Updated: Feb 3
I remember asking myself that question when I was unexpectedly laid off in 2009 during the Great Recession - a time period similar to today in terms of the economy and massive job cuts. I’ve always considered myself to be a pretty responsible person, but what happened to me in 72 short hours changed my life. It started with a dangerous car accident, where my tiny car swung into ongoing traffic and hit two SUVs. One of them even flipped! My car was totaled, and it was a miracle that no one was seriously hurt. Then I caught a ride to work the next two mornings, only to have the second day cut short around noon. I was told that my position was being eliminated due to necessary budget cuts. With all of the drama, it also became very clear to me that my struggling relationship wasn't going to make it. I remember feeling numb, and thinking, “What could I have possibly done to deserve this – lose my relationship, my car and my source of income all at once?” So I did the only thing I knew to do, and prayed. I also cried a lot.
I wish I could say that I had a plan at that moment, but I didn’t. I had been a person of faith for many years at that point, but during that season I truly experienced what Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “That the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you.”
In the midst of my hurt and confusion, I did manage to ask God to help me make it through all of this without losing my home. I still didn’t have a plan, but immediately, resources started coming my way.
My parents, who aren’t wealthy and were pretty hands-off with me in my adult life, immediately offered to loan me their extra car – a sun-scorched Honda with more than 130K miles on it. They even drove 8 hours round-trip to personally deliver it to me. I was so thankful, that old Honda looked like a shiny new Porsche in my eyes!
Then, my former employer, a major cosmetics company where I previously worked part-time, called out of the blue, asking me if I could work a 10-hour weekly shift (I said yes).
And when I tried to cancel my regular hair appointment because I lost my job and only had a two-week severance payment (on $0 in savings) to live on, my hair stylist immediately offered to treat my hair for free at her home, something I normally paid her $120 for at the salon.
So with transportation, a place to spend some of my time (working to supplement my unemployment income versus sitting at home and worrying) and a nice hairstyle, I made up my mind to believe I could move forward, even though I couldn’t see the slightest hint of a finish line. At the time, I felt, “If these things can fall in place, maybe everything else can too?” And in spite of my worries and fear, little by little everything did.
My challenge to you is to do the same: look at what’s surrounding you – not the challenges – but the many blessings (though they very well may be disguised right now). You may not consider yourself to have blessings right now, but just I described above, even the seemingly ordinary things truly are. So take a deep breath, take inventory and dare to take a step forward. You may be pleasantly surprised at the end results.
Always in your corner,