Faith when it all falls apart …

Perhaps I was not specific enough. I wanted to find a job and then actually start doing it.

If you have been reading this blog recently, you will know that I have been praying a lot (including novenas to St. Josemaria Escriva and St. Jude) for a job. I have been without steady employment for many moons now and want to get back to work on a regular basis.  During my recent St. Jude novena, I got interviews and finally a job offer. Yippee! If I could bottle the feeling I had when I heard I got that job and give it to others to spritz on themselves and feel the same way, I would be a gazillionaire. I felt relief, joy, hope, anticipation, confidence, and benevolence all at once. I had a spring in my step and I slept better. I was unstuck, moving forward. Thank you, St. Jude and God.

And then, the day before my start date, I learned that the position was put on hold. Budget concerns from the higher-ups. There was a chance that the job might start up in a month or so, but also a better chance it was nixed permanently. Suddenly, I was right back where I started nine months ago. No job and no prospects.

It goes without saying that I felt disappointment. And dismay (uhmm, did no one look at the budget before they started setting up my cubicle?) And a mixture of anger and annoyance. But oddly, I did not feel any hopelessness — a feeling that has wrapped itself around me like a cold fog in the last few months. Yes, this is a lousy break, but that’s all. It does not mean the whole world is out to get me, it does not mean I am unemployable, it does not mean God is punishing me. It does not mean I am cursed or forgotten or invisible. It means that an employer thinks that I have the skills to perform a certain job but said employer does not have the budget to offer such job right now. That’s it. Such is the way of business.

I jumped up and got right back into the job search. One employer found me a good choice, there must be another employer who feels the same way. Something will come up. I have faith.

This is a revelation to me. I was agnostic for many years and then, for an equal number of years, paid attention to God when he paid attention to me, i.e., the good times. Prayers were for worship, not worries, and I offered to God thanks¬†for things I had, not thoughts of bankruptcy or becoming homeless. For a long time, I don’t know if I could truthfully call myself a person of faith. But these last few months of reduced circumstances have shown that, if I have little else, I do have faith. I can speak with God about my frustrations and fears and there is no divine retribution. I can curse and cry and then get up and carry on with dignity. I do indeed believe that God has my back. That does not change when my circumstances change.

You could say that I found value in my life when I found nothing in my wallet. That clarity is what faith offers.

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