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Even In The Valley

March 23, 2019

The past five months have been some of the hardest I have endured in almost a decade. All I keep telling myself is God’s promises are still true and He is still with me, even in the valley. I have no idea what God is preparing me for, but I know He thinks this is necessary for me.

I won’t try to bore you too much with details, but in October I was contacted by a company that seemed interested in hiring me. I toured the factory, talked numbers with their manager of production and anticipated I was going to finalize the verbal offer in a matter of weeks. Being loyal to where I had worked for the past seven years, I let my employer know of the potential offer from the other company. My hope was they might offer me more to stay. Less than two weeks later I not only wasn’t offered a raise, I was shown the door. To make matters worse, the man who interviewed me at the other company and seemed excited for me to start when we had met was now not answering my messages. In fact, he still won’t answer my calls or texts.

A month into my unemployment I was hit with a bigger gut punch than any of that. My church, where I have attended an hour away for seven years and served for four made a couple decisions that impacted me greatly. We’ve had a group here in our town trying to get our own campus for over two years. More and more people would come to our “watch parties” and lives were being changed. Then, all of the sudden, the church decided they would no longer be involved with us here in Hickory, NC. The day I learned this I then drove an hour for a leadership meeting at the campus I’d been serving on Monday nights. At that meeting, two hours after learning my church wouldn’t be in my town, I learned we would no longer have Monday night worship experiences. I was truly devastated that day, but I still knew it must mean God is up to something.

After fourteen weeks of being unemployed I finally found a job as an associate at WalMart. I have been pleasantly surprised how well they treat their employees. This may not be my dream job but I am believing it’s part of the preparation for whatever God wants me to do. If I get to be a boss again I will be a better one because of this job. God is cultivating me like a seed buried deep. Believe me, I felt buried. Going 3 1/2 months between paychecks was never a thought that crossed my head, but that was all part of the process.

As for church, I still love where I’ve been the last seven years. However, there is a great group of people known as Authentic Church. It’s mostly a large core of the people that were hosting, serving and attending the watch parties. God’s providential hand was all over finding Pastor Bobby Chandler for us and lives are being transformed week after week. Is it a perfect church? Of course not! If it were perfect I would never be allowed in the door.

I tell you all this to let you know that through it all God has been with me. Have I had doubts? Absolutely, but no doubts of His presence. I’ve questioned what He’s trying to do in and through me and I am still not sure just what that is yet. However, I know I have grown in humility and empathy. I had the blessing of being there for my mother for a few months when she really seemed to need it. I have new co-workers that I can try and live out and show the love of Christ to and I survived!

I’ve got friends going through much worse than what I have been. I don’t want to throw myself a pity party. The thing is though, in this filtered world we live in where we only post our proud moments I want you to know it’s okay to not be fine. If things were always great in my own power, my own strength, why would I need God? 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Through Christ when I am weak, then I am strong!

 

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