Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blessings in Disguise

Testimony Tuesday!

I’ve been out of work for a little over three months now. I’m not going to lie and say it’s been easy because it’s been quite a challenge. There have been many moments of frustration and confusion. But this morning I thought about the blessing (in disguise) of being unemployed which is my testimony this Tuesday. I’ve had some very special opportunities/moments that I would’ve missed out on had I been working…

I never would’ve had the opportunity to substitute teach. I don’t necessarily think I’m meant to be a schoolteacher, but it’s been a good experience overall and God has been showing me a lot through it

I got the call about Celena passing away early on a Friday afternoon and was able to immediately jump in my car and head to Brooklyn to her family's home, which would not have happened if I was working a 9-5. I am grateful that I was able to see her family and boyfriend that day, especially since I was unable to be at her funeral. 

I never would’ve been able to go on a last minute trip to Chicago to attend my friend Pia’s wedding. I got a ride with my friend Shelly who had flown to New York to see family and bought a car on her trip. We were able to catch up on the (LONG) ride down I-80 and spending that time together was a gift. 

While I was in Chicago, someone felt led to bless me with a gift of money that paid most of my bills for January. I experienced God’s provision in a very unexpected way. I also experienced some much needed rest after being really sick the week before. I was also blessed with a return flight to New York. 

Because I was in Chicago that week, I was able to see my friend Cicely, who was home from the mission field for Christmas. Several of us got to have dinner together after a wonderful time of prayer for Cicely. Our evening of fellowship was a real gift. 

Pia's wedding! What a event. There are no words that can describe the joy in my heart for Pia and Kevin. To be able to witness their vows and share in the wonderful occasion was a great gift. Being able to see all that God has done in, for and through Pia - an even greater gift. An amazing friend. A beautiful bride.

Another great blessing about being in Chicago for Pia’s wedding was that I was able to visit Christen. She’d been in the ER multiple times that week but she was well enough to visit for an hour or so – which ended up being the last time I ever spent with her. I will always cherish the memory of those moments with my dear sister

Since I’m unemployed, I was able to go back to Chicago the following week when Christen was in the hospital. I got there the night before she passed away and was able to stay for almost two weeks. I cannot imagine having never been there. Being among so many people who knew her and loved her was comforting. I was able to be at the service celebrating her life - which was the more powerful than I could ever describe in words. And I was able to get to know some beautiful people that I never would’ve known otherwise. My former pastor used to say that the greatest testimonies are often the ones that can’t be shared from a mic (or even written on a blog). That week and a half was filled with those kinds of testimonies – filled with the grace of God in supernatural measures. 

Over the course of my time in Chicago, thanks to several people who felt led to bless me, I was never without. I had food, spending money, places to stay, and was given a return flight to New York again. God provided supernaturally through many different people in different ways. I am still in awe... 

There are lots of things that I can include but the last one I’ll share took place today. A life-long friend of our family, Hilde, who really is family to us, is currently in the hospital. I’ve known her all of my life. She’s been like a second grandma to us. She’s been with us for dozens of Christmas and Easter dinners, celebrated birthdays and graduations, and prayed many, many prayers for us all. Well, she is not doing very well and though there is always a chance that she will get better, the reality is that she’s 92 years old and we don’t know how much longer she has left on this earth until Jesus takes her home. My Mom and I were at the hospital to see her twice today – which I couldn’t have done if I was working. I am very grateful to have been there. Please remember her in your prayers.

I am thankful for these Testimony Tuesdays. Honestly, I think that it’s probably more for me than it is for anyone who reads this. (Hopefully next week I'll be able to post a lot earlier in the day). This has been a very difficult season and I don’t know how much longer it will continue to be hard. Yet, even in the midst of the storm, I have experienced many blessings in disguise, which I thank God for. My situation remains the same. I still need a job and I still need direction. But even in all of these trials, I know that God is good, that He is at work behind the scenes (working all things together for good), and that He is always worthy to be praised.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

What are some of your blessings in disguise? Are you able to see God at work in the midst of your trials? I would love to hear from some of you…


Lis said...

I wrote/spoke about this topic a lot last year.

When I quit a full-time job, it was with the intention to find a part-time one right away. Well, THAT didn't happen.

What DID happen was I was able to have days to meet with other stay-at-home mom's, attend a ladies Bible study and prayer weekly at my church that was definitely a catalyst in the overall spiritual growth I had last year, help out at many church events including a week-long Vacation Bible School, get ANOTHER summer of going to the pool every day with my son, and volunteering and teaching at a pregnancy center. Plus, as you wrote, just the FREEDOM of being able to go somewhere, help someone out, or JUST TAKE A NAP at a moment's notice. WHAT.A.BLESSING.

Nonetheless, the reality sets in that yes, you do need employment, but how wonderful to see and use the time the Lord has blessed you with in other ways. And He is faithful to provide. That is one awesome God we serve!

Lis said...

I actually left out some stuff I was/have been able to do. But you get the idea! :)

Candy said...

I love the idea of Testimony Tuesday. It's encouraging to read about how God is working in your life. It made me stop and ponder what God had recentally done in my life. I look forward to next weeks!