Coming up for air

Wow!  I am finally almost maybe getting caught up with the avalanche of orders we have received in the last ten days.  Thank you to everyone who has been so patient.  I hate it, personally, when I order something, and it takes forever to ship.  I hate even more to be the cause of a delay for other people.  So, I’ve seen a lot of the wee hours of the night and into the next day in the last week.

Did I mention that my husband got a job?  Did I mention that he was unemployed?  No, I don’t think I did.  It was a private, complicated time that we kept to ourselves quite a bit.  He was laid off in June.  We knew it was coming.  The beleagured school system for which he ran an after school program is on the verge of imploding.  There was no money or desire to renew his grant.  Two years of hard work and changing the lives of countless families…no longer valuable in the sight of the powers that be.  Just when they were getting going, it all came to an end.  Even though we knew that day would come for months and months, he just could not find a new job.  We watched June approach in slow circles and then an increasingly frantic spiral of speed.  What is it that they say?  It’s a Recession when your neighbor loses his job…it’s a Depression when you lose yours?  The Recession has hit non-profit with a bomb.  People like my husband, who has worked his entire adult life in social services, have watched their funding dissolve and their job opportunities go up in smoke.  It was incredibly difficult to find a new job.  It was most difficult to fight the temptation to collapse into fear.  That darkness of faithless fear was like a specter in every corner of every day.

As an Orthodox Christian, I don’t believe in a prosperity God.  The granter of every wish and desire.  I think it’s fair to say that I probably won’t ever be rich.  Not with social work as our bread and butter!  We definitely could have lost everything we had in this unemployment.  We could have been hungry.  We could have been desperate.  Those things happen.  God didn’t promise me riches.  He promised me something much more valuable …Himself.  When those shadows came every day…God was there.  When the fear pressed in on every side…God was there.  He is the Light.  In Him there is no shadow.  That was all we needed.  We were on the edge of financial ruin, but we were beyond rich.

I’m so grateful to God for the opportunities we’ve been given.  Most of all, I’m grateful for the lesson of unemployment.  It will take a long time to get back to the place we were pre-unemployment.  Our lives have been changed for years to come.  We never went hungry, though.  We always had somewhere to live.  We had an easy time of job loss compared to what many are still going through.  I have no complaints.

I don’t want to focus on the happiness I feel that my husband will actually get a paycheck next week.  Instead, I celebrate the joy that through our suffering, we learned even more not to rely on ourselves.  There is a God in Whom we trust.  For everything we have in every day.  And more than any physical need or comfort.  For the Hope of the life to come.

Glory to God!

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