I had known that this was coming and I thought that I was well prepared spiritually, emotionally and financially but nevertheless, it was still a big thought to get my head around – unemployed at 40! I never realised just how much of a challenge it would be and what lay ahead of me over that next 11,5 months.
The initial challenge was whether I would live in fear now that I no longer had a monthly salary to support me and my family, or live in faith, trusting that God would provide, no matter the circumstance. Hoping that in 3-4 months I would once again have a monthly income. I chose Faith; easy right? Well not so easy sometimes! Little did I know that the journey I was on was about to test the very core of what I thought I believed, what I professed to believe and declared that I had faith in. My greatest challenge is my own unbelief in God’s goodness, the power to provide for and sustain me and my family.
My story is too long to tell even over one coffee let alone in a short article. It’s a story of God’s grace and mercy, His goodness and provision, prophetic forewarning and encouragement and a promise fulfilled in never leaving us or forsaking us; and some truly incredible miracles thrown in for good measure. But woven into that story were the tough times when I had to face up to and own up to my own deep-seated unbelief, overwhelming doubt, faltering faith and desperate feelings of helplessness. And facing up to the giant that shakes the knees of most men, the inability to provide for your family.
What had begun with excitement at the possibility of a new start slowly became the biggest challenge of my adventurous life. During the months when I was unemployed God shaped me in ways never imagined, drew me to my knees in repentance for not fully trusting, softened my heart, challenged me to believe Him and trust Him like I had never done before.
Initially, I was really busy, meeting people, networking, going for interviews, grateful for broadening horizons and new possibilities. But as the weeks progressed I continued to draw blank after blank and experienced some crushing disappointments and let downs. Slowly the pressure increased, doubts increased, the fear that it would all fall apart and then the unbelief that naturally follows – is God able to rescue me in this? Yes, He can! My prayer became that of the man in Mark 9 who said to Jesus “I do believe, help my unbelief”
Jesus words in Matthew 4, “Man cannot live by bread alone but by the word of God” rang so true in my life as His word became my rock, my hope, my salvation. Daily time on my knees in prayer and reading my bible enabled me to keep going, keep hoping and trusting; truly Christ in us is the hope of Glory and without him I am nothing. It was incredible how His word encouraged, challenged, convicted and sustained me all at the same time. And God’s material provision for myself and the whole family exceed- ed even our wildest imaginations.
2 Kings 7 tells the story of the siege of Samaria, a prophetic word on suddenly changing fortunes, and the consequence of unbelief in the life and death of a man who heard God’s word but failed to believe. I found myself both captivated and challenged by this story; unbelief leads to death – literally! Would I believe that my circumstance could change so quickly? Or would I be like that doubting man? 11 months and 13 days into my journey God opened a new door for me to walk through, one that is challenging and continues to require much faith, trust and belief. As a family, we can testify to God’s goodness and mercy through a season that was tougher and more challenging than we ever expected or were prepared for.
RE-CALCULATING has been put together to encourage and equip individuals that are walking through a season of unemployment. What turns out to be a seriously challenging time for most can also be used by God to richly build into our identities, our faith and ultimately deepen our relationship with Him.
CityHill in Hillcrest hosts RE-CALCULATING, “Equipping through a season of Unemployment” every last Friday of the month.
When: Every last Friday of the month
Venue: CityHill Church, Mocha Cafe
Time: 06:00 AM