I never expected to be divorced. To be addicted. To be jobless, or depressed, or to have cancer. To want to die.
~ Statements said at the Healing Service or the Glennon House.
Everyone goes through a season of ‘I never expected’ in their lives. No matter how carefully we plan, or how many precautions we take, something will throw us off course. Sometimes we’ll cause the problem, and sometimes it is caused by something completely out of our control. But, sooner or later, the never expected happens.
My ‘Never expected’ season came when I was fired at fifty-two years of age. Oh, they dressed it up with nice terms like ‘downsized’ and ‘laid off’, but the end result was that I was over fifty with no job and no income. I knew how to be an excellent employee, but I did not know how to be unemployed and poor. The education was brutal.
To paraphrase a song from ‘Godspell’, “Job had nothing on me!”
Out of options, I turned to God for support. And I discovered that, while I’d perfected my ‘people pleasing’ skills in the workplace, my ‘Jesus pleasing’ skills were pretty thin. I had spent years relying on myself, not God’s Scripture. I wore my cross over my heart, but not in it.
I started reading the Bible regularly, and spending more time with wise Christian friends. I had no choice but to ‘get real’ about how far I’d wandered from Jesus. I had to ask for, and accept, the Lord’s forgiveness.
Eventually God provided a new job, but that isn’t the real story. The real story is that He provided much, much more. I now know my life has a purpose in the Lord’s plan and that I delight Him. I know that God is with me always, no matter what future problems (or triumphs) I might face. He has redeemed my life—and although He
didn’t cause the job loss He used it as a giant wake up call.
Are you facing your own ‘I never expected’ season? If so, be assured that God has not abandoned you. He is closer to you than ever. If you’re having trouble hearing His voice, talk with your Christian friends or one of our Glennon House prayer ministers. Jesus can and will lead you through this time, until the day when you find yourself facing an entirely different ‘never expected’.
I never expected to be so happy. Or so free. Or so forgiven. Or so very, very loved.
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 (NLT)