photo by Katie Dureault
Have you ever struggled with doubt? If you’re human, you have. Well, I have really been struggling with it all week. Actually I think it’s been building up to a head that finally let loose.
After twelve years with the same company my husband unexpectedly lost his job in May of this year. We were on vacation when a co-worker of his called to say the company had just shut its doors, a victim of the failing times and management ineptness. To say we were in a state of shock would be putting it mildly.
If it had to happen it actually came at the right moment. We had managed, through years of diligence and joint focus, to have eliminated all our debt - save for mortgages - just that month. We were putting away a little, not a lot, but a little into savings each week while growing a decent 401k through matching contributions at my husband’s work. We also had managed to acquire three houses and were renting two of them. All this on one income.
My husband and I started late in life, marrying when I was 30 and he was 42. We’ve been married for 18 years. If you do the math you’ll recognize that my husband is quickly nearing retirement age. In fact, if he had his druthers he’d have retired already.
Fortunately, the transportation industry doesn’t turn down applicants for driver positions since there’s such a huge shortage of them and massive turnover problems. My husband found a job right away, but his pay has taken a hit. He’s not making as much and the benefits are W-A-Y more expensive than what we were paying before.
The hours are also much, much longer and harder. When he finally stumbles in on the weekend, he is absolutely fried. And I can’t even call it a weekend. Often he comes in Saturday morning and leaves out Sunday afternoon. He has enough time to have Bible study with a friend, go to church with his family and maybe complete one small task and that’s it. The rest of the time he’s trying to rest his aching body in the easy chair in our living room. When he can keep his eyes open.
A friend in the industry asked us recently how hard the transition has been with Bill losing his job and having to start all over again. Well:
Bill wants to do more, to contribute more to his family, his church and his community, but he can’t. Which often leads to frustration and anger as he watches time and dreams pass by. photo by frostnova
His Christian witness comes under attack because he is constantly battling frustration and anger. Which just further fuels the frustration and anger.
I wonder if it’s time for me to go back to work. I was an ER nurse, but it’s been 14 years since I last worked as one. Still, I could follow the world’s mandate and maybe work at least part-time in a nursing home or something.
We’ve always been frugal, but our frugality has hit a new high. My daughter recently asked me if we were poor. I chuckled a little, then explained that, yes, we are probably on the low end of middle class, but very few people in our station are debt-free and have three houses. Still, it’s hard to constantly be struggling.
The expectations I have for my blog aren’t quite coming to fruition. That’s led me to begin calculating whether the return on the investment has been worth it. And I feel guilty for thinking that way, because it’s a ministry.
It’s been a week where little things have tilted the scale. One morning I woke up, completely and utterly angry and fighting mad, and that’s when it dawned on me.
We are under satanic attack.
Bill has been reaching people around him for years with the gospel, but he has been refocusing over the last few months to bring men into a stronger knowledge of the Lord so they can lead their families. I, of course, have been focused passionately on reaching parents to be missionaries in their own home, witnessing the gospel to their children.
It was bad enough that we were reaching our own children, even our grandchildren. But now other families as well? Don’t you know that Satan is having a fit and trying everything he can to thwart our attempts. He’s the master of deception and doubt. He’s been working overtime on me.
Help us fight the Evil One. You can help us by doing the following:
Pray for us. We need God’s strength, wisdom and discernment to get through this difficult time in our lives.
Pray for yourselves. Take what Bill and I are learning and sharing and ask the Lord to help you apply it to your own family’s life. Help us fight Satan by allowing the Word of God to impact your life so that a legacy for Christ will be established in your home.
Pray for revival among the families in your church. Work to be an example to them and to mentor them as you are able to.
Spread the word. Pass The Greatest Mission Trip along to everyone you know. Email it, Stumble it, Digg it, message your friends on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, post it on your church’s website, whatever. I’m not purporting that the content on TGMT is the greatest thing since the wheel, but if one more family comes in line with the Word and begins teaching their children God’s awesome salvation plan, it’s one more satisfying dagger in Satan’s heart.
To my friends Sue, Diane, Lisa and Lynn - ladies, your prayers and words of affirmation came at just the right time. Thank you for helping me get through this week. And to a few of my fellow bloggers out there who wrote just the perfect devotion or lesson this week - John, Dave - your words kept me going.