Extended Unemployment. Simple little words, but words that have rocked my world. Who knew? I mean, when this all started nineteen months ago, we were so confident it was nothing more than a minor blip- a new job would surely materialize quickly- We’d never even heard of someone who wanted to work actually being unable to find a job. We figured we’d call some connections, float some resumes and something would come up. Tick… tick… tick… tick… the weeks turned into months, and more surprises surfaced in our lives.
My husband suffered some unexpected health issues, and without medical insurance (because earlier we had to decide: Mortgage? Or COBRA?) we were saddled with some hefty bills. Recovery and therapy followed. Tick… tick… tick… We had our six-months reserves, as counselled. We had our credit cards paid off. Our modest cars and student loans were paid off.
My husband picked up odd jobs where he could, while continuing his search. We paid a headhunter to help us. We broadened our horizons, looking in other cities. At one temp-job, my husband broke his hand in some machinery. More medical bills. Tick… tick… tick… At the same time, our youngest son was officially diagnosed with Autism, and we began learning a new language.
Every once in a while, I look up from where my shoulder meets the wheel and think, “Holy hell, who’s life is this? And why am I not utterly, terrifyingly, panicked?” Part of me- the part that remembers my life before I had Faith- knows I should be curled up in a shaking ball, peeking from between quivering fingers. And yet… I’m not. It’s odd. Is it shock? Is it faith? Is it foolishness? Some would say so.
I remember life before prayers were familiar and comfortable. I remember when I had never cracked a bible, and thought of Jesus of Nazareth as a mildly cool guy that had some good ideas. I remember not knowing the safely and comfort of the Gospel. I find it curious- all around me is chaos and dismay; I can’t even watch the news these days- and yet, I feel insulated, loved, and even protected. It feels like nothing so much as a life raft. Instead of being in the icy rapids of the raging river, we’re on a raft. We get wet, yes, and we can see the crazy whitewater- yet we are floated over the hardest dips and jagged edges in our flexible and strong boat.
This is prayer. I know, with all my heart, prayers are the life raft. Prayers of loved ones, friends, and even strangers. Prayers from the rolls of Temples all across the country- these are what carries us over the hard rocks, and sustains our family.
Can I prove it? Could I convince my extended family? Nope. That doesn’t make it less true.
Last week, our kitchen sink exploded, and water seeped into all kinds of places it’s not welcome. We called a plumber, because we had to- again grateful for the low-balance credit cards. Mr Plumber got to work under my kitchen cupboard, twisting and banging, and shortly all was well. He was cleaning up and making to leave, when he approached my husband. He doesn’t know us, or anything about our situation- but Mr. Plumber looks at my husband, and says, “I don’t know you Mr. M. but the Lord has strongly impressed on my heart to tell you it’s all going to be all right. You and your family will be fine, and you are not to worry.”
And with that he packed his tools and drove away.
David and I stood in the kitchen, wiping tears as we looked at each other over our new faucet, while the kids ran around our legs shooting each other with their water guns. Every time I turn on that faucet, watch the water safely cascade into the basin, I hear his words…
…it’s all going to be all right. You and your family will be fine, and you are not to worry…