Monday, November 5, 2012

So I try to find a devo for women over 50, well over 50 actually.  In a few years it will be, "over 60."  I am thinking today about yesterday.  My husband and I find ourselves like so many others, dealing with long-term unemployment.  He recently got a good job, we thought, turns out after 3 months on the job, they have no work for next year and he is working 4-day work weeks now.  Hopefully they will get work and all will be well.

It has been a long path, over 5 years without work.  He would take whatever he could get being a man in his 50's.  So he did work a little, but nothing permanent until now.  During that whole time, we met, fell in love and married.  And the thing that can bring me to tears in a heartbeat is when I think of the faithfulness of the Lord.  We never lost our little apartment, went without food or medical care, because of the goodness of God's provision, and His people.  The upside was that my new husband and I were together 24/7 for the past 5 years and that was a blessing.  We very rarely had any money to do anything, but we are so in love, it was okay.  We made our own special times, preparing a special dinner together, going on picnics, watching something special on TV.  We took advantage of the things that are free in our community.  The First Friday art night was one of our favorites and was like a date.  And for a brief season, a local coffee house, The Dancing Otter, became a haven for us, serving up coffee, free music and poetry.  We got to know people there that we would not have met otherwise and we are still friends today.

My husband would walk over to the market and shop the bargain meat bin.  He almost always came home with a fantastic deal on stuff we could never afford otherwise.  We got food stamps and they were truly lifesavers and we are forever grateful. 

As time wore on and our church family became more and more aware of our dire straights, despite our best efforts, they helped us too.  We took a box of dry goods occasionally at church, we have received anonymous notes saying our rent was paid, anonymous envelopes in the offering, gifts from friends.  I could go on and on, each time, our hearts were absolutely broken at the generosity and love we were shown. 

I mean, to say it out loud, unemployed for over 5 years, it sounds impossible that we are still standing.  Only our God could sustain us.  We had plenty of down times, almost more than we could bear at times.  But that is when something would happen to let us know God had not forgotten us and was aware.

The key thing for us, after our own personal walk with the Lord, was staying as active as possible in our church.  We were there almost every time the doors were open, and we contributed what we could to meals and such for some of the classes.  It is like a sampling of heaven to be with our church family.  It gave us strength to keep on keeping on.

I know of nothing like prolonged poverty to humble you, make you grateful for every single thing, to help you lose all pretenses and show you just how good, loving and big, God is.  How personally He loves us and will care for us.

Now that my husband is working, we are relieved of course, but also know that we need to acknowledge it for what it is.  For now, it is a huge blessing and we pray it continues, but if not, we will look to God for our provision yet again.  I mean, we look to Him now, the job is from Him, but you know what I mean. 

If I told every story of the past 5 years, from how my husband and I met, all the little things He did to provide for us, it would be a book.  Suffice to say, God loves us, promised to provide, He kept His word, He always does....what love.