I remember the day very clearly still. I was at work and my husband called, which was unusual for the middle of the day. As soon as I said hello and heard his voice on the other end I knew there was something wrong. “I was laid off today.” I was a little shocked but felt faith arise in me and I knew it wouldn’t be long before my carpenter husband would find work once again.
That was in 2009.
For the better part of five years, my husband has been unemployed. Our finances have suffered greatly and our hearts have been broken, both by our circumstances and by each other. We have been through the fire of testing. I wish I could tell you that it has changed us for the better. Right now, we are walking the tightrope of change. There is tension, there are tears, there are tempers and there are times when I want to run away and hide.
I don’t handle change well, and I cannot say I’ve always dealt with this season of loss as I should have. I’ve moaned, complained, and cried buckets of tears, not to mention the kicking and the screaming. Honestly, the last five years have been the hardest ever in our 26 years of marriage. As my husband was falling deeper into despair over his lack of work, I was falling deeper into a pit of depression over our finances. The burden is too heavy at times, but God continues to lift up my head and pour out His grace.
We don’t blame God for our circumstances, but believe that He has allowed us to walk this path. Is it hard? Overwhelming at times. Are my husband and I surviving? Yes, but it’s hard work and sometimes I don’t feel like working. I know that Healing will come for us. This too shall pass as we stand firm on the promises to remain faithful and steadfast through good times and in bad.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21
In the middle of life’s hardest seasons, I want to lift my hands and proclaim, like Job, that God’s Name is deserving of all praise. In every season in life, in times of plenty and in want, He is the same today, yesterday and forever. Our circumstances may have changed, but God remains the same. And if we lean in close enough, God will whisper in our ear, “this is the way, walk in it.”
Our lives are imperfect and messy, but we have each other. We are learning to walk out true covenant, the kind that says I am here for you, no matter what. God gives and God takes away, but no matter what we have lost, His Name is deserving of all praise.
Blessed be His Name!
Barbie Swihart is wife, mother, artist and author of Coffee Talk With Jesus: Intimate Chats with the Savior. She works full time while juggling faith, family and ministry. Barbie offers a daily cup of grace on her blog, where she shares openly and honestly about her life so that others would be encouraged. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.
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