I started praying a novena to St. Jude four days ago. For those of you who don’t know, a novena is the practice of praying for a specific reason for nine days. The prayers generally ask for a saint’s help. St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes — you go to him when you are down and out and desperate. I never thought I would pray to him for myself. (I have prayed to him to intercede on another’s behalf.) I pride myself on being strong and finding options when things don’t work out. Unfortunately, I am truly feeling like a lost cause these days. I have been looking for work for almost nine months and cannot seem to land a job that will support me. I currently have a part-time position with a good company and decent people, but it pays too little and, frankly, I am a poor fit for the job. I have looked and applied and interviewed and called agents and followed leads and prayed and I just ain’t getting anywhere. My unemployment benefits have run out so I am living on savings — and yes, I realize how lucky I am to have savings — but that cannot continue for very long. (The part-time job prevents complete reliance on savings, but I am still dipping into reserves every month.) This cannot go on and at times I panic. I am looking at living in my car. I am investigating how to check into homeless shelters. I admit it. I am at the bottom of a pit and I feel myself with no energy or ability to climb out. I have not a clue as to how to help myself. So I have been praying to St. Jude and I promised him that if he helped me, I would spread the word about what a good dude he is and how he helped me.
The novena began on Wednesday. On Friday, I got two phone calls from agents with whom I’ve never had any prior contact. Both of them are submitting me for decent positions for which I have the required skills. I would have never known about these jobs had the agents not called me. I also got some feedback from a company that is out of state. It might just be the right time to make a move and start over. My novena is only half over and I am seeing some positive traction. Thus, I am keeping my word and getting out the message about the St. Jude Novena.
You see, even if none of these jobs pan out, I have still gotten something from praying to St. Jude. I have gotten the lesson (which I needed to learn) that I need to admit when I am broken. I have always prided myself on being independent and able to take care of myself. I now realize that it is no shame and certainly no sin to admit that I don’t know what to do now or next and hey! I could really use some help. I have learned that nothing bad happens when I admit that I am at the end of my rope — actually quite the opposite. The earth did not open up and swallow me, people did not shun me like a leper, no one carted me off to a padded cell. Rather, I realized that crashing and burning is a part of the process we call life. Sometimes we can handle it without a lot of help, other times we need all the help we can get, and a lot of times we ain’t sure where to turn. It is at times like these that St. Jude has your back.
So I will thank St. Jude for his help and acknowledge that he is helping me and the novena ain’t even halfway over!
If you’ve been dealing with a problem and you just ain’t finding a solution, St. Jude is your saint. Whatever the problem, hand it to him and he’ll help you get some traction and some satisfaction.