First off, I need to apologize for my lack of posts lately. I have felt a little down over the past week. Last Sunday (a week ago) my husband filed for his last unemployment check…and not because he has a job. He was one of the thousands of guys in our area who has been laid off from the oil field, and with thousands of guys out looking for jobs that even slightly compare to their oil field pay, you can bet that the situation looks more grim than an episode of The Walking Dead.
With the oil field showing no promise of re-hiring employees anytime soon and with pay comparable jobs being fought after tooth-and-nail, that little unemployment check was giving us a small sense of security. Unfortunately, you are only able to file for 6 months of unemployment during a 12 month period, so while Wess was looking for a decent job, that check was helping to supplement my teacher’s salary. You see, with the last oil field lay-off we went through we made it a priority to find a place to live that we could afford on must my salary should another lay-off occur. We were able to find that in our little townhouse. We are able to pay all of our bills with just my salary…barely. Everything else, like groceries, doctor visits, miscellaneous school fees, etc. were all coming from Wess’ unemployment check. These things combined are squeaking us through this tough time.
But then, he reached it…6 months of unemployment (4 months this stint), and now that extra check is gone.
Last Sunday I was an emotional wreck. A large part of it had something to do with Wess’ last time to file (and a small part had something to do with Aunt Flo coming for a visit…ugh…really bad timing). I have been so hopeful that we would never need the full 6 months of unemployment- that God would just provide a job well before the last filing of the unemployment check ever happened. And then I started to think those dangerous thoughts, you know, like “maybe God is ignoring my prayers.” “Maybe this whole time I have just been telling myself that God would provide only to see that he could care less.”
Those are the kinds of thoughts I took into my Monday at work. My little security blanket of a promised check was now gone and NOW was the real test of my faith. I let all of these little thoughts seize my brain all day. I left work exhausted an on the brink of tears. Would my faith be enough?
Monday afternoon I started to tear up on the drive home. Then the kids would say something and I would snap back to reality for a few minutes, but then the thoughts would return. I walked in to my husband, shut the door and told him “I’m about to ugly cry. It has nothing to do with you. If I do not do this, I might break.” I crashed on the bed next to him and just started to bawl. He pulled me close and let me put my tear-stained face on one of his favorite snap button shirts and just cry. Runny mascara cry. I told Wess I just wanted to order a pizza and stuff my problems away, but he loved me enough to take that security blanket away too. He reminded me that the pizza would not take care of our problems, and it would only make me feel worse. He’s smart.
After about 30 minutes of bawling, Wess told me to go sit in a hot bath while he took care of dinner and the kids. Bless him. During this time, I prayed. I asked God to show me that he cared in little ways throughout the week.
My God answers prayers.
The very next day one of my best friends snuck $100 into my purse with a little note attached saying “This is a gift from God. He’s got this.” *tears*
That night, I had a fellow dance mom ask me about Advocare out of no where. I was able to share some Spark with her by selling a box I already had on hand to make a little extra $. *smiley face*
The next day, I received 2 unexpected checks from AT&T that equaled about $24- literally OUT. OF. NO. WHERE. Since when does AT&T give ME money back?! NEVER!
Thursday I weighed in for our school biggest loser contest. I honestly thought about not weighing in because I thought surely with Aunt Flo in town and the cupcake that I ate for one of my student’s birthdays that I would be in trouble. I hadn’t even weighed at my house…literally aboiding the scale! I bit the bullet and chose to face the scale, and to my surprise, I was down 2 pounds!!!! That was almost better than money!! If that feeling could buy groceries, we’d be set for the month!
Then on Friday, my mom texted me as I was getting ready for work and asked me to stop by her place before I left. She lives literally about 200 steps from my house, so I finished getting ready and headed that way. She was getting ready to go out of town, but wanted to give me a little blessing before she left. She had some money in an envelope with a smiley face on it. Just because.
None of these people knew my inner struggle that week.
None of these people knew the desperate prayer I prayed to God while sitting in a bubble bath.
But God listened. He proved himself in several little ways throughout the week, just as I had prayed.
I’m not saying that God is a genie in a bottle and will just give you things that you want if you just pray. He is not and will never be that. I AM saying that God blesses those who choose to put their faith in Him. I could have easily made the decision to give up in that bath tub. I mean, God hadn’t answered my prayer for a job for Wess in the 4 months that he had been laid off, so what if he was just done? I could have been done too, but I wasn’t. I chose to continue to seek Him as provider for our needs. I choose to continue to pay tithes and give to missions and our church building program. I choose to continue serving Him through different ministries in our church, and by putting Him first in our home and marriage.
I don’t know what little blessings or surprises God has in store for us this week. It may be a wonderful job for Wess, or it may be nothing at all…another week of silence. While I don’t know what God has in store, I do know that God will provide.
I know that didn’t have much to do with my weight loss journey this week (even though I did lose weight…yay!), but I know that someone who is reading this needed to hear this message. You may be in a place in your life where you feel like your little security blanket has been ripped away, but if so, make the choice to choose God anyway. One of my favorite lines of a worship song is from Bryan and Katie Torwalt’s song I Breathe You In, God, and it says: “When I don’t understand, I will choose You.” He might yank away a security blanket you have been holding on to just to see if you will continue to serve Him. Let me tell you…it is worth it. Just hold on to His promises. He’s got you. Choose Him.
Your Friend in the Fight Against Fat,