Perseverance and Humility When Your World is Shaken Up
By Marina Scofield, Volunteer Storyteller
"In this world you will experience difficulties. But take heart! I have conquered the world. I have told you this so that in trusting me, you will be unshakable and deeply at peace.”Jesus, John 16:33
Two years ago, my employer faced a financial downturn that would mean a drastic cut to my hours. I was cruising along at senior level in a career that spanned 20 years. You get that phone call and it’s a shock; it would take me awhile to see God’s handiwork in this. Having raised my then 18 year old son as a single parent, I admit I was pretty fatigued. The milestone of high school graduation would serve as a new beginning for us both. The truth was, my job was no longer challenging and I carried some guilt about that. I eventually saw the reduction in hours as a blessing, instead of a punishment. I saw God’s love for me in this.
Still facing a mortgage, car payment and bills, I relied on prayer petitions to my LifeGroup. I had this year-long battle with mishandled health insurance claims that were financially catastrophic. I witnessed miracles in timing that didn’t make sense; the outcome was a nearly clean slate of these bills. I’m still in awe of that. When discouraged, it’s important to persevere. Give yourself permission to rest, but you push on. I evaluated career options and sought financial support wherever I might qualify. I also took on odd jobs with anticipation, among them, I once chopped onions for 7 hours in a commercial kitchen for the airlines. In these places I find people just like me. There is joy, and many lessons in humility. It’s hardly been boring.
My situation is still precarious, yet I remain calm. My relationship with Mariners contributes to that peace. I say to my LifeGroup, ‘I’m probably not as worried as I should be,’ and their response is, ‘It’s God’s Grace!’ Without faith and the church, the uncertainty could get the best of me. By staying connected and engaged I’m less fearful. I’m encouraged directly or indirectly through others. It keeps me going.
In a recent sermon, I found the acronym, ICDPP to be a perfect reminder of God’s work. He shakes things up to Inspect, Correct, Direct, Protect, and Perfect us. I love that! Life’s been richer, more colorful as a result of this temporary setback. My heart’s been transformed. I serve more and connect with those I care about. I have a much deeper sense of appreciation - I hope I don’t lose that. At home, we use what’s available, never go without, and usually have enough to share with others. These are all blessings, not setbacks!”