Trial by Faith

This last week was trying one…one that tried my faith. I’d like to report back to you that I was strong and never wavered in my faith…but I’m addicted to the truth. So with that being said…I’ll give you the straight scoop.

Last week…lived up to the analogy of being a roller coaster. Up one day and down the next…or sometimes within a matter of minutes. My current employer is being bought out by another company…and my current job is going away. Not a bad thing all in all…but some stressful times have ensued as a result.

I was most fortunate to have interviewed for a new position. I’d say the two interviews went well. But now…I’m in a holding pattern…and awaiting news. So far things look promising…but I’ve not yet been given that final nod of approval. I’m waiting…as a deadline fast approaches.

The up times on the roller coaster…when my faith has been strong…I’ve written pieces about faith and trusting God and knowing that he can and will bring me through this. In my downtimes…I’m stressing and focusing on myself…and asking why is this taking so long.

In my up times…I’m encouraging others who are also waiting. In my downtimes…the tears flow and all I feel is stress and anxiety.

Thursday…was an up day…and Friday morning before work…I even wrote an article on faith. I approached the day in faith…eagerly awaiting an expected phone call. It didn’t take long for my faith…to crash and burn…with the rubble and fumes of disappointment filling my day.

Being on the receiving end of no news…or unfulfilled assurances…makes it seem like I’m being put through hell. It doesn’t make any sense from my perspective.

But I fully acknowledge that I don’t know the reason for the delay. What seems like someone being insensitive and uncaring to me…might not be that at all. It may be they are in the process of arranging for me to have a job. They may be overwhelmed with work related to the buyout. They may have a personal crisis in their life…keeping them from finishing this up. Or they could be on vacation. I don’t know…but do know…it feels like hell.

Poor Dean was rewarded with a torrent of tears…when he inquired how I was doing. I kind of felt bad for him…and having to deal with me…but he just offered words of encouragement in soothing tones.

When Jim called on Friday night to see if there were any developments…it followed a day in which I dwelt on why I haven’t yet been called…and questioned when would my phone ring. I lost it during that call. In between the tears all I could say was that I felt like I had lost my hope. Jim tried to encourage me and remind me that I am a person of great faith…and the back bone of the department. I responded, “not anymore…some body else will have to have faith for now”.

Peter C…was pretty faithful in keeping tabs on me this last week…and called to encourage me. He didn’t have the dead man walking fear of reaching out. Not too many others in our department did…except those still awaiting word.

Julie…gave me a lovely card to encourage and build up my faith and spirit. Some folks in other departments asked if there was any news yet…to which I responded, “Not yet”.

As circumstances would have it…my boss was out of town for the last couple of days. In some respects that may have been a good thing…in that I was able to be distracted from my worries with work…packing up boxes and throwing away the accumulation of stuff from over the years. In other respects…his absence made the silence…all the more deafening.

One thing that the delayed phone call and my boss’s absence did was to make me turn to God. All week long…I felt as though God impressed upon me the words of Psalm 23. When my pain was too much to bear and my prayers were incoherent I would focus on the words of Psalm 23. Or I repeated other phrases to help me focus on God and remain hopeful and positive. Phrases like, “there is no panic in heaven…only plans”, or “if God brings you to it…he will bring you through it”. Sounds kind of corny doesn’t it? But when my faith is weak…I’m doing everything I can to cling to Jesus.

Dear Ruth and the Kindred Prayer Team…continued to faithfully offer prayers on my behalf. I know that because today at church a number of prayer warriors…inquired about my job situation. Ruth always…has a word of encouragement and scripture to help build up one’s faith and help you keep your focus on God. I am most grateful and humbled at their care and faithfulness.

My sister Denise…offered words of encouragement in sharing a story from her past about waiting on God’s timing. When what seemed like unanswered prayer was instead God working out the details to answer her prayer.

Following my crash and burn week…in the faith department…I’ve spent this weekend…regenerating and focusing on God. Wishing that I could have the counsel of my former dear Pastor, Chuck Obremski…I did next best thing…and was to listen to his CD’s…to help me get my faith and trust in God back on track.

Two CD’s I felt that God was directing me to listen to were on forgiveness (A Genuine Servant Forgives and A Genuine Servant Forgives & Forgets).

While the people who have delayed contacting me may not have any ill intent…it hurt none the less. And hurts require forgiveness. In listening to these CD’s I was reminded that “Forgiveness is the oil of relationships…it reduces friction.” That I shouldn’t assess motives to someone. God’s forgiveness to me…helps make my forgiveness to others possible. Remaining in un-forgiveness is like being turned over to the torturers. Instead…I am to keep short accounts…and forgive.

So it is with a humble heart…I go to Jesus and seek his help as I forgive offenses.

It is to Jesus I turn…as I have an extra long thee day weekend…and have to continue waiting for news on my job. It is to God that I turn…knowing that he is able to do abundantly more than all I ask or imagine. It is in God that I have confidence…knowing that he is able to bring about that which seems impossible. That God who works in the heart of kings (and bosses and future employers) will bring about that which he has planned for my life.

So is my faith and trust in God unshakable? Not even going to go down that road. I am a frail human being…but I know whom I will turn to if I stumble or fall. I will turn to Jesus. He is my Good Shepherd and like the shepherd carries the lamb upon his shoulders…Jesus will carry me when I am weak.

It is to Jesus that I will give my praise as he works out the plans of my life…and helps me each step of the way.

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