The Peace of Christ is Real

Between packing, moving, and getting settled in Texas, I’m going to be extremely busy this week and next, so I’ve asked a few of my best blogging buddies to pinch-hit for me. This first guest post is brought to you by the irrepressible Dwija of House Unseen, Life Unscripted.  If you haven’t made it over to her blog yet, you must go! She is an absolute delight, whether she’s regaling you with tales of Wal-Mart-ing in rural Michigan or describing the ways their family was shown Christ’s love during their journey.  And for all you Groundhogs out there (because let’s be honest, that should be our mascot. Who among us identifies with a Crusader? A Groundhog, though. We can get down with that.), she’s also a UD alum. So read this lovely post, drop her a comment letting her know that you appreciate her visiting us, and then skip over to her blog and get to know her!

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As you probably know by now, when I’m presented with a challenging circumstance, when the road gets a little bumpy and the things aren’t going the way I wish they would, I clam up.  I need time to process the valleys of life.  The peaks…well, I shout those out eagerly!  Like yesterday, for example, with my celebration of the awesomeness of total strangers.  Today, on the other hand, is different.  Today I’m ready to share something with you that was, or perhaps should have been, more difficult to celebrate.

On the Friday before Mother’s Day, my husband was laid off.

Now see, if I had posted this the day before Mother’s Day or the day after Mother’s Day, there would have been many condolences and true sadness and real concern from all of you, my dear friends, both those I know in flesh and those whom I’ve come to know and treasure over the past few months.  There was absolutely no way that I was going to saddle any of you with that worry.  If my friends were less empathetic or we had another real source of income then I might have considered it, but they aren’t and we don’t, so I didn’t.

He had actually come home early from work that Friday, with a six pack in his hand and a smile on his face.  I knew something was up.  But I didn’t ask him outright and he didn’t tell me outright, because he also needs a little time to process things, and if we were both processing it at the same time, well…that might not have been good.  In fact, it would certainly have been bad.  Better one at a time, truly.

So Friday and Saturday passed, with every suggestion by me that I ought to get to the store before he took the car again on Monday being shrugged off by him nonchalantly.  And then on Sunday, Mother’s Day, as we sat around the breakfast table before leaving for church, I insisted, emphatically, that it didn’t matter if it was Mother’s Day.  We had to go to the grocery store after Mass.  End of discussion.

“Well” he said, “I have sort of a surprise for you.”

Pause.

“Um, I don’t have to go to work on Monday.  Or ever.  Yeah, so, the car will be here and….”

Silence.

“Yay….?”, he suggested cautiously with an apologetic smile.

“Uh, are you serious?”

And of course, he was.  The contract that he’d been hired to help fulfill had fallen through.  No contract means no money means no work.

I hope you’ll know what I mean when I say I distinctively felt the pivotal nature of that moment.  Or better, I felt the pivotal nature of my reaction to that moment.  I could have choosen to be sad , disappointed, worried, or worst of all, angry.  If I had gone down any of those paths, most people would consider my response justified.  But would it have been?  Would it have made my family any more joyful or peaceful?  Would it have improved my relationship with my husband?  Would it give him his job back?  Clearly, the answer to each of those is “no”.

So I took a deep breath and nodded my head.  I forced a smile.  “Well, it’s not like it paid all that much and you certainly weren’t enjoying yourself.”  The look of pure relief that came over my husband when he heard those simple words was undeniable.  I knew he had been nervous, maybe even a little afraid.  Probably a whole lot sorry, even though there’s nothing he could have done.  He wanted nothing more than to make me happy, but he had no choice but to tell me truth.

Remember my struggle with worry?  My tendency to let myself fall into despair?  Ever since I admitted that to all of you and committed myself to trusting Jesus the way my sweet little girl trusts me, the calm I’ve been able to enjoy has been nothing short of incredible.  That morning, Mother’s Day, as I stood next to my husband at Mass, I felt no fear.  There was not a trace of concern in my heart.  Not a bit of frustration.  No anger and no animosity.

