Monday, January 4, 2010

A Stronghold In Times Of Trouble

Psalm 9:9-11 (New International Version)
 9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. 11 Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.

This passage of the Psalms has never rang more true to me than it did this past year of 2009. I look at the simple lives of these flamingos and realize that God provides for them everyday...and these particular ones have the added benefit of the protection that no predators are after them.

Such a stark contrast to the past year... It seems that everything was cut so tight for us and our world was all topsy-turvy. We started the year off without any creditors thanks to completion of our Chapter 7 filing. While it was a huge burden lifted off of our shoulders, it wasn't anything that either my husband nor I had ever wanted to do. Good side of it was that there was no house to lose, so that made it a bit easier to deal with. Then both of us were laid-off. Being that we lived in Southern California and worked in the construction industry at the beginning of 2009, it wasn't hard to see a lay-off coming. Coming from a construction based family, I had watched so many people that I had grown up knowing have to deal with a sudden dry-up of projects. So many others had suffered much worse than we had...losing businesses, houses, savings.

God is so faithful though, Charming had received a call within 3 days from his uncle wanting to open a business in Reno, NV. The timing seemed to be ideal since there was no jobs holding us back from taking it. So we packed up and made a move up to Reno with the hopes of this business opportunity being something that would turn our whole financial situation around. (unfortunately, it didn't last though)  And one of the biggest blessings was that He placed us with a church family that is just awesome.  Victory City Church located in Sparks, Nevada, is just absolutely the biggest blessing that we have received in our move. Pastors Chris & DeeDee Vigil have just gone above & beyond what I expected they would be like to a new family coming through the doors. They really have shown our little family a TON of love and support. "Thanks Pastors Chris & DeeDee!"

After about 6 months, the business closed and we were back at square one again. And I found myself calling out to God asking what on earth His plan was...because I sure didn't see it. Wondering if this was the pattern that our family was going to be facing along with so many other families. With unemployment so high in the Reno area, I was sincerely afraid that my husband was going to have a terrible time finding employment. Just to give you an idea, we are talking about situations like 3,000+ people showing up for job shows that only had 150 positions available.

Never before had I seen this kind of joblessness...this kind of depression...this kind of hopelessness on the faces of so many people. It really was frightening to me, especially since we have our two little girls to take care of. BUT God again came through for us! As I had seen the signs of my husband's business going down the tubes, I had been praying that God would make a way...that He would give us favor and open up a position that my husband could step into. I kept reminding God of His word and His promise to take care of us. It was a promise that I had been holding onto for dear life since the initial lay-offs.

Within a couple of days my hubby received a call from a company that he had placed an application with 2 weeks prior for a part-time position. Let's just say that I was jumping up and down and praising God for such a quick answer to our situation! It might be part-time, but these days you take what you can get and just believe that doors will open and God's favor will prevail.

Every time I freak-out and go into panic mode, my wonderful Charming reminds me, "Babe, you have to trust God. He always takes care of things." And he's right, every time. Can I say that anything in the line of employment is of our doing? Absolutely NOT. God has definitely taken care of my family and for that I must give credit where credit is due. I must take the time to thank Him for meeting our needs and providing a job where there was a next-to-nil chance of getting one with so much competition these days.

Just as the psalm says, God has been my stronghold through our troubles. A place for me to run to for strength. And I can not deny that I have learned a lesson of trusting and leaning on God's promises throughout this past year. Through it all HE is faithful...always.

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