Welcome to our Remember series, where we pause to reflect on how God has proven faithful in the past so to help us place our trust in Him in the present. We look to the future, knowing that God always keeps His promise and that He always makes a way. We invite you to pray with us, to write your own Psalm (see the end of the post!), and share with others about how God has been faithful in your life.
My husband sat on the hospital chair with his disheveled hair, composed but worried, his mind preoccupied from the bad news he received the day before. I was happily in a newborn fog, holding our daughter in awe of the gift of her life. This was the first time I couldn’t meet my husband in disappointment or in the worry of what would come next for our little family.
The nurse came in to perform our daughter’s hearing test. She advised us not to worry if our daughter didn’t pass the first time and mentioned that the test would be billed to our insurance. My poor husband received another sucker punch in less than 24 hours of being reminded that he wasn’t providing financially anymore after unexpectedly losing his job the day before our daughter was born. Hours before, he had just helped me birth our third child with no medical intervention and marveled at the gift of her new life. After the nurse walked out, he called the insurance company to confirm our daughter would be covered. I felt cheated that our daughter’s birth was clouded by my husband’s concern to provide.
The weight of being the provider has never fallen on my shoulders; however, I felt that this new baby would outshine any other difficulty that we were facing. “The Lord will provide,” I said from the hospital bed (which I truly believed). But I have always had a tendency of oversimplifying things in an effort to put a positive spin on it. My husband was in a different mindset and there was nothing I could say to give him the confidence that everything would be okay. In the coming months, the effects of his job loss would manifest itself in toxic stress. That stress would spill into parts of our marriage, child rearing, and overall livelihood.
After four months of being unemployed, my husband secured a job. Those months while he was home were a blessing as he handled the kids’ school drop offs and pickups, made the lunches, and gave me the space to care for my postpartum body and our newborn. That time really helped us work as a team and rely on one another completely.
That teamwork wavered once the stress of the new job took over and memories of being eliminated took a grip on him. We both became short-tempered with each other, frustrated, exhausted from having a baby that wasn’t too keen on sleeping, all of which manifested itself in different ways. We tried being grateful even though we knew the intensity of the stress was not sustainable.
Had we relegated ourselves to the idol of job security over our peace of mind and our hearts? Had we become the Israelites pursuing false gods under the pretenses of financial stability being more important than emotional well being? Seeing my husband absorbed by a new job that broke his spirit wasn’t what either of us had envisioned for our family. We needed the Provider Himself to intervene and break these chains that bound us to a job that was providing financially but was sucking the positivity out of everything else in our lives.
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Pope Francis announced the year of Saint Joseph in December 2020. It sounded great but was not something I could chase in blogs or books yet. Lent 2021 arrived and we both knew we needed a prayer overhaul. We fasted together, offered up the same things, went to Confession together regularly, added weekly Mass into our routine, and went to Saint Joseph for the first time in our marriage.
The job situation wasn’t improving but there was no way my husband was going to quit (especially during a pandemic). We began our 33-day Consecration to Saint Joseph right before Lent. I had done many consecrations on my own and with my small group but this was the first time my revert husband completed one alongside me. We took everything with us: the job loss, the new job that turned out to be tumultuous, and our family’s illnesses. We gave everything that had grieved us, afflicted us, and distanced us from one another to Saint Joseph in hopes that our relationship with God the Father, as well as our own, would be restored.
Saint Joseph taught us new ways about God’s perfect orchestration in our lives. We both found a father in Saint Joseph who we knew by name, but with whom we had not yet sought a relationship. Saint Joseph was the hand that brought us to the Provider. We both felt comforted in his paternal care.
During our waiting and holding tightly to our consecration to Saint Joseph, my husband secured a more suitable new job. Our household started to reflect the interior transformation we were experiencing. The faucet that had been leaking from the upstairs bathtub was finally fixed, the sliding glass door that wouldn’t open unless you used your whole body against it was like new, and the garage that had been neglected for over a year was organized with everything in its right place. The man of the house was present to the needs of the home as well as the people inside of it.
Together, we began to welcome the outpouring of the Father’s provision. Together, we remembered that there is not anything that could keep us from Him. We have continued some of our Lenten practices to remind us to thank the Father for bringing us out of our own Egypt into His loving and caring hands.
There are points in our lives where we are willing to forgo peace of mind because we think the situation we are in is the best for us, even if it’s causing us physical, emotional, or spiritual harm. We can’t see our way out of something that is so toxic because we don’t have the clarity we need. God the Father does and He does provide.
It may not feel like He is in those moments when you are sinking in quicksand but His is the hand that saves. Where in your own life are you sinking? Where do you need God’s saving hand?
If you would like, we invite you to write your own psalm to help you remember the marvelous works of the Lord. We walk you through it here. Keep this psalm handy. Pray it when life makes it difficult to see Who reigns sovereignly.
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