I love to read, but I had stopped. I love to write, but I couldn’t seem to put any words together. I love to laugh, but things that usually made me laugh were causing me to cry. It was that last one that finally got my attention. I was beginning to think then that I might have a problem.
I was sitting in my new supervisor’s office, in training for a new job, when I noticed a white stain dribbling down the shoulder of her dark red polyester blouse. My mind could only wonder what sat on that shoulder, and deposited that stain. Her desk was littered with food. I saw a half eaten bag of pork rinds… honestly. And m&ms, and Twix candy bars. There was a large Coke cup on her desk. After a while, she opened a greasy brown bag, and pulled out a breakfast sandwich with bacon, eggs, and cheese on it. I swear this was a heart attack waiting to happen. Did I mention she was a nurse?
And then there was the wig.
I’m ok with wigs, really, but hers was a bit askew. She must have felt that it was, because she habitually adjusted it. For three hours I sat there with her while she tried to bestow her knowledge upon me between bites and wig adjustments. Now normally I would have been biting the inside of my cheek to keep a straight face. I find people funny, usually, and this lady was a riot. But instead of cracking up, I was breaking up. The ridiculousness of my situation overwhelmed me. I’m not just talking about this woman. I’m talking about my life.
The previous eight months had not been great. My husband had lost his job, and went without one for several months before finding another one in another state. After moving our kids across the country, we found the new job was a bust, and it had left our family feeling broken apart. Already feeling like gypsies, we decided to save our family, and move back home to Alabama. A great thing, except that employment opportunities for my husband and me were slim there. We were watching our bank account dwindle closer to zero each day. I had taken a job I had hoped to like, but didn’t. Desperation had filled me up to overwhelming.
Have you ever reached your limit? Have you wondered where your limit is?
I had wondered that. That day, sitting in that woman’s office, I had found mine. Driving home from work in tears, I had gotten to the very end of myself. I thought… “Okay, this is what despondent is. I am actually despondent.” I was a train wreck. I managed to get home, and stumbled into the house. My husband was waiting there for me, and met me with the greatest hug ever. It only made me cry harder.
Later that evening, after recovering somewhat, my husband and I had a long talk. I had to make some hard choices. I could either stick it out where I was, or I could quit. Quitting sounded crazy. My husband wasn’t working, and we had little money left in reserves. The field of nursing I am trained for is very specialized, and positions rarely open up. There was none to be had in the town we moved to.
We decided I would call in sick the next day, and use the time to devise a plan of escape. My husband called in reinforcements, and the next morning one of my best friends showed up at my door. She offered nothing but her love to me, but what a gift that was! She told me things I thought I already knew to be true. That God loved me, and had not forgotten me. I told her it felt as if He had. She said He did have a plan for this mess we were in. I just couldn’t see it. She told me she’d be praying. I knew she would be.
After she left, I got up, and logged onto my computer. An hour later I had discovered not one, but two jobs in my field of nursing that had not been there before! I was elated. I immediately applied for both. It was a glimmer. It was a nod from God.
Maybe He hadn’t forgotten me.
I quit my job on Monday, and interviewed for one of the others on Tuesday. By Thursday I had an offer. I accepted… of course! I also interviewed for the other position the following week, and was offered it as well. Yep. I accepted it, too!
I’m writing again, and I’m reading again. And the day that I could think of that lady with the wig and laugh, I knew I was back! I’m not saying all of our problems are solved. I’m still waiting to start both jobs, my husband still has not found a job, and our reserves are even closer to zero, but I have stepped back from despondent. I no longer believe God is distracted, or unaware of our situation. I needed a glimmer, and I got one, well, two.
The things my friend told me were true. God had not forgotten me, us. I had allowed my circumstances to cloud what I knew to be true. I had done what Peter did as he walked on the water to Jesus. I took my eyes off Jesus, began to notice my impossible circumstances, and started to sink. But just in the knick of time, Jesus reached out, and pulled me up. It didn’t even take all that much.
If you look at yourself and the word despondent comes to mind, please take heart.
I know where you are. I know how that feels, and there is nothing worse. All I can tell you is this. Pray first, and then make some hard decisions. The kind that demand you step out on faith. Lean on a strong friend in the faith, and look for that nod from God. It will come. It may only be a glimmer, but it will remind you that He has not forgotten you, that He does have a plan. You’ll find it won’t take that much to lift you up when you grab back hold of that hope you have in Christ.
Are you at your limit? Let me know. I will pray for the God Nod you need. Have you once known despondency, but now you have grabbed back hold of the hope you have in Christ? Share your experience here… encourage someone else…