Looking back through this blog, it seems I mainly write posts about coping with hard times, and wondering if I can see God in them. From taking up my guitar and singing church songs when I am just not in the mood for it (here and here) to euthanasing runts, there seems to be a constant paradox of “Yeah, life sucks but God is good.”.
The past year has been unbelievably hard; from being made redundant (for a week, “God is good” …), to setting up a new home after the marriage bit the dust last year (life sucks…). It has been interesting going over some of the trending posts and reading them back to myself. In each one, the post seems to be saying that no matter how bad things get, God is still there for us.
I’ve trying to work out a way to get in a phrase like, “I nearly lost my faith”, or “my faith took a battering”, but I can’t really. Looking back over the months, I don’t honestly think I have lost my faith. Has it taken a battering? Maybe, but it has held up. You see cliffs, rocks, lighthouses, trees, houses, being battered and hammered by storms, and in the morning they are still there like nothing happened. Well, maybe just little damp ..
As I try to adjust to new life circumstances, I have spent time re-evaluating what I believe; things which I took for granted now challenge me on a personal level. But have I lost me faith? No. When I have prayed, I still know that Jesus is listening. When I play guitar, I still know that Jesus is listening. The content and nature of my prayers might have changed, but my core faith and beliefs are still there.
One thing which has really stuck out in all this, was the the weird timing of events as my contract closed with Manpower, and I was faced finding new place to live. The time-line went something like this:
- August/September (dunno, it’s blurry): Amongst other things, I went though redundancy negotiations. Well, not really any negotiating that I could see. It was more like them saying, “We’re making you redundant.”, and me having to reply, “Ok.”.
- October – November: 2 months serving my two months notice and looking for both a new job and home at the same time.
- November: frantic job searching and more house hunting
- 2nd week: Signed for a flat (and hoping to high heaven, even praying, I get a job … )
- 3rd week: A sudden second interview with Mapvision which felt like it came out of nowhere.
- 4th week: I got the job offer with Mapvision and signed the contract. Picked up the keys to the flat.
- Week 1: “unemployed” and moved into my flat.
- Week 2: I started work at Mapvision.
Just insane .. The week between Manpower and Mapvision was unpaid, but because of the salary increase my income stayed the same. I didn’t need to take any extra time off to move my stuff and handle the emotional turbulence.
When we married, we figured it would be forever. Those were the vows we exchanged. A marriage ending isn’t Plan A at all. At best, what is happening now is a messy Plan B. One thing that I am grateful for is the timing of the events as November moved into December. I am not going to say I was blessed, but I am going to say that I could see God’s hand in things. I can see His care, grace, and mercy. Undeserved, but I can see it all the same. The precision of the timing .. it blows my mind. I couldn’t have even planned those things to line up so perfectly.
The human race’s first cock-up was fairly significant. That whole, “Wow, those apples look so tasty. Crap, we’re naked!”, thing. Plan A was that people would live in Eden with God. Plan B was a very painful eviction. God had been pretty specific with the ground-rules and consequences. A detail which is often overlooked, is that as Adam and Eve was thrown out from the Garden of Eden, God made them clothes of animal skins. God shed innocent blood to clothe and care for Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve disobeyed a fairly simple rule, and let into creation sin and distance from God. Even so, God clothed them. Plan B.
Plan B, and God still showed love and grace and mercy to those who didn’t deserve it. And in my Plan B, God showed me love and grace and mercy.
What’s your Plan B situation? His help might not come immediately, or in a form you will recognise, but I believe He will help you if you turn to Him and ask for help. It doesn’t mean He approves of what has led up to this moment, it just means that He loves you, and He still cares for you and He is showing you mercy. That’s the kind of God I know.
The header image is of some frosty wheat. It was taken on the morning of the contract signing for my new job.