Sunday, December 29, 2013
so, here's what's going on... a note from Victoria
I thought I was following Him.
I thought I was living open, true, transparent, ready to serve.
I thought a lot of things.
But nothing makes you re-evaluate your closeness to the Lord more than having the rug pulled out from under you less than ten days before Christmas.
On December 17, Chuck and I received unfortunate news that his successful sales job was no longer "his" job. After two years of hard work, and without any reasonable warning or preparation, we were told that it didn't matter how large or prosperous Chuck had grown his territory. It didn't matter that he had more than met every sales quota given him... by over 1.5 million! Nope, instead... simply, we were out. We were over. We were done.
Understandably, we both went into shock. For not only had we paid for our own relocation to Texas to take this job (approximately $30k of our own savings to move), but we had done so prayerfully and with the honest belief that working in this new role would reap more income and flexibility than our comfortable officer positions had back home - with less travel and the stress of managing employees. We even gave up a massive commission that Chuck had worked very hard on and finally landed in his old job - all in order to start sooner rather than later to please this new Texas employer. But now, sadly... in the twinkling of an eye, it was all for nought. It was all gone.
Yesterday, we received a letter informing us that we will be without health insurance by January 31st and are ineligible for extended coverage. (Mind you, I am handicapped and in need of much healthcare.) Furthermore, we were informed that we will receive no future commission payments because Chuck's now-former employer has greedily decided to keep the full amount of commissions my husband had worked so hard to earn during his employment. This amounts to another $30k down the drain. Yes, you heard me right. In two short years we are now over $60k in the hole and unexpectedly unemployed... just like that.
Again, all this news brought shock. Shock, horror, anger, frustration, questions, fear, disbelief.
I share all this with you, not for sympathy, but to humbly paint a picture of my reality this very day. We are not gazillionaires by any means. Instead we are unexpectedly and deeply in heavy, heart-breaking, and scary new debt. We are not comfortable or safe. We are living day to day. Moment by moment. Breath to breath. We don't even know how we will pay for our living space after a month or two passes.
Yes, I truly thought I was close to Jesus.
But nothing makes you re-evaluate your closeness to the Lord more than having to run to his altar broken and alone ten days before Christmas.
"Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:6-9)
"For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile." (Jeremiah 29:10-14)
Choosing strength and courage in the hardest of trials is most difficult. Believing that God will bring success and restore us from exile when you feel more like a vagabond or nomad is challenging. But the reality of this ever important message in both Joshua and Jeremiah are this: We are to keep God's Word with us (in us... before us... around us) at all times - at every moment, AND, we are to obey His law without fear or disheartenment. We are to rejoice always, for there is hope in our Father's promises. There is a future in His plan. There is life when we seek Him wholeheartedly... when we believe He will take care of us in every moment.
So, dear friends and readers, I know not if The Devoted Woman will be able to continue posting daily online in the coming year. I know not if my family will even have a roof over their head in the next few months. I know not what 2014 will bring. But I do know that my family and I are resolved to walk through it with Jesus - strong, courageous, and hopeful! As I submerse myself further in His Word, I will draw nearer to my King. I will desperately follow His Way and prayerfully lay my life on His altar to do with as He pleases. I will seek and share Him more - more openly, more truthfully, more transparently, and with a renewed readiness to serve wherever and however He wishes. You see, I do believe that my God is able! I do trust that my King is truthful! And I do depend upon my Savior to be reachable and willing to intercede on my behalf always. So, I will forgive those who have hurt me and my family, and I will walk forward in the small lamp light my God provides each new, exciting and hope-filled day! I will notice every blessing and hand over every sorrow. And, I will give as He so generously and freely gives... for this whole earth belongs to Him!
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 27:31)
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them. (1 Samuel 2:8)
Yes, as 2014 approaches and 2013 concludes: Let every heart prepare Him room! More room than before. More Jesus. MORE! That's it. That's ALL that matters. For with Him, we are never out. We are never over. We are never done.
So, remain close to your King, friends. Follow Him at all cost! Live open, true, transparent, and ready to serve. And, most important, be joyful and believe that He is with you always! (Lord, help us to believe!)
Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. (Jeremiah 9: 23-24)
Blessed Assurance... Jesus is mine!
This is my story!
This is my song!!!
God bless you today and into the New Year!