Yesterday I posted a link to Hope: handmade.
I can intimately identify with some of the author's descriptions about life:
"Hope becomes difficult when it seems all you know is disappointment. And I don't mean the my favorite TV show was cancelled after just one season! disappointment. I mean the kind of disappointment that hits you so hard it knocks the breath out of you, and it feels like someone took a crowbar and cracked open your chest."
"The thing is, life lately has been hard. And I don't mean like stressing out about finals hard, or like I had an argument with my boyfriend hard, or like juggling work and school and family and friends and laundry and dishes hard. I mean, like when life punches you in the gut and you double over because you didn't see it coming, hard."
The month of June my friends, was a life-punch-you-in-the-gut kinda hard for my family.
Ryan studied all of April and May for a couple tests that we thought we're the first steps into a new career for him. We had prayed hard, sought wisdom and considered all options. Ryan interviewed with a number of companies in this area and ultimately took the courageous step to pursue a new career.
On June 2 that option came to an unexpected end. Later that week another possible job opportunity was taken off the table as well.
When I read the text from my husband that delivered the news, I felt exactly as the quote above describes: as though the crowbar of life had cracked open my chest and sucked all the air out of me.
Two years of seeking employment and we were left, once again, with no job options.
The tears streamed down my face.
And they continued to come frequently for a couple of weeks as I grieved over what I thought our future was going to be.
It was painful.
It was beautiful.
Some of you have been in places like that. It lasts days for some, weeks for others and possibly even months. You know if you have been there--desperately on your knees before the Lord. A place where God alone fills your desperation...with Himself. His Word becomes like air. His truth is your hope. His arms are your comfort and His face is all you seek.
Three times in life I have experienced this kind of pain as an adult:
When a five-year relationship came to an end during my college years and I was physically sick with grief.
And the two times when a ultrasound tech told me that the baby in my womb had died.
Can you identify with disappointment that is so great that you feel like your chest was cracked open with a crowbar?
Have you experienced pain that causes you to double over from the shock of the news you just received?
It's in these times when I have run to those who love me...family, close friends, small group, prayer circles.
But this time was different. I ran to the Lord--my strong tower. I met him in the early hours of the morning as the sun rose and in the humid, dark evenings of summer. I met him through my tears. I met him out of desperation.
In June it was God alone who could minister to my heart. I told no one for days. Some friends still do not know because I'm not sure how to start that conversation...."Hey I like your new haircut. How's your summer going? Oh, by the way, the new career that Ryan has been working toward the last two months ended rather abruptly and now we're back to where we started. Keep the prayers coming and have a great summer! (Smile)."
We didn't even tell all of our family members initially because it's emotionally exhausting replaying the series of events and receiving the awkward reassurance that something better will come.
My flesh seeks the comforting hugs and the reassuring words of others. But the comfort and reassurance that I truly need can only be met and found in the Lord and the timeless truth of His Word.
I knew that.
But now I know it again.
In a deeply personal way.
Tears are healing. Time is healing. But true healing only comes from the Maker and Creator of life.
So here we are. June was the two-year mark of unemployment. We are hopeful again with a few opportunities on the horizon. But our true hope lies in the One that gives and takes away.
Friends, multiple times in life I have experienced waiting that has not lasted days nor weeks nor months...but years. I write from a place of personal experience. From tasting the salty tears and overwhelming joy that comes with serving a God of waiting.
Why, do so many of us ask, is waiting our story?
I have no idea.
But this I know: when I experience a life-punch-you-in-the-gut kinda hard, God is right there waiting for me.