It’s been a hard year. Most people tend to say that about 2020, but that wasn’t the case for me. I’m very blessed that apart from a scary outbreak in the north-west early on, my home state of Tasmania has been largely un-affected by the pandemic raging across our world. I’ve always enjoyed working from home, so that was nothing new, it was just fun to have everyone else doing it with me. It made my little introvert heart dance a little.
But this year? It’s been a rough roller coaster. My wife has faced a number of challenges in her career. This had had a major impact on our family finances. There were times I almost lost hope, but she kept battling on, with me ever at her side. Looking back, I can see God’s hand at work, even in the times that it felt like he wasn’t there, or that he simply didn’t care. But hindsight reveals much that can’t be seen when you’re in the trenches.
After leaving a job that wasn’t good for her, we had a time of waiting. We required a lot of help from family and church during this time, as we did our best to make ends meet. As we waited, we prayed for a new job for my wife. A job that would provide her with the support and mentoring she needed.
Something came up but it didn’t last long, as demand for the work disappeared. Again, we waited.
Then God answered all our prayers. My wife was offered an interview for a job she hadn’t even applied for. And she got it. We thought the story was over.
But that job didn’t last long. It turned out not to be the perfect fit we thought it was. This was the real low point for me. After years of battling, I was beginning to think it was time to accept defeat. My wife’s on-and-off-again income meant that she had to cancel a retreat that she was looking forward to. Something that would have helped and encouraged her.
What had it all been for? Why did God seemingly answer our prayers only to have it all unravel again? My wife was feeling it too. Maybe it was time to stop looking for work. There was only one kind of job she would consider applying for. She described it to me.
Several days later the email appeared. A notification from Seek. Almost word for word what she had described. She put it an application. It was for an interstate company, but the job would be here in Tasmania. Several nights later, her phone rang as we were watching TV. She ran from the room to answer it. I had an inkling this might be related to her application. I turned to my daughter. “I think Mum is having a job interview.” About ten minutes later she emerged from the bedroom. “I just got a job!”
It was later that week, when she was hard at work, getting up to speed with things, that it dawned on her. That retreat was going to be starting today. If she’d gone to the retreat, it would have interfered with her ability to start work when she was needed. It’s quite possible that this story is not yet finished. There will likely be further challenges ahead. But it’s these hindsight experiences that build our faith, when we can look back and realise that God had us in his hands after all.
I also find myself very grateful for the Psalms of lament. It’s encouraging to know that we can pour out our frustration to God with raw honesty. He can take it.
Let’s see what the next chapter brings.
Nerd heaven Podcast where he discusses works of sci-fi and fantasy on the big and little screen. You can find him at AdamDavidCollings.com