Faith in the Face of Adversity

I may have been unemployed, but the Lord still had work for me to do.

It was the week before the Thanksgiving holiday in 2003. Things were going well. My wife and I had a daughter on a mission, and her weekly letters home were among the many blessings we enjoyed. Our testimonies grew as each week she shared her experiences with us. Indeed, the Lord was truly blessing us.

Then came that terrible day when I went to work as usual, only to be told my position had been eliminated after nearly 10 years of continuous employment. As I drove home I was filled with anguish and uncertainty. Breaking the news to my wife was also difficult, but as I did so, she gave me a hug and assured me that things would work out. Now we were faced with the uncertainty of how to keep a roof over our head, pay the bills, and keep our daughter funded as she served her mission. I would be receiving severance pay for a short time, but it wouldn’t last long.

As my wife and I discussed these problems, we prayed. Afterward I felt impressed that as we dealt with this, it was more important than ever to put the Lord first. Our tithing should always be the first thing we paid, followed by funding our daughter’s mission. After that, we would pay our other bills.

We also agreed that we should continue to put the Lord first in other ways, diligently serving in our Church callings and serving others around us. In addition, I promised to do my part by searching diligently for a new job. I was confident that if we did these things, the Lord would bless us.

And so my wife put even greater effort into her calling as ward Relief Society secretary. She organized attendance and visiting teaching records, made phone calls, taught lessons, and helped fill the gap when members of the presidency were ill. The two of us also began singing in the ward choir.

For my part, I spent additional hours each week preparing the Gospel Doctrine lessons I taught. I also tried to help others around me when there were opportunities to do so. One day I prayed for the opportunity to serve someone in need, only to receive a call a few minutes later from my brother who lived out of state. He told me that the wife of his close friend was in a hospital not far from my home, and the husband did not know whom to call to help him administer a priesthood blessing. Within a few minutes I was there to assist him.

Such were our days and weeks. Each day, I applied for several jobs, some online and some in person. Occasionally I was interviewed, but there was nothing that seemed solid or promising. I felt a sense of urgency as our money began to run out. My desperation began to reflect itself in the types of jobs I applied for, especially where my skills and abilities were well beyond those required.

My heart was heavy as I got down on my knees one day and prayed for a miracle, explaining that we had done all we could and that we just did not know what else to do. That very afternoon, I received a phone call from a lady who filled positions for several different client companies. She had acquired my resume and application and told me that I was even better qualified for a different position she was trying to fill—one that paid much more. In fact, the pay was almost equal to that of my previous job. The day after I met with her for a preliminary interview, I was interviewed by the client company, and shortly thereafter was offered the job.

I don’t know why our solution came relatively soon compared to others who have been without work for much longer. I do know that as we sought to put the Lord first, we felt confident in calling on Him for blessings. I also know that whatever the adversity and however long it may last, He does not forget us. He knows our true needs and He blesses us according to His infinite wisdom.

As we sought to put the Lord first, we felt confident in calling on Him for blessings.

Photograph of clouds © Getty Images; photo by John Luke