Friday, July 7, 2023

The Holy Trinity of Updates- Part Three: Blessings Through Hardship

Blessings are only sometimes seen once you've been through the rough stuff. It's like a geode; You don't see the good until you crack them open to see what wonders are in store.

God was readying my wings for flight, but I wasn't ready to fly yet. Just a month before my raise and benefits would come, maybe wait until the end of the year, after the holidays, or even Spring, when the farmers markets would open. I could then quit and help with the bakery as I established myself as a fabric artist...

God had other ideas.

I was let go last week. I was shell-shocked. Within fifteen minutes, my life plans changed, and I was driving home in tears.

When bad things happen, I tend to spiral down into a depressive misery that takes weeks to recover from. I was finding it hard to breathe as I drove home, but the Spirit in me started to speak, and I decided to listen this time.

You were already thinking of quitting. You wanted to establish the bakery and work from home as a sewist. Isn't this an opportunity in disguise?

I realized with surprise that it was. So why was I crying to the point of not breathing?

Because someone else decided when I would stop working. I was not given time to adjust. I was my family's primary source of income and had yet to establish my business.

I was still trying to control my environment instead of letting God handle things.

So I pulled over, calmed myself, and started talking to God. Not a prayer per see, but telling Him I would let go and trust Him in all things, including being newly unemployed.

He provided before. He could provide again. Duh. Why do I keep forgetting that? And I thought the Israelites were forgetful...sheesh!

I still had bouts of tears on the way home, but there was also relief. I could spend time with my family again. I could start sewing what I wanted and write what I wanted. When I returned to blogging, I realized I was a week shy of a year since my last post. Yikes!

But what about the money? Yes, we would need it, and I still don't know where it will come from. I got my last paycheck today, but beyond that, I have no idea. Usually, I start obsessing immediately about money when hardship happens. This time it took almost a week before I began to spiral, but instead of remaining in silent misery as usual, I decided to call a family meeting and share what was happening in my head. 

I needed prayer and reassurance to keep me from shutting down into a depressive state.

As I confessed my worries, they assured me this was a blessing in disguise and things would be okay. I was encouraged to continue sewing, and we'd pray and let God tell us what to do concerning the bakery.

Then my husband started playing on his phone, or so I thought.

At first, I was annoyed (no phones during discussions, please!), but he showed me a listing for a home-based double oven. And after asking about it, they offered a flat-top stovetop as well. We rushed all over the house, gathering all the loose change, raiding our wallets and the donation jar for baked goods he's been testing on the locals for the past few weeks. 

After counting up everything, we not only had enough, we had three dollars left over without touching the bank account. (I traded the coins at the local store for bills- I wasn't paying them with all that change and singles!)

They were ninety minutes away, and we zipped off in the truck to bring home our bakery booty. We told them about our bakery, and they were happy to hear their renovation benefited us.

Something weird happened next.

I did something I never did. I moved my husbands' hand truck out of the way. He did something he never does. He forgot to put it in the truck. In fact, he felt God prompting him to get out of there as fast as possible. So we did.

We were almost all the way home before he realized he left the hand truck behind. I confessed to moving it, and when we had a signal (there's no internet in the mountains), we found the family had tried to contact us in every way possible to tell us about the forgotten hand truck.

But something else was weird. The time stamp on the messages was only minutes after we left their house. We had an internet connection for forty-five minutes before we lost signal. So why didn't anything get through?

We arranged a time for me to go get it on the fifth since the next day was the fourth of July (my daughter and husband were working the fifth), so I made the solo drive, mad at myself for moving the darn thing in the first place, but glad to be able to bring them a sample of our baking as a thank-you.

As I pulled up, I was greeted by the kids, that squealed with delight as I brought out the cake box. Before I could hand it off to the mom, she stuffed something in my hand before I could let go of the box, telling me it was for the cake.

The cake she didn't know I was bringing.

It was money. She said she was refunding me for the stovetop because they wanted to support us in our bakery adventure. Before I could reply, she also asked if I was interested in a venting hood for the stovetop.

Gobsmacked, I blurted out that yes, I'd be interested. She told me they ordered a new one, but it arrived dented, and the company told her to keep it- they'll send a replacement. So she offered it to me. I accepted and offered to give her back the refunded money for it. She refused.

I was expecting their old one (since they were renovating), but when she mentioned the new one with a dent, I said the thing could look like Quasimodo for all I cared, as long as it worked! We both laughed, and she brought it out so I could put it in my trunk.

It's a good thing that one of the kids remembered to bring out the hand truck- I'd almost forgotten it again!

After loading up and waving to Mom and the kiddos, I drove home, resisting the urge to call my husband at work to tell him the great news. I started singing hymns all the way back home. Let him open the trunk when I arrive and be surprised!

Now we know why God told my husband to leave right away! It also explains why we could only communicate with them once we got home. Isn't God amazing?

I'm still not sure how long it will be until we can work as a cottage bakery, but we're definitely on our blessed way!

How has God worked in your life that seemed terrible initially but became a blessing? Tell me about it in the comments!


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