Tuesday, January 6, 2009

God Knows Best

Janet's image yesterday is a great one--the kitten and the lion. Indeed we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord. And he can bless us in circumstances that could lead us to despair.

I want to share with you the story of how God worked for my husband's
and my good through a serious time of testing just five years ago. Last year in 2008, over 2 million people lost their jobs. Maybe one of them was you or a loved one or neighbor. I don't know about you but I have been poor in my life and it's not fun.

In 2002, about a year after the 9/11 tragedy, my husband who worked in an aviation-related industry, was laid off. This had never happened to us before. And it hit when we had two children in college and two mortgages. My husband of course began looking for a new job. Well, no one was hiring electrical engineers especially if they were over 45. (Just try to prove age-discrimination.)

Since he had worked for his corporation for nearly 18 years, he got a generous severance package. But that ran out and then we started unemployment. Steve began taking home improvement and handy man jobs to bring in $$. Still, corporations weren't hiring.

We were nearing the end of unemployment and we had to make a decision. We could no longer pay two mortgages. My husband's lifelong dream had been to live on a certain lake in the northwoods of WI. We had been able to purchase a piece of property for half price through an old family friend. We had built our modest cottage on it for our future retirement.

Good sense dictated that we stay in IA where Steve was known and didn't have to advertise to get home improvement jobs. Good sense dictated that we sell the more expensive WI property
and pay off the IA mortage and stay in our IA home.

But I knew that selling my dh's dream was not a good idea. So in the face of good sense, we put the IA house on the market and moved to our cottage on the lake. (Leaving our two college-aged children behind too.)

It was easy to find work in IA where we had lived for 18 years, but finding it in an area where we were newcomers was very hard. At the same time, I had decided that I wanted to write historicals again when of course the market wanted contemporary novels.

Fortunately, our house in IA sold quickly and we had that money to live on. But our move north still didn't make sense.

Throughout this whole process, we kept asking God --what do you want us to do? And we got no real answers.

Then I received the best contract of my life for an historical series (my Women of Ivy Manor series). And finally a year after our move north, Steve found work as an insurance surveyor.

Now we are living my husband's dream a decade before we would have retired here. And my decision to begin writing historical romance has been blest with more contracts.

Now the point is that God used my husband's layoff to give us the life we had only dreamed of. And a decade early.

We live in an area of incredible natural beauty.

I'm writing what I love.

Steve is doing a job he enjoys, driving through the lakeland area and taking pictures of houses for insurance underwriters. He works his own schedule and never has to go to an office.

So God used the layoff to move us to where He wanted us to be (where we really wanted to be). There were a lot of tense moments and frustration over the lack of direction from God. But in the end, we are in a better place.

I don't know what trials you may suffering at this moment. You may say, "That's fine for her, but what about my situation?" Instead, I encourage you to stop and pray, "God, help me to have faith that You are using this for my good."

And keep praying that. God has a plan for us and it's always better than the one we could come up with. If you're having rough times, I encourage you to hang in there and see where the present hard times take you. God is always working for our good even when we can't see it.



10 comments:

  1. Lyn,

    What an amazing story. Thanks so much for sharing! It is so hard to see what good can come out of trying or even terrible circumstances. But as you said, God will work for good.

    Missy

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  2. Lyn,

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. I love hearing tales of God showering someone with unexpected blessings. What a generous Father we have.

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  3. Lyn -- That's a comforting story in the midst of looking at possible changes in my own life. Thanks for sharing it and I'm glad you and your husband are living your dream!

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  4. Lyn, I love this story. And I love that you have the wisdom to see God's hand in all of it. He truly DID work all these to your good--even though you couldn't see it at the time.

    So encouraging to hear things like this.....

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  5. I hope this goes to EXACTLY the people who need to read it. Encouragement is one of my spiritual gifts and I try to use it at every opportunity.

    Living through fall of 2002 through 2004 was NOT EASY. I kept asking God--"What do you want us to do?" And received nothing but silence. But we muddled through.

    And it took real faith for me to tell Steve, "Okay, let's move." That did not make good economic sense. But I thought that if we didn't make it and had to sell the lake property, at least my dh would know that I'd done all I could to help him get his dream.

    But in the end, we see that God was following his plan for us, a very good one too.

    On my personal blog today, Gayle Roper shares her faith lesson about what happens when our dreams die. What God does then.

    Drop by http://www.strongwomen
    bravestories.blogspot.com

    and read what she lived through.
    Lyn

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  6. Lyn,
    What a powerful message. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Lyn, Thank you SO much for sharing this...what an awesome testimony about how God works! ~ And it sounds like you all live in a beautiful area (I've never visited Wisconsin but have heard it's lovely). ~ I'm looking forward to reading your books!
    Blessings from Georgia,
    Patti Jo :)

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  8. Thanks, CatMom,
    Wisconsin has a varied landscape. Central to south, its rolling prairie. But the north is part of the eastern forest.
    That's why it's so popular for tourists.
    Thanks for everyone's comments! I can't wait to read what blessing pop up tomorrow!
    Lyn

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  9. Thanks for the shoutlife bulletin that sent me here.... such a blessing... GOD is awesome.... and now I want to check out that http://www.strongwomen
    bravestories.blogspot.com entry... thanks again for sharing....

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  10. What an amazing story of trust.

    Thanks for sharing it.

    Cheryl

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