This year marks the tenth anniversary of the most painful time in my life. I was reminded of it very vividly yesterday, and this morning I went through one of my journals from that time to verify that I wasn’t dreaming. It is painful and embarrassing to go back and uncover that part of my life, which I have buried under layers of “let’s forget it”!
The tapestry of life has all kinds of colors and patterns. Not all of them are bright and sunny but the combination of the different parts is what brings out the beauty. To honor my God and Savior I will write the testimony of how He has brought me trough the fire and the deep waters. I will not embellish anything but rather be brutally honest. The only reason for doing this is in hopes of helping someone that might be discouraged because of the hard knocks of life. I want to show that with God’s help we can stand up tall amidst the most “lowering” circumstances.
I will start with the entry that brought about a prayer—which I realized yesterday, with tears of thankful humility—that is now coming to pass.
April 30, 2002
My dreams have been scattered, my ministry to Latin American children and youth taken away from me. I am grieving that loss, together with the loss of my precious first-born. There is great sadness in my heart.
I visited Gene and Karen Schachterly (missionaries whom I had worked together with some months earlier). They prayed with me. They installed new hope in me. The Lord can open other avenues for my life, my ministry. Gene prayed that from the ashes of my life God would build a skyscraper to his glory! That will be my prayer, my motto.
I will rise above my circumstances. The Lord will provide work and ministry opportunities. I will get my tools ready, so when the door opens I am ready to go! Hallelujah! God is still on the throne, Almighty God is he!
On February 6th, I asked:
“Am I going through a job experience, that I will be stripped of all dignity and sit in the ashes?”
February 25, 2002
It happened! I was fired!
This was the most devastating and humiliating thing that had ever happened to me. I had given the job my all, which for me was my life’s ministry. Even when my daughter was on her deathbed I put in my hours to make sure the deadlines were met. At this time I am not going to write about all the grueling details leading up to what happened that day. As I analyze what happened I realize I had an emotional breakdown. Two month earlier my daughter died. Three month before that I had a total shift in my work situation which brought on almost unbearable stress. I was not given the proper tools and support to meet the requirements. The combination of stress factors made the situation unbearable.
I was the breadwinner. To go home and tell my husband what had happened was probably the hardest. But he understood, because he knew every detail of what had been going on.
March 11, 2002
“Today marks a new day. The sorrow of a lost job will not put me down.”
I am a writer, translator, and editor. From the day we came to the States in 1988, to work on developing curriculum in Spanish (I will not mention names and entities in my writings here as I don’t want to embarrass anybody—it’s enough to embarrass myself), I believe God assigned a special angel to me, to make sure I had enough jobs and income to support my family. I was the only one of us who had a work permit!
My “angel” did his assignment faithfully year after year. I had my regular job and then free-lance to cover extra expenses. The only time it didn’t work out was a period when I was so tired I didn’t want any extra work. At that time we were a pay-check from being homeless, but God was merciful and brought us through. That was seventeen years ago. When I had rested up a little the angel’s assignment continued. It’s been amazing because I’ve had jobs enough to cover for myself and also to work with my youngest sister and a friend sharing the “blessing.” I will have to write a special entry about this, with continual work and no overlapping! Especially that time ten years ago when I was fired!
Then came that memorable April 30th, when my friend Gene prayed for me (he is one of the few I will mention by name). I made his prayer, my prayer:
When your dreams are scattered and you feel like Job of old—tormented to the max by Satan—, who “took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes” (Job 2:8), it’s not easy to picture a skyscraper. But that is what I prayed for.
And yesterday, through tears of amazement over the grace and mercy of God, I realized the skyscraper is in the making. Bear with me these next few weeks as I share my testimony with you.