My home is in foreclosure. I have lost the last three jobs I had. My unemployment ran out. I owe the state for overpayment of one unemployment check. I received a subpoena to appear in court over 300 miles away for not paying for the balance of a lease I broke, to come home after losing an out of town job. I am reduced to working for about 30% of what we had been making for ten years. The promotion I was absolutely destined to get at my latest job went to someone else. My wife is slowly recovering from having her gall bladder removed. Need I say more? It has been a bad last several years.
Yet, I smile and recall my blessings, every last one of them. The home that is in foreclosure is a $400,000, 4500 sq ft palace that I was blessed to be able to live in for ten years. We finished building it about 12 years ago but we overbuilt and spent our way right out of our home. But, we have been blessed to call it home for ten years. We have used it as a Bed & Breakfast, which has given us enough extra money to continue buying groceries.
I did lose my last three jobs but I was blessed to land each one of them just in time to save us from extreme, financial hardship. Two of them were out of town but they paid enough to allow me to set up house in the area they were located. I now have another job that is no more than 20 minutes from my home.
When I was out of work, in between the three lost jobs, I was on employment. I was on employment so much though, that it ran out just before I landed my latest position. Things were so tight at the time that I woefully accepted one last check that I should not have. The extra check was a blessing; without it we would have had our utilities cut off. So the extra “illegal” check came at the right time. I am now paying it back at a very comfortable rate of $30 a month; another blessing.
For one of my out of town jobs I rented an apartment on a one-year lease. I lost the job in eight months, which left four months on the lease. I had no means with which to pay the balance. I explained my circumstances but they would not accept the keys back without the balance of the lease money. I moved out, cleaned the place up and came home without paying the lease balance.
Recently I received a subpoena for court 300 miles away to take care of the unpaid lease matter. Our home was in foreclosure when I received the subpoena and we had not been paying house payments so we had saved enough to take care of the lease balance. We were blessed to be able to pay it off with our ill-gotten foreclosure funds and it is now behind us.
I have a new job, one I really like. It’s a good company, a good position, working with and for great people. The pay is less than 30% of what we were used to. Our previous income is what allowed us to build the $400,000 dream home. We could never afford even the upkeep on my new salary, let alone the mortgage. However, I have a job. I am working five days a week. I get a paycheck every two weeks. I have insurance, 401K and other benefits. I really am blessed!
My boss at my new job recently quit and I was a shoo-in to replace her. I have the education, the experience and the initiative. The promotion would be enough to allow us to keep our home; I would be able to exercise my redemption rights. I didn’t get the promotion. They hired someone from outside of the company even though I had several people pushing for me to get the position. However, I do still have my old job, I am still working, and therefore I am still blessed.
My wife just had her gall bladder removed about two weeks ago. She spent two days in the hospital and with surgeon and everybody else, the bill would have been over $10,000. I have insurance that takes care of everything but a token co-pay and paid vacation to allow me to be at the hospital with her during the operation. This is yet another one of my many, many blessings.
Two weeks after my wife’s surgery she is still having excruciating pain. She is miserable. She goes to see the Doctor tomorrow; we have been blessed with very good insurance that will take care of everything once again.
We have had a very challenging and trying three years but we have managed to pull out just before going completely under every single time. I owe that to the generous blessings of our Lord. There are so many other incidents and circumstances that have beset us but they have all come with the proverbial silver lining.
My biggest blessing is of course my lovely, trusting wife. She sticks with me even in the worst of conditions. She is what gives meaning to those words written in the vows … “through thick and thin, for richer for poorer…” She gives me strength and she supports me with her own blessings.
I thank the Lord every day that we can go through what we have experienced and still not be angry with him, we are not blaming him, and we do not accuse anybody of anything. We understand where problems originate and we are working on the cause. All we need do is look around at our surroundings and realize what we have. I am ashamed that I could ever feel slighted when I know there are people who will never, ever have the opportunity to live in a home like I have lived in for the past ten years.
We thank the Lord daily for all of our blessings. There truly is a silver lining to every gray cloud. We are told to give thanks in all circumstances, and we do. If you are experiencing hardships, please, look around you before you try to blame the Lord. Look at how you may have contributed and fix that. Then look at those who truly do have it even worse than you have it right now. How are they surviving? Yes, count your blessings, name them one by one, count your blessing, see what God has done. This too will pass.