There are times in everyone’s life where there seems to be no rest from trials. They seem to come in waves. Sometimes, they are short-lived and sometimes they are major devastating, life altering trials. The book of Job tells the story of a man who experienced such a time as this…devastating trials, one after another.
After my husband died, I read the book of Job. Somehow, it was comforting to read what this biblical hero went through just as I was going through the most devastating time of my life. What I didn’t know was shortly after my husband died I would lose my job. As often happens, the company I worked for was bought out and they wanted to replace some of the positions with their own people. The timing couldn’t be worse. It was just before Christmas and as I just moved to a new apartment.
I sent out resume after resume there were no interviews being lined up. No one was calling! I had good credentials and a solid resume but no interviews. After months of job searching with no doors being opened, I decided the only thing I could do was start my own business. The question was, what kind of business would I start? After working through all that, I opened a business and landed my first client. It was a big job for me and I wanted to put my best foot forward but there was a lot to starting a business. Everything was on my shoulders and I had to learn how to set up and operate a business…alone. As I reflect on this, I believe God was lighting the way for me by directing me to read the book of Job before all this happened because…there was more to come.
Just as I was beginning work on the new client’s project, my father got very sick and was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The doctors said it was advanced and the prognosis wasn’t good. A few days later, my mother fell and broke her hip and needed surgery; this on top of her rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s disease.
Fast forward a few months, my father passed away this same year. Just a week after my father’s funeral, as I was trying to determine how to best care for my mother and dealing with insurance, bills, wills, etc. while still trying to operate a new business; I fell on the ice and broke my wrist. I had never broken anything in my life and this was the breaking point for me (no pun intended).
I struggled with feeling claustrophobic from the cast on my arm. I felt so restricted. Trying to operate a business, do my taxes, manage the paperwork from my father’s estate, and care for my mother with the “stupid purple cast” on my wrist was too much. I couldn’t even open a can of soup because of the pain in my wrist! One day, I was literally ready to scream out of frustration, fear, anger, grief…every emotion possible came rushing in on me! What I did next really surprised me.
I raised my purple-casted hand to God and said in a very frustrated tone of voice, “Lord…I give up. I can control NOTHING! I surrender.” (Well, I actually first said “whatever” with attitude). Immediately, I literally felt “the peace that passes all understanding.” Philippians 4:7
It was like God was saying “Yes, finally.” He, of course, knows what a control freak I am and my propensity to worry about everything. For me to give up my beloved control was nothing short of a miracle. God orchestrates everything that happens in our lives. We can see that in the book of Job where we read that God allows Satan to attack Job multiple times. (Job 1: 6-12).
Something happened that day. I was released from the frustration of not being able to be in complete control of what comes into my life. I can’t say I don’t still worry and try to control outcomes, but now I am aware of when I’m about to spin out of control with the “what ifs.” I can stop and remember the day I raised my purple-casted hand in surrender to the only person who can do something about my “what ifs.” The year was 2011. It’s now 2021 and with God’s gentle reminder of the day I gave up needing to be in control, I am still able to stop myself from over-thinking and turn my worry over to God. I see that as God’s amazing grace revealed.
My Prayer For You
Dear Father, I pray for the worried person reading this story who is need of your grace and peace. Father, whatever this dear person is dealing with that is stealing their peace; I pray they will surrender their pain, anger, fear, frustration, or what it is they are trying to control. I pray they will want to know you on a deeper level…enough to trust you with what is keeping them from enjoying life and having joy. I pray dear Father that they will be showered with that peace that passes all understanding as they sincerely surrender their problems to you knowing that somehow you will provide the grace needed for the journey they’re on. I know you will; give them faith to believe that as well. In Jesus’ precious name.
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Francine, My heart breaks for what you are going through. I’m praying right now about what to say to you to give you encouragement under such life altering circumstances. The last thing I would want to do is give you some well meaning but trite platitude to try to encourage you when I can’t begin to imagine your daily trials. Grief isn’t just about losing a person from your life, it’s about losing anything or anyone that has been important to you; the type of loss you have experienced and the resulting grief you are dealing with everyday. I will pray for you as well. Often we are unable to fully feel and experience God’s love, mercy and grace when we are in the midst of such difficult trials. But He IS there and He sees you. If you haven’t already, you might want to read the other blog I wrote about the God who sees. I KNOW He won’t abandon you although you may feel abandoned. I KNOW He sees all you are going through and I KNOW He will provide all that you need just when you need it. Have you read the book of Job? That was quite helpful to me. Let me pray with you.
Dear Father, I lift my dear sister up to you and ask that you will reveal to her your amazing grace, love and mercy in a very real and practical way. Open her heart to be able to understand, and look forward to, all the blessings you have for her present and for her future. Let her know that you are JEHOVAH ROI – the God who SEES and you will not EVER abandon her. Let her feel the warmth of KNOWING that you see her and will not forget her. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her nursing child? Can she have no pity on the son to whom she gave birth? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
I cried reading this because everything I am going through with this spinal cord injury, when I fell down the stairs 2 years ago. I am a quadriplegic. I used to do 10 mile speed walks every other day, control everything and claustrophobic. I am struggling with anxiety pain, loss of total control over everything. I need round the clock care & struggling getting people to work.
I so can relate to you and will pray for you. Thank you for sharing.