For those who need to see the good in the bad, this story of a friend of mine is for you.
It was a day that began like countless others. Julie got up, pushed her alarm button and limped to the coffeepot. As her feet slowly woke up beneath her, it struck her how much easier she had gotten up twenty-five years earlier. The retirement package she was building sounded sweeter every year.
Julie knew she shouldn’t complain– she had her dream job, and she was thankful. There had been a few sacrifices– marriage at forty four, no kids. But she was part of the small percentage of people who actually got paid for doing what she loved.
In the past five years, besides getting married, her life had taken another turn, as she had embraced the faith that had drastically changed her brother’s life. Raised in a family of atheists, she had watched her brother’s conversion take him from pot-smoking kid to full time ministry. It took some time, but Julie, too, came to believe. Now she had someone to thank for the blessings in her life.
Julie walked into her office and waved at her boss. Julie’s boss usually began the day chatting about which new projects they were involved with, which trips were coming up, how her new marriage was going. Today, he was unusually quiet. Finally he got up and walked toward her, wearing an expression she had never seen. “Julie, today is your last day,” he said. “You’ve got two hours to clear your desk, and Bob will walk you to your car. Thanks for all you’ve done for us.”
She was dizzy, as if she had just been given a drug. Unable to fully process what was happening, she had no choice but to do as she was told. When Julie woke up that day, she headed to work at the company she had given the best years of her life to. By 9:00 a.m. that same day, Julie was unemployed.
With no schedule and no plan, Julie’s life had suddenly become an open slate. There was fear and freedom for how she would fill it. A job, of course, topped her to-do list, but if she and her husband tightened their belts, they had some time before she had to jump back in.
Julie’s church was doing a mission trip to Haiti the month after Julie was let go from her job. She had always felt a tug when mission trips were announced, but the demands of her schedule had never allowed her to consider it. This time, she had only her own excuses to battle. She took a step of faith, thinking a change of scenery might do her some good.
The week she spent in Haiti exposed her to a poverty she never knew existed. She had heard about it, of course. But now she’d touched it– and the Haitian people’s faces were etched in her mind in a way she’d never be able to erase.
Gone were her complaints of losing her six-figure job. A roof over her head and food on the table had become reasons enough for her to be grateful. When Julie came back from Haiti, she looked exactly the same. It was what you couldn’t see that was different.
In a twist of fate, it was the loss of her job that gave that to her.
Julie now has a new job she loves, and a second career she could never have imagined. But her real passion is helping find ways to spread God’s resources where they are needed most.
Questions to consider:
Have you ever had something that looked like it was bad end up being good? How does that effect your faith?
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