For Such A Time As This

Maximizing everyday moments to glorify God

“He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross, … refining them like gold and silver…” Malachi 3:3 (NLT)

on April 5, 2013

When I lost my job a couple years ago, I was pretty devastated. More than anything else, because of the financial impact I knew it would have on my family. My husband was two years into a startup business and I was the breadwinner, keeping us going while he invested in growing his business (translation: working for free).

I toggled between that fear and a sense of relief – how strange does that sound? God had been nudging me for a while, planting a seed that I should venture out on my own. After 20 years in journalism, communications and public relations, I had learned a thing or two that was fairly valuable. During my six-year tenure with that company, I had tackled some of the most complex, multi-faceted communications campaigns around. Thankfully, God was with me throughout that, giving me courage and strength to travel over mountains I had never ventured on before. During the process, I gleaned some valuable strategic insights that I had tucked away in the recesses of my brain.

So, when the hammer dropped, sending me and about 30 of my colleagues packing, I truly knew it was something God had allowed.

But still!

Despite a sense of peace that I felt as I drove home that day, my nerves would not be quiet. What’s going to happen to us? How will we pay the bills, put food on the table, clothe the kids? And don’t even think about college funds, retirement savings, or another family vacation.

After some gut-honest conversations with some very wise friends, a lot of prayer and honestly, submittal to God’s plan, I had to come to a place of acceptance. Fighting it, being angry or scared or any other negative emotion was not going to change it.

So, nervously, I put some feelers out to see if anyone I knew could use a freelancer. Sure enough, a job or two trickled in. Now, God didn’t open the floodgates on me by any means. But, looking back, I can see that I wasn’t fully engaged in His plan either.

For well over a year, I straddled trying to make my business grow while still looking for a stable, “real” job. Well, that wasn’t cutting it. A lot of time and energy was wasted, not to mention blows to my self-confidence with every rejection – and there were PLENTY!

About six months ago, the realization came in wise words from a friend. “I can’t think of one good reason why you haven’t found a job,” she said. “Except that maybe that isn’t God’s plan for you right now. He must want you planted where you are.”

Over the past two years, my children and I have grown closer. I’m the one taking them to school, picking them up, making lunches and getting them to their activities. I take care of them when they are sick. It all came to fruition when my then 11-year old son told me, “mom, I know it’s hard on our family with you not having a job, but I really like that you can pick me up from baseball practice, and that you sometimes bring me food during it.” Simple, sweet, refining words that I desperately needed to hear.

And in my spirit, something whispered. I am refining you. Take this time and use it wisely. I have this covered.

The old me – the one who worked 50-60 hours a week and traveled for her job – loved her children but was comfortable with letting many others help in the process of raising them. I know now that I was coping because I felt guilty being gone so much.

This is a time in their lives when they need me more than anyone else. We are shaping them for the future. And, God is using this time to shape and refine me alongside them.

He will provide. He will protect. His will be done.

How is He refining you? 

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4 responses to ““He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross, … refining them like gold and silver…” Malachi 3:3 (NLT)

  1. Dan Geml says:

    Patti, Thank you for sharing this very heartfelt, personal story. Very well written too! You have given us a wonderful example by remaining docile to the Holy Spirit, according to Gods will. You and your husbands choices are inspiring! Love, Cousin Dan

  2. Krista says:

    Amen friend! Keep letting Him chisel away. I’m blessed to call you friend, and to have been able to walk with you a little through the past few years. Love ya! Krista

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