My husband’s job unexpectedly ended and, along with the sadness of disappointed hopes that his job didn’t work out, I’m struggling with fears over finances, the transition of moving (again), and the fight to stay emotionally stable for our children and each other with so much change. How can I trust the Lord through all of this?
Our family recently went through a similar circumstance, and it felt like every security button I’d ever had was pushed: How would we pay the mortgage? Would we have to move to a new state? What would this mean for our kids? Our marriage?
As someone who craves stability, fear related to change is common for me, and the questions threatened to topple me at times. While I longed for a quick fix, it was seven months before God gave my husband a new job and set our family in a new season. And although I wouldn’t have chosen that path for our family, I am grateful for how the Lord increased my trust in him during that time.
I came out of that season knowing three things in a richer and deeper way.
1. Nothing Surprises God
The Scriptures are clear that God is sovereign. Nothing surprises him, and while we may not understand why he allows certain trials to take place in our lives, we can trust that he is not thrown off by them. The God who sees and knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10; Rev. 22:13) knew exactly when your husband would lose his job (Ps. 139:16). But even better is that God knows what is next for you and your family. He has a plan that will unfold in his way and his timing.
When my husband lost his ministry job, I thought that if I could just see a year into the future, I would be able to walk in peace, because I would know what was up ahead and could cling to that. But that is not how the Lord works; his mercy keeps the future shielded from our eyes. In not knowing what was ahead, I had the opportunity—and ultimately, the choice—to hang onto to God rather than to any circumstance.
That is the gift in front of you right now, hard as it is. Hold onto the Lord. You can trust that his plan for your family is being worked out with beautiful precision.
2. Worrying Doesn’t Help
As the months rolled by and our bills started to outpace my husband’s severance pay, the two of us mapped out a financial plan to make our money stretch as far as it could. We determined that with my work, we could make his severance stretch for five months.
In not knowing what was ahead, I had the opportunity—and ultimately, the choice—to cling to God rather than to any circumstance.
My husband looked at the months ahead as a gift—provision for five months! I looked at them with fear—only five months of provision! The challenge for me was to choose to live out Jesus’s challenge: “Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on” (Luke 12:22–31).
That season turned out to be a gift. We got to practically experience God’s provision when we needed it. When we hit that five-month mark, my husband was in the middle of an interview process and, while it was promising, it wasn’t yet paying. Nevertheless, we still had enough in the bank account to pay every bill. Were we tighter with our money? Yes. But God also miraculously provided in ways we still don’t understand. Worrying did not provide what we needed; the Lord did.
3. Stability Comes through a Person
When my husband was offered a new job across the country, we knew it was God’s plan for us. While I was deeply grateful, I also struggled with what moving would mean for my children. Would they resent being a ministry family when church had caused transition and pain—and therefore resent the Lord? Would the loss of close family relationships (we lived by relatives) inflict long-term sorrows and scars? Would they struggle in a new town, having to start over with friendships and school?
Worrying did not provide what we needed; the Lord did.
My plan for their lives—one I thought was best for them—looked like stability based on external places and things. But God’s plan for their lives is based on security in him alone. If my children know Jesus, they have the foundation of faith that goes with them even when everything else changes (Eph. 2:19–22).
No matter how our lives change, the constancy of Christ is sure. God “does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17) but remains stable and steadfast when everything else is in transition. We can cling to him and know that he has a plan for us, that he will provide for us, and that we are stable and secure—eternally—in him.