I was interrupted by the telephone, and when I answered it, it was the Man of the House. He was calling from his cell phone and explained that he was actually walking up the stairs as he spoke, but he hadn't wanted to startle me.
I startle easily you know...
In fact, as I've confessed time and time again, my panic button is generally set on automatic. Fear and anxiety are my besties, and I don't go anywhere without them. I'm loyal like that. Therefore, when the Traveling Man walks through the door on a Tuesday afternoon when he is supposed to be in Florida, I do not assume that he's passing through to share glad tidings of great joy.
He's a man of few words so he just blurted it out. The entire outside sales force of his company had just been eliminated. In case you missed it, that's a fancy way of saying that he lost his job, effective immediately.
Friends, I could literally feel my reaction. It started as a churning way down in the pit of my stomach and worked its way up to my chest, and my throat, and my head. It was an overwhelming feeling.
And do you know what that feeling was?
It was peace.
No, really... I'm as shocked as you are. I mean, I teach peace. I sing peace. I pray peace. I like to talk it up a lot, too. That afternoon, though, I... we... did something altogether different.
We chose peace.
I'd love to take credit for the choice, but in all sincerity, I might have reached for my bag of fear had it not been for the man I married. Before I could move an inch, he sat me down, took both of my hands in his, and explained that we had a conscious decision to make. As he saw it, we had three choices.
We could count the numbers.
Let's face it folks, the numbers stink. 23 million people out there who earnestly want to work are looking for jobs right now. 68 people from his company alone had joined the ranks that day, all with the same skill set, too. On top of that, we're no spring chickens. He's 51 years old. No, the numbers aren't so good. We agreed not to count them.
We could count on the world.
The world is all too eager for us to count on it, after all. All signs point to it becoming more eager by the minute, too. Immediately after the unfortunate conference call, his phone began buzzing with calls from (former) colleagues, brainstorming and networking and just plain commiserating to the point of noise. (Actually, he used the word cacophony. He may be a man of few words, but they all seem to be worth ten dollars. It's annoying, but I digress...)
And then, it happened.
The still, small, voice cut through all that cacophony, and it said, "Do you trust Me?"
And there it was, the third choice. Trust, it seems, is just like peace. We teach about it. We sing about it. We pray about it, and we love to talk it up. Then, life gets very real and it's a time for choosing.
One thing these over-the-hill Bible teachers know, though, is that God never has allowed himself to be among our choices. If we choose Him, we choose Him alone.
So he reached over and turned off his phone.
And for the rest of his trip home, he just listened to God.
If we could count on anything, he decided, it was God alone. After all, we had been through this before, and He had been faithful.
For the next three days, he did absolutely nothing related to the job situation. We told very, very few people about it and asked them to respect our decision not to play this thing out on the public stage. It's not that we were ashamed. We weren't and aren't. We just felt called to silence. (I'm sure you can imagine how difficult that was for me.) I'm a yakker, after all, and I love to tell a story.
But here's the thing:
Sometimes, God has a story to tell through you, and sometimes... sometimes... He has a story to tell to you. This was one of those times.
I couldn't have yakked it abroad if I wanted to, though, because within 24 hours, he had to return his blackberry and computer. He adopted Della the Demon Possessed Laptop as his own for the job search since beating the pavement has been replaced with banging the keyboard.
And that's where I've been this past month and why you haven't seen my flower cart meandering about in Blog Land. Oh, I tried, but it just didn't work to invade his space. Besides that, we worked nonstop on some projects around here to keep ourselves busy.
After all, 2012 was dubbed the year of Finding the Sunshine, wherever, whenever, and however God sends it. If God chose to send me a handy man around the house, who am I to argue?
Now folks, I don't know what happens when you jump off a blog cliff. I don't know if anyone will even bother to read this post. I decided to write it anyway, though, and try to explain my vanishing act as well as I could.
As to the end of the story?
I'll leave that to your imaginations. The fact that I'm here today ought to say something.
Well that, and the fact that I serve a mighty God, one who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. How do you think this story ends?