Last March all seemed to be going well. Our finances were in good shape. Our jobs were secure. The family was all healthy and well. Life was good. Until the day I received a call from the CFO of the company I worked for and heard the words no one wants to hear.
"Your position has been eliminated."
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with that information. Cry, get pissed off or jump for joy. For a few years prior to that, I had a dream of building my side hustle into a full time gig. But at that point, I was in not making enough with that business to transition to it full time.
So in 30 days I would be without a job. So I did the only thing I knew to do. Start praying. And praying like crazy! Not so coincidentally, I was in the midst of leading a prayer group called #thefives, where groups of men and women around the world met on the GroupMe app every morning at 5 am, 5 days a week for 5 weeks. I shared with my group about losing my job. And we prayed! I started praying like never before. Like on my knees praying at 5 am. Every morning for an hour.
That was one of the most humbling and the most spiritually awakening times I can remember. I began hearing God’s voice tell me to start my own business. What?! I'm about to lose my job and you want me to start a business? What?! I didn’t even know where to begin. But I had a peace in my heart that God would lead me. I just knew and trusted that He would provide all that I would need. I shared this business idea with my husband and with close friends. Everyone was so incredibly supportive. It was just the affirmation I needed. And so it began. Simply Living was born.
About a month after my job had ended, my husband found out he would be going to Denver to work with a huge crew of guys to build the Gaylord Hotel of the Rockies. It was a massive project. What we thought would be 6 weeks, then 2 months and then 4 months. I had lost my job and had lost my husband. My world had been turned upside down and I literally had no control. The first month wasn’t too bad. I kept busy with a lot of projects at home and building my new business.
I felt abandoned. The two things that meant so much to me that felt a part of my identity were stripped away. It felt like my heart had been beaten on and I was left to lay bare and alone.
It wasn’t until a few months later when going through a bible study that I began to connect the dots of what God was doing in me through all of this. He was pruning me. Much like the verse John 15:2 is about - pruning every branch that does not produce fruit or much fruit.
My job was not producing much fruit at all. I had been feeling overpaid and underworked for a long time. I knew the company was going south and it was a matter of time before our jobs would move to the Texas corporate office. Several positions had already been moved to Texas and several other positions were eliminated completely over the past year, but I was sure not prepared to be on the next list to go. I was the assistant to an Executive Vice President for goodness sakes. They needed me! It was like a dagger to the heart that I was no longer needed. I just knew God had to have something better.
My marriage was wonderful, but God wanted more for my marriage too. He wanted more out of me for my marriage. Through my husband's time away in Denver, a deep longing and love grew in my heart for him that I had never felt before. When he finally came home for good in October, I could barely leave his side. I clung to his arm every where we went. I was so grateful and thankful for this man God had given me and treasured every day as a gift with him.
God will use any and every situation in your life where you might feel helpless and hopeless. You may think that life is unfair and unjust. You may blame someone else for what happened. Maybe you are mad at God for letting it happen. But God!! God has a plan to use every situation for YOUR GOOD!
God prunes away the old, useless, non-producing parts so that He can grow new life in you that produces good fruit. God stripped away that job that was going nowhere so that He could create a new way for me to reach people in my community with His light shining in and through me.
God prunes the good branches that are bearing fruit so that they can produce even more fruit. He allowed my husband to be away from home for a little while which gave us the extra income we needed while I wasn't working. He blessed my husband with a free place to stay and time to reconnect with his brother. It afforded us the opportunity to hike and camp in the mountains and spend a wonderful vacation in Denver. More than anything, it created a longing in my heart for my husband in a way I had never felt before and our marriage has grown even deeper.
Listen ya’ll. Bad stuff happens in this world because we live in a broken and fallen world. And without God, you will feel lost and weary. But I’m here to tell you that He has a plan for you and He WILL accomplish it through any means He sees fit for you. It may hurt. It may hurt for some time. You may be down on your knees right now begging for mercy.
He IS listening, friend. He hears you. He knows your every need. And He will be faithful to complete it. Wait. Trust. Hope. And know that He IS God! Whatever you may be going through today, He has a plan. I'm praying for you that you will draw closer to Him and let Him speak to your heart with that still small voice. He's waiting for you.
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