment. We are continuing to seek God and trusting in Him. Your prayers and testimony of where you are and have been helps. My sons job is secure, he already lives and works in the other state where the job would be, so that is a huge answer to prayer already. 🙂
Thanks, Debbie! You are always timely. I like the idea of planting a lemon tree… Love your sense of humor always!
thank you Laura, sometimes a sense of humor can make a real tough situation a lot easier. I like the idea of planting trees too, even though I am not so good at watering – I love to plant… Have an awesome day.
Debbie — sounds like “Third time’s a charm!” You have a beautiful perspective here… and i love … LOVE … that y’all took advantage of a beautiful day to be together and celebrate good things.
Diane — yes, I think it is often to easy to overlook the good and focus on the bad…. so we have been enjoying and celebrating God’s goodness in the wait. Thanks for stopping by today!
I am praying for you. God has you in His hands. I know that sounds like a platitude, but is something that I have to remind myself everytime I face a hard time. Thanks for your encouraging words of faith.
Thank you Mary ! I appreciate the prayers and I appreciate the encouragement to remember that God does indeed have this. I really do have a peace, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a few panic moments from time to time. Again thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement – I am resting in the hands of God today!
We have some kayaks – we’ll come join you! Thanks for linking up with us #FridayFrivolity this week!
Come on over Lisa – I’m always up for a kayak adventure. 🙂
Debbie, so many times we give up and give in, defeated before He even has a chance to show us the victory we’ve always been promised because of his Son. I’m STILL learning this, lol. So grateful that you wrote about it today, what an encouragement. Glad we’re neighbours at #TeaAndWord!
Christine – you are so right, there are been many times when I have given up and given in – only to regret it later and realize that I shouldn’t have quit…. so glad we are neighbors today, thank you for stopping by today.
Thanks so much for sharing and encouraging us to trust God. I love it that you are as passionate as me about hearing God’s voice and telling others that they too can hear Him. I wrote a short eBook about it that you might like. It’s very practical. I haven’t found a good way of giveaway my stuff yet so it’s a bit clunky on the website but it’s here if you want it. Thanks again.
Niki – Yes, I am extremely passionate about hearing God’s voice 🙂 It is so encouraging to find someone else that is too. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post.
Prayers for you and your family, Debbie! I am so glad God is giving you peace through this season and that your faith is shining so bright! Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂
Thank you Kelly – all the prayers are very much welcome, needed and appreciated.
Wonderful post, Debbie! God really does give peace in otherwise scary situations when we put our trust in Him and not try to control it ourselves. It’s a peace that can only come through Him. So glad you are in His hands. I pray that you will have some answers soon and that God will give wisdom! Thanks for sharing at #LMMLinkup!
Gayl, I pray we get a direction and answers soon too. Yep, I completely agree – trusting God is the only way to go … I learned long ago I can’t control things and its just better if I noteven try. Thank you for stopping in to share some encouragement with me today.
Debbie, thanks for linking up at #TeaAndWord this week! This post resonates with me on so many levels!!!
Meghan – thank you so much for stopping by today. I am glad that you enjoyed the post.
Sounds like you have learned some beautiful truths from past experiences you are being able to apply this time around. Good work and thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup.
Leslie – thank you and oh yes, I definitely have experienced God’s faithfulness in the past and am standing on that right now. He has come through before, He will do it again. Thank you for stopping by
I am so with you. Change is a four letter word to me too! LOL It seems as if I get used to one change, set up a working schedule, get comfortable with it and then come the lemons! I too am, or have been, a worrier, anxiety comes into play and I can’t stop it. I have noticed though that I am learning to pray more and trust more, and it’s been easier. Not that I like change, I just realized that the worry isn’t doing me any good. Just making my AI Disease rear it’s head and that compounds the issue.
I am so sorry that you are in this period of indecision. That’s the hardest thing. If you know what has to be done, you can do it, not knowing is so hard. Sending prayers and thoughts your way, and hugs. Keep breathing through it and keep us posted! xx
Nikki – Thank you for sending your prayers and thoughts my way. I am glad that I am not the only one that sees change as a 4 letter word LOL …Learning to pray and trust more are both good things. I will definitely keep you posted. So far, no decisions have been made! But, I am breathing, trusting and staying calm — well mostly calm 🙂