"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
The last month has been wrought with change for my children and I. Changes in our routine, the complete loss of child support and change in the way I handle my finances, my ex-husband suddenly becoming engaged to the woman he's been dating for only 4 months (he proposed to her on the anniversary of the day we first met), and today the loss of employment for me.
I knew my job was volatile. I've known for about 5 months that I would be let go due to the poor financial condition of my department and due to my boss not liking me. She's been threatening to let me go for over a year. The environment was incredibly toxic.
When I was hired, she knew I was a single parent with minimal outside help. She made herself appear to be understanding and willing to work with me. She told me she was empathetic to the challenges of single parenthood. I thought I had finally found the right place to work.
Over the course of the last year and a half, multiple unexpected court dates, frequently sick children, and lots of last-minute appointments apparently made her change her mind. She became very hostile. Rude. Angry every time I became ill or had an ill child at home. Making hateful comments if I had to take a child to court-ordered counseling or to the dentist.
She treated other staff members the same, everyone in that place was miserable and it became a place I never wanted to go to. I felt very unvalued there.
About six months ago, going to work in the morning started becoming unbearable. I would cry the entire way there. I didn't want to go. I had panic attacks in the car. My anxiety was awful. My counselor told me I needed to get out of that environment to protect my mental health. I knew in my heart that was the truth. That job was eating me alive. I've literally lost almost 50 pounds over the last six months.
I had plans. Plans to work there through the summer. I had started working on a side hustle at the first of the year, but I'm not quite finished with the coursework yet. I had planned to have the coursework done and my licensure done by June, put my notice in at the end of July and work through September and then begin to do the side hustle full-time and work my way up.
God had other plans.
The last few days, I have felt oddly at peace. I've felt calm and reassured that things would be changing for the best. My counselor confirmed this during my session on Monday. My best friend confirmed it the day before. They both spoke words of positivity that God would be moving in my life very soon and that things would be well again.
Today, at the end of my shift, I was forced to resign. I was treated like a criminal, I had to embarrassingly beg to be allowed to clean out my office, which was full of personal possessions, and was escorted from the building.
I felt relieved at first. Then fear and anxiety started speaking lies as I drove away.
How am I going to do this? You can't. You're a loser. How am I going to financially support my children with no child support or income coming in? You can't. You're going to lose everything you've worked for. How in the world am I going to survive this? You won't. This will be the end. You're not worthy to be alive.
I drove immediately to my parents' house. My dad said, "Honey, God is going to get you through this. He will provide. You've been miserable there. They didn't value you or the hard work you put in, but God did. That job was sucking the life out of you. You will be taken care of by the One who saw your purpose there."
I left their house and tried to stifle the tears as I drove home. When I leaned over to grab my purse from the passenger-side floorboard after pulling into my garage, I saw the framed picture I had kept on my desk. It was sitting on top of my box of belongings in the passenger seat. I don't know how it ended up on the top of that box. I had grabbed it and thrown it in there as I was rushed to leave the building and I could have sworn it was at the bottom.
The words on that picture were "In all things give thanks".
In ALL things give thanks. Even seemingly bad things.
If that wasn't a sign from God, then I don't know what it was because I'm certain that picture was one of the first things I threw into the bottom of the box.
I decided right then and there that was how I would look at this. I would give thanks to God for getting me out of that toxic place. He closed a door that He knew needed to be closed so I can move to the next chapter and fulfill His will for my life.
He closed the door to a place that was preventing me from healing completely.
I wiped the mascara from my cheeks, took a deep breath and decided I was ready to follow God's lead to fulfill His plan, wherever and whatever that may be. I vowed to trust Him no matter what. To not listen to my fear and anxiety.
I told Him I knew he would provide for my children and I. I thanked Him for his provision thus far and for future provision. I spoke words of confirmation and thanks as I sat my belongings down on the counter. I filled my heart with gratitude.
I walked out to my mailbox and there, under a pile of junk mail, I found an envelope from my mortgage company.
My breath always catches when I see their logo on an envelope. When my last home was almost foreclosed, twice, due to my ex-husband refusing to make the payments, those envelopes were always a sign of impending doom and escalated abuse. They are still PTSD triggers for me. Silly, I know, but I seriously have to have all my mortgage documents delivered electronically now so I don't see those envelopes.
My stomach turned. I dreaded opening that envelope. I almost didn't do it, but I heard a gentle voice say, "It's ok. Open it." Inside I found a rather large check from my mortgage company. It was a refund for an excess of Escrow payments.
I was shocked.
I had received notice from my mortgage company only two months ago that my Escrow was short for the last year and that my mortgage payment would be increased due to the shortage. My mortgage payment even went up pretty significantly last month to cover the shortage.
Never in a million years did I expect a check for a refund, especially for that amount, to be in my mailbox. Never. Especially on the same day that so much had been taken away.
But God did. You see, He already had it planned.
That check, my friends, was God showing me that He's got this. That He's going to provide and it's going to be ok. He closed a door. That's all. Another door will open very soon.
I don't have to be afraid. I don't have to be worried. I don't have to be sad. I just have to trust and know that He's watching over me and moving things in the direction of His will for my life.
And I can be hopeful.
His plan is good. Always. He promises us this. Even if the situation seems bad, God will use it for His will. Things WILL work out for the better.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28