On August 29, 2007, my husband lost his job due to the turndown in construction. It plunged us into a nightmare that we could never have imagined in our thirty years of marriage. I soon found myself in the belly of Jonah’s whale, not wanting to believe God had a better plan for me or to trust Him with the one I now found myself in.
In the ensuing years, with only about eight months of paid work, our pride took a beating, our faith dwindled to almost nothing and we found out who our real friends were.
Quite often, my husband and I would ask each other, “Do you remember what it felt like to be happy?”
Honestly, I didn’t. Getting out of bed each morning took extreme effort along with putting on a smile for anyone outside of our home. In all my years of counseling depressed individuals, I now knew I hadn’t understood the depths fear can take one.
Our standard for happiness changed. We measured it by how many days we could live without crying. We measured it by the days we could keep our anger and resentment under control.
But the moment came when we realized we had to trust God. We’d reached our bottom after trying every trick to survive. It didn’t matter how smart we were, how much experience we had or who we knew. It wasn’t working. We did what we should have done right away. We sat down and prayed about a direction.
The answer wasn’t exactly what we wanted. God expected us to take a different route. The route naysayers advised us against. The route that held no assurance of money in our checkbook or a job.
But it was the only route that gave us a semblance of peace.
Two weeks ago, at age fifty five, my husband went back to college to pursue his newest passion. I started reading the Bible every morning determined to put God first in my day. Not my fears.
Last night I asked my husband if he felt happy again even though I already knew the answer.
I could tell by the way he whistled again each morning.
Sort of like me.