As I looked back and reflected this past week and what I'm thankful for, I can honestly say that I am thankful for my Job journey. Do you know Job? Job was a faithful man of God whom God allowed Satan to test and not just test, but Job lost everything he had in 6 little verses of the bible. Job 1:13-19. His animals were stolen, the farmhands were killed, the sheep and shepherds were burned, the camels were stolen, servants were killed, his house collapsed, and his children all died. While we may not have had loss as Job did, we all have some sort of a Job journey in our history, our present circumstances, recent crisis, or past trauma. We all face loss, pain, and struggle on this journey of life.
My Job journey includes, a miscarriage, a son diagnosed with developmental delay and autism, a still-born daughter, affairs and being cheated on, diabetes diagnosis, pain of divorce, guilt, shame, an adult child battling with mental illness, and my own anxiety and situational depression. I know you have all experienced a Job Journey in your life too. Well, I want to encourage you with what I have learned from Job in walking through my Job journey.
I have come to learn 4 things from Job’s Journey. 1. Trust in God! 2. Be a Good Friend! 3. Be True to Yourself! And number 4 and my favorite: God Knows where I am Going, and when he tests me, I will come out as Pure as gold!! Job 23:10
Let me break those down for you a bit.
TRUST IN GOD! God knew what He was doing. He allowed it all. God and Satan had a conversation about Job before He allowed it to happen. God said “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless – a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”
God was so proud of His servant Job! He is so proud of you too!! Do you think Job’s reaction would have been a little different if he would have overheard that conversation between Satan and God? God is proud of you! Trust in Him in all your trials, pain, suffering and sorrow. God is more than enough for you in every circumstance. What are you struggling with today? Tell yourself that God is more than enough in ________________ (insert your struggle.)
BE A GOOD FRIEND! Be a good friend to others walking through their Job journey. We need each other. The night I was awakened in the middle of the night to be told by my then husband that he had an affair and cheated on me with more than one woman, one of whom was my best friend from high school, I didn’t even know at that point how bad I needed a friend to lean on. One of my other best friends called me every single day for weeks after that happened. Every. Single. Day. I was living 15 hours away from her at the time, or I know she would have visited me every day too. Some days we wouldn’t even have anything to say, but she just called and asked me how the day went. When you don’t know what to say, just be present. Job’s friends just sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to a Job for they saw that his suffering was too great for words. But they were present. Just be there.
BE TRUE TO YOURSELF! Often, we are our own worst enemies! Job wanted to erase his entire life because of his present-day situation. In Job 3:3-4 he says, “Let the day of my birth be erased, and the night I was conceived. Let that day be turned to darkness. Let it be lost even to God and let no light shine on it.”
Don’t make eternal decisions based on present day situations. He would have thrown away so many good days in his past and the future days that God had prepared for him.
There are so many good sayings out there based on this situation. For example: “This too shall pass”.
Or when you face your darkest night, or deepest fear, ask yourself, “and then what?” What would really happen if your deepest fear came true? My husband cheated on me. And then what? I was devastated. And then what? I felt like I had a big “D” on my forehead. And then what? My kids had to face very hard times dealing with our divorce. And then what? I was so depressed. And then what? I hit rock bottom. And then what? I looked up. And then what? God was still right there with me. And then what? He restored my happiness, my freedom, my joy, my children’s joy, he removed the big D off my forehead, and he filled me with hope of finding my person again in the second half of my life!!!
Ask yourself “And then what?” until you face that fear or situation head on!!! Get to the rock bottom of that fear. What is the root? You won’t regret it. At the end of everything . . . THERE IS GOD!
Get rid of the nay-sayers and friends that may mean well, but really aren’t pulling for you! Get angry with God. It’s ok to ask “Why?!” In Job 7:11b he said, “My bitter soul must complain.”
I battled many, many, many nights with God when I allowed myself to go back to my ex-husband in a moment of grief after my mom passed from cancer. I just wanted a hug. Well, that hug turned into my pregnancy with my youngest daughter. Yes. Can you believe it? I was so disappointed with myself for allowing it to happen. But I thought, ok, maybe this will be the beginning of our restoration process. Absolutely not. My ex actually despised me more during those days and did not enjoy the fun way I decided to tell him about it. He did not think it was cute when I had our youngest son announce he was going to be a big brother. This sent me into some of my darkest days. The darkest pregnancy of the prior 6 before. The saddest, the ugliest, the deepest dark, the worst thoughts and feelings I had ever felt in my life. I would never ever have an abortion, but I thought of so many other ways to try and make it happen. I prayed for God to make it happen. Every. Single. Day. I sat in extremely hot baths hoping something bad would happen to make me miscarry. I was so ashamed, and now I had to tell my friends and family that I was pregnant by my ex-husband. I walked in humiliation every day. Went to work and stayed home every night sulking in my shame and guilt. It nearly ate me alive.
I didn’t know it then, but Job 19:25 comes! “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives!!!” Don’t get stuck in your anger. Handle your stress like a boss!!
Take a deep breath. Laugh. Watch funny videos. Turn on some music. Go for a walk. Dance. Ground yourself utilizing each sense. What do you see, smell, hear, feel? Pray. Meditate. Wait on God. Find what works for you.
Job’s story ends with double blessings in his life all around!!
4th thing to learn! GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM GOING, AND WHEN HE TESTS ME, I WILL COME OUT AS PURE AS GOLD!!! Job 23:10 HE WILL DO TO ME WHATEVER HE HAS PLANNED. HE CONTROLS MY DESTINY!! Job 23:14
Write the rest of your story with God. He has a great plan for your life. I am so thankful for the struggles I have walked through. I’m thankful that I trusted in God even on my darkest days. I’m thankful that I have great friends and have been a great friend. I’m thankful that I chose to be true to myself. I’m thankful that God knows where I am going. I’m thankful that I will come out as pure as gold. I’m thankful that he controls my destiny! I’m thankful that he knows my person and that He is working in me, healing me, preparing me to be the best person I can be for my new person for the second half of my life. But for now, I am thankful for all I have walked through. I really like the person He is creating and calling me to be through the growth of my Job Journey. I really like me!!