I electrified my stomach today, again and again and again and again. It bubbled and it churned and it boiled and it popped. And it rolled around and around and around and around like a churning sea with nowhere to go. “Oh please, let me find a job today!”
My sight grew sharp and my lids grew angry. They were looking for a place where I could not go. I walked around and around and up and down. And then I ate my fill again and again and again. “Please let that telephone ring! I’m running out of money and I don’t know how I’m going to feed my family.”
The decision that needed to be made floated just outside of my reach. All I could do was wait for a decision that was no longer mine to make. It taunted me like an angry and spoiled child. “Maybe if I stare at that phone long enough, it will ring.”
I longed to control the situation that could not be controlled. My mouth stood ready to share this torture with any poor soul that would care to hear – or would not care to hear.
My friend listened to me as I ate the lunch that she had bought for me. “They must really hate me. They laid me off. Maybe I can’t do the job. Maybe they laid me off because I stink at what I do. Maybe I should just give up.”
My friend quietly listened to me without interrupting. Then she responded. “I’ve been where you are. You’re doing fine even though it doesn’t feel like it. Everything that needs to be done you’ve already done, and you’ve done it well. Just keep doing it. There’s a perfect job out there waiting for you.”
I smiled as best as I could and said thanks as she left.
After she left, my thoughts went right back into full speed ahead. My self doubt kicked right back in. I cant do this. My stomach tightened into a giant ball of knots. Maybe I should just flip some burgers and arp trying. My palms began to sweet and my breath grew short. I just knew that I was going to die!
Then suddenly a voice spoke out. “Anxiousness is a horrible beast that churns the seas of all it touches.” Then the lights grew dim and a hand reached out sent me to another place. “These are the halls of life.”
As far as the eye could see, this hall was filled with tapestries. But, there, in front of me, hung my life’s tapestry. I leaned in close to see it all. Each piece of yarn when on its own held one event that formed my world. Each piece of yarn that touched another made perfect sense when seen together. If the event was fabulous it always “made perfect sense to me” and “I deserved it.” Yet, when I first experienced the bad events I said things like “this makes no sense” or “life wasn’t fair” or ” no one deserves to be treated like this” or “how could I have been so stupid” or a thousand other things that spoke out about how “idiotic” the event was.
I stared harder at my life’s tapestry. All my my events, whether good or bad, weaved together to form a magnificent work of art. I spoke out to no one, “There’s no way I could have planned things out this well.”
The voice spoke in response. “I created the perfect plan for you that allowed you to choose the perfect path for your life. The good and the bad have worked together to make a great life for you. I promised that to you when you chose to follow me.”
Romans 8:28 tells us that “All things work together for good for those who love God.”
I was perplexed, “How can I have hope in you? This is too hard. I can’t feed my family. I cant even feed myself? How am I supposed to have hope?”
The voice answered, “Make a decision to find and grow your hope. Take baby steps and learn to trust in the small things that I give to you each day. When your trust grows so will your hope. Just pray for hope each day and watch for me to answer. Don’t forget that you’ll be able to show others how to get out of the bad events because you’ve been there!”
I once again found myself in my kitchen. I was still out of work. I was still having trouble. Then I prayed for hope.
My answer was a knock at the door. My friend who had bought me lunch stood there with an armload of groceries. “This should help you and your family out. More will be coming from some other friends too. Also, here’s the address for a group of people that helps those who’ve lost their jobs. They’ll help you with your resumes and your cover letters. They’ll help you with interviewing. And, they’ll help with a bunch of other things. They’re a great group of people.”
Tears welled in my eyes. “I don’t know what to say. Thanks for showing me the way. Thanks for the hope and encouragement.”
She quietly spoke. “Christopher Reeve said it best. ‘When you choose hope, nothing’s impossible.'”
“Turning today’s pain into confident expectations for a great tomorrow”