Finding a new job to replace the wages we frequently made at the restaurant wasn’t as easy as we had anticipated. Not only that, we were not getting calls back from anyone, even from previous employers whom had given us glowing references in the past.
We began applying for positions outside of the serving industry. We even applied for part-time positions that only paid $7 an hour.
Even then, we didn’t hear back from anyone.
We began discussing the idea of working odd jobs and/or applying for unemployment; though our fears, pride, perceptions, and level of uncertainty halted our discussion.
Like most people, we questioned why we weren’t able to find work.
With the unemployment rate being at a 9.3% high and applications piling up, our names just weren’t standing out. At one location, we had been told that the general manager had received two hundred applications yesterday alone. If you do the math, said general manager had more or less than 1,400 applications to look over in one week alone; Multiply that by a month and our two applications stand against 5,600 others. Ouch!
Not only that, my availability was so limited, that should my application rise to the top, it would have immediately gone into the shredder. What company would want to work with my hours! I mean, would you employ an individual that would be working fifty to 60 hours a week, student teaching, in addition to taking two college seminar courses prior to her graduation? I certainly wouldn’t have hired me.
So, what did we do? We held onto hope!
We kept on applying for positions, praying, and waiting on the Lord to open doors.
As July rolled around, I began noticing a couple of changes:
- I was getting stressed out and starting to doubt our ability to find jobs.
- I began believing that we made the wrong decision; that we had heard God incorrectly; that we were being punished; that we should have stayed and worked for the proprietor and his ultimatum.
- My husband’s faith was growing; his faith was becoming stronger; my prayers were being answered.
- Though proud of my husband’s faith and reliance on God, I was jealous that the Lord hadn’t given me such unwavering strength.
That Sunday at church, the preacher spoke of doubting Thomas.
Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:24-28)
The preacher mentioned that Thomas was the first to express his doubt and the first to believe. Though I didn’t agree that Thomas was the first to believe, I did understand the portrait the preacher was painting. He said, “expressing one’s emotions is what helps us grow faster, heal faster, and learn faster” (Bethal Bible Fellowship, 2009). This statement truly resignated with me; I had always felt guilty for having a weak faith or for doubting God’s plan in my life. But this preacher’s statement implied that it was all okay to stumble, to need tangible proof. If Thomas, a man that physically walked with God, doubted him, and yet was still accepted, loved and forgiven by Jesus, why couldn’t it be the same for me; why would I have to be any stronger?
Prior to this realization, I had always thought I had to be strong; to present myself as my best; to be my best; to never doubt, complain, whine, or get angry.
I did understand that I wasn’t God nor could be; I did understand that I wasn’t perfect nor would ever be; I did understand that I am weak and he is strong.
Still, I wanted to be perfect for him; I wanted to make him proud of me; I wanted to cause him little grief. This meant, I wasn’t allowed to cry out to him; it would just be a burden.
This day, however, I accepted that I needed to cry out; that God isn’t burdened by my tears; that God loves me even when I am weak; that God cares about the little things.
Today, I would cry out to my Father and he would graciously spread his arms wide and lift me up.