What was my life like before I met Jesus? Hmmmm…. I do not remember what life was like when I was part sperm and part egg. I consider myself having become a Christian when the sperm met the egg. In other words, there was no other option in our family. It was drilled in to me from early on that I, along with the rest of the world, need Jesus.
We went to church every Sunday and Vacation Bible School every year. Then at age 16 or 18, I do not remember which, I became a member of the church. This required talking one-on-one with our minister – twice! Now he and other church leaders put together a wonderful Christian Education program, but sitting in front of him and discussing my faith was very scary and intimidating. It felt like I was in the presence of God and that made me squirm. I don’t remember exactly what we talk about, only the feeling of sitting in a hot seat.
Then I went off to college, graduated and got on with my life. I never gave up what I believed and would pray and read the Bible occasionally but only grew little by little in my relationship with Jesus.
Then one day I started a temp job that would change my life, because it is at this temp job I met Joe. After a few months we started dating and one thing led to another and we got married.
I attended church with Mom and Dad #2 but never found a church home until the day I walked into the church I currently attend. God knew this is where I needed to be because of the Griefshare program. After all, He knew I was going to need it.
Faith During Widowhood
Yes, I have grown in my faith during and after widowhood. It was just a couple weeks after Joe passed that I had a revelation that gave me hope and comfort for my journey. There were still rough days after this revelation but I did not grieve without hope. Hope for recovery and seeing Joe again when I move to heaven.
Faith During Extended Unemployment
Extended unemployment however, was more brutal on my faith and self-esteem. There was more doubt about finding a job. I questioned:
- My worthiness. Am I worthy of a new job?
- My value. Do I still have something to give a company that will provide value to them?
- All my career decisions starting with my college major, Rhetoric and Communications (emphasis on public speaking).
I had to remind myself numerous times that employment would happen in God’s time, not mine. When it comes, it will serve His purpose not mine.
Example Of “In His Time”
The Cleveland Business Connections Magazine article that is being done about me, this blog and my background came about because of God. I did not go banging on the front door of their offices begging and pleading for them to do an article. God used my friend Jeff to get the ball rolling when He knew it was time.
Time because I have:
- 18 months blogging experience,
- 3 years worth of unemployment, so I have advice from first hand experiences and observations.
- Over 10,000 hours of being a widow (according to Malcom Gladwell’s book “Outliers” that makes me an expert.)
What A Difference Faith Makes
What difference has faith and a personal relationship with Jesus made? Well, it gave me a good foundation for all the “Dead Man’s Hand’s (black aces & 8’s and unknown “hold” card), I have been dealt since birth. Even though I have always had faith, it does not mean I have the answers to the “why” questions such as “Why did there have to be 3 family deaths in December 1982?” Nor did it mean I would not grieve with all my heart and soul when Joe moved to heaven.
What faith did is give me a foundation on which my recovery was built. A recovery not only from Joe’s death but from all previous nasty hands life has dealt.
So ends my faith story…
or does it?