This summer has been hard. Frustrating. Overwhelming. But mostly just weird. I can’t think of a better way to describe it. So yeah… weird. Back in May Anderson got laid off from his job. It sucked. But we’ve been through this before. Two years ago he was laid off after a big government funding shortage, and it was one of the hardest seasons we’ve been through together. Partly because we also found out about my brain tumor at the same time. Yikes! It was pretty much hell.
But this time was different. I mean, it was really similar in a lot of ways; the company-wide lay off was due to a budget shortage again. (Jeez people. Get your budgets together!) But everything else was different. Last time he lost his job we knew for sure that God was allowing it to happen in order for him to move into the industry (video production) he really wanted to be in. So he kind of pulled the rug out from under us and it was career change time. Now or never! But this time there wasn’t an obvious, “Oh, okay God! That’s what this is about!” moment. In fact, we still have no idea why it happened.
Also, we were really vocal about it last time. Everyone in our circle knew what was going on. But this time we only told a few people. I think we just didn’t want to deal with it that way again. It was overwhelming for me to talk about it at all. And since I work exclusively from home now, all 3 Almeidas have been together 24/7 since May. Some of you might think that sounds fun. I encourage you to try it and get back with me. :)
Seriously though, I’m really thankful that Anderson has been here this summer, because God is pretty cool and orchestrated things so that I was incredibly busy with photoshoots in May, June and the first half of July. So busy that I wouldn’t have been able to do it all if Anderson hadn’t been home. Last week Anderson accepted a great job offer!!! And shortly after that I realized that my work is extremely slow from the time he starts his new gig until school starts back. Think that was a coincidence?!?
All that to say: God always provides. Between my Pink Coffee work and Anderson’s freelance jobs over the last two-and-a-half-months, God has provided more than we needed and a lot of what we wanted. We definitely felt the strain that comes from a lack of job security and had to hold off on some bigger purchases, but we knew God wasn’t going to let us down. Because he never has!
We spent a lot of late nights praying. Sometimes crying out in frustration, because we knew God could (and would!) change our situation, but he was choosing to let us wait. Then one morning while I was reading my Bible, I ended up at Psalm 27. It’s one of my favorite chapters, especially verses 13-14: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Waiting is so hard. Even when we KNOW God is going to come through for us.
Last Sunday at church Anderson and I went to the altar at the end of the service to pray together. We just really wanted to thank God for coming through for us once again. And after we prayed, one of the elders (think “deacon” if you’re SB!) came to us and asked if he could pray for us. So Anderson told him that we just really wanted to give thanks to God for providing for us. And as he prayed over us, he ended by saying, “And may they be vocal about all you’ve done for them.” I’ve always believed that one of the reasons believers go through hard times is so that we can tell other people about God’s faithfulness, and I knew that I needed to share a little bit with you all right here.
Over the last seven years, I’ve rarely felt too busy to blog, but have found myself in that situation a lot of the last few months. And have been sharing more on Instagram instead. Mainly because it doesn’t take as much time. Picture + caption = done. So I want to leave you with something I recently wrote there:
Jesus teaches us how to pray in Luke 11:1-13.
He tells a story about a man whose friend comes to his house at midnight asking for some bread and wine.
The man tells his friend to leave, because it’s late and he doesn’t want to wake his family.
But then Jesus says because of the friend’s “shameless audacity” in asking, the man gives him as much as he needs.
Then he goes on to say:
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
My family is in a season of praying continuously for something.
We’re expecting God to answer our bold, audacious, obnoxious prayers.
Not because we deserve it, but because he is a good dad who wants to give us what we need.
If you find yourself pleading with God at midnight, with shameless audacity, I feel ya!
Let’s not give up, okay?
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”