J’s Job

J is having a really hard time right now. He just got passed up for a job opportunity he was really excited about — and to be honest, pretty desperate for. He’s really sad today, and it just makes me sad for him.

He has a job right now, it’s not that he’s unemployed or there is a real threat of him losing his current job. We do realize that we are blessed, and are grateful beyond measure for God’s provision. It’s just a really hard time for him.

J’s the kind of person that puts all of himself into his work. He works really hard, and wants to do a good job, not just get by. He finds real purpose in his work, and he wants to give everything he can to making sure a job is done well. I don’t think I’ve met a lot of people like him, and I’m not just saying that because I’m his wife. He’s honest, sincere, and commits to things. You can count on him. He looks for ways to make things better, doesn’t always just accept them as they are. He even teaches himself new skills and reads up on the industry in his spare time (who does that?). And to top it all off, he’s smart. So he’s a real asset to any employer.

The trouble is, most of his employers and co-workers have seriously underminded and undervalued him, not to mention disrespected him. He has ended up in the types of jobs that have very low employee morale, because of the way the companies are managed and the people there. And ironically, I have had some of the best jobs — with people who value me, truly listen to me, give me opportunities to shine, and are understanding. The people I have worked for are amazing — and I keep trying to tell him that they are out there!

He’s been in two jobs back to back that have slowly crushed his spirit everyday. And he was unemployed for a full year prior to these jobs, being laid off from his first (great) job unexpectedly. He spent hours every weekday that year committing to his search like it was his actual job, with nothing coming from it for a long time. The job he got coming out of that was supposed to be great, and he was excited. It turned out to be awful. He was in it for two years. The job he got after that (after he had been looking for a year — again), the one he has currently, looked to be great, and he was excited. It’s far from great. Everyday they seem to put him in his place. He works so hard for them and all they do is tell him what he can be doing better, and he is asked to work overtime a lot and he does it (early mornings, nights, weekends, you name it. It seems like once a week on average he’s working extra for them.) He’s dying to get out of there.

And having been passed up for this exciting opportunity, after he thought he had it in the bag, my heart just aches for him.

Watching him suffer but not being able to do anything about it really wears on me. He has this strong outer exterior and I’ve never really seen him get sad, but the look on his face when he’s going through this stuff is just too much to bear sometimes.

I have to admit we don’t pray a lot together, but after he got a rough review that got him down on Friday I told him I wanted to be more purposeful about us praying together about his job situation. So last night I asked if he would let me pray for him before we went to bed. He’s usually shy about it; he feels awkward praying together, as do I in a way, so that’s why we haven’t much before. Last night he was pretty open to it, he held my hand, we laid facing each other, and I prayed. I prayed for God to open doors for him, for God to show us clearly what He wants us to do, for God to give him strength to endure this job for as long as God wants him in it. And I thanked God for giving us both jobs and blessing us financially.

Then this morning, he got the bad news.

God is showing us — very clearly. This job was not meant for him.

So as much as I want to cry for him today, I’m trying to hold back. For one, he needs me to be strong. I can’t fall apart when he needs someone to lean on. But also, I don’t believe that the timing of our first real prayer together for his job and this news today were coincidental. I know God has His hand on this. And I think God timed it this way so He could show me how much providence He has over this. I just wish I could know what God has in mind, I wish I could tell J that this very rough patch will be over soon after 5 long years, but just like with our miscarriage and trying for a baby, all we can do is give it to God and know that He is working on it. And pray.

I’m praying for an extra dose of faith and strength today — for me and for J.

I love my husband so much.

Therefore we do not lose heart,
Though our outer self is wasting away,
Our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory
far beyond all comparison,
while we look not at the things which are seen,
but at the things which are unseen;
for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are unseen are eternal.

– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
– Isaiah 41:10

Shall we accept good from God,
and not trouble?
– Job 2:10

Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension,
shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:6-7

For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD,
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.

– Jeremiah 29:11-13

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
And whose trust is the LORD.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought,
Nor cease to yield fruit.

– Jeremiah 17:7-8

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