I stood there with my dear husband and my four children and was instead overwhelmed with joy.  I almost couldn’t contain myself.  I wanted to tell everyone I saw.  I wanted to holler it from the rafters.  I want everyone I’ve ever known to know it.  And if you already know it, come on and shout it with me.  The peace of Christ is real! He is always there, ready to give it to us.  It’s just so “understandable” to deny Him at those pivotal moments.  But don’t deny Him.  Soften your heart.  Banish the fear.  Take the peace that it is rightfully yours and revel in a life of peace!

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02096149014019312158 Kate

    what a beautiful testament to a stong, loving marriage. i love your positive outlook and your faith that Christ will always provide–whether emotionally or financially. we've been through a layoff during a crisis time and God gave us unbelievable grace. i'll pray that he finds work soon!calah i'm praying for you too…moving is the pits!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08320121067497251199 Kristina

    Thank you for sharing this Dwija, You hit the nail on the head when you said : "But I didn't ask him outright and he didn't tell me outright, because he also needs a little time to process things, and if we were both processing it at the same time, well…that might not have been good. In fact, it would certainly have been bad. Better one at a time, truly."The fact that you just let it lay, and didn't push, didn't pry – that says alot and I admire you for that! That is so hard to do and to be honest, I would have probably said to my husband : "Uh…hi love, what are you doing home in the middle of the afternoon?" But you knew to just let it lay and he would tell you when the time was right. Kudos to you, and I'm making that note as that is something that I need to learn to do! :) Prayers to you!Good luck with the move Calah!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15922977109678908184 WynnieBee

    What first comes to mind is a song we sing in church often – "The Lord is my light and salvation – whom should I fear? – whom should I be afraid? I will trust in You. "Being laid off is scary – you lose so much of yourself-your identity when you lose you job-God will show you a way – of course, you already know that : D Will pray that another job comes along very soon.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15774707631650694570 Full Spectrum Mom

    I am not this good of a wife.But I am a pretty good prayer when it's somebody else. so I will be praying for the guitar business and for continued graces for you.As always-you are good.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12268964638359962511 XLMIC

    Could have been worse… you could have still be living in California where the cost of living is like a hundred times higher… right?May the window that opens from this be exactly what works for your family!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00392788527804780788 kat

    Dwija, little did I realize how much strength you possessed when I read your profile on Twitter; not only for buying a house sight unseen and moving cross country but in your faith. I'm learning so much from you and I've known you for…what?…two wks? Big family !

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17887429052179249473 Dwija {House Unseen}

    Kat, perhaps you should write me a new twitter bio that you think fits me a little better ;) Hah!I've loved getting to know you. My internet family is amazing! :D

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10982080106339616105 Kelli Ann

    I'm sorry, Dwija. I firmly believe, as do you, that God has a greater plan for us than what we might expect or hope for. David was laid off from his job while we were on our honeymoon. We had literally moved to Boston just three days earlier and spent our last dime on the move to that city…where rent ain't cheap. Three weeks later, we were jobless, took some jobs that were way beneath our skill sets and then September 11th happened, wiping several people we knew from the planet. Had we still been in NY, the chance that I would have been at the Towers that day was nearly certain. From our "hell in the hallway" (as my mother-in-law calls those trying times while you wait for the next break) we ended up returning to grad school and going into an entirely fantastic place. It took seven long years, but you know what? I wouldn't trade a single day and those times when we were penniless (still are, really) hold some of the most beautiful memories. You're all in my prayers, my friend.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10594967600495492941 Rosann

    I love your attitude and the way you've completely glorified God in your response to your husband's layoff. As you probably know from reading my blog, my white collar, highly educated hubby has been out of work for 2 yrs now. We've been on a very scary road, but one that has been filled with God's amazing blessings along the way. Now we are taking a leap forward in faith so my hubby can pursue what he's always dreamed of, which is to run his own company. I totally understand the joy which you're speaking of. I feel it every Sunday when I stand in worship singing to and praising Our God. You and your family are in my prayers, Dwija. :) Many blessings,Rosannhttp://www.christiansupermom.com/

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01101237513037307877 Rachael

    Dwija, I am so sorry to hear Tommy lost his job, but I am glad you are seeing this as a challenge. Because one thing I know about you is that you are determined and you will accomplish what you set out to. Your enthusiasm and optimism are contagious. Tommy makes the most beautiful guitars I have ever seen. With your encouragement I know his business will be a success. :)


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