Let's Talk About 2023 - Our Year of Poverty

2023 was a year of testing for us in many ways.  It was a year that our faith grew like it had never been before.  It was a year of trusting God and watching all of our security fall out from under us.  It was a year of questions and a year without many answers.

At the start of 2023, after receiving his largest bonus ever, my husband got laid off after 17 years with a heartless call and abrupt goodbye.  This is how corporations work nowadays and they call it restructuring but it is all based upon greed.  In this event, they eliminated certain positions, not even looking at the people that filled them.  It was probably the worst move for the company in my opinion, as they lost some of their best and loyal employees but they'll soon find that out, if they haven't already.  It's their loss because I know how valuable my husband is!

It came as quite the shock to us but mostly my husband.  We had never gone through this before.  We'd always had security and never experienced a layoff.  It shook me to my core really, and not because he lost his job, but what he said God was wanting him to do afterward - of which, is why I'm writing this post.

My husband prayed for direction from God and he received something along the lines of: I'm going to bless you, it will come to you.  He was to do nothing but wait on God.  I really tried at first to believe this but let me tell you, I definitely quoted the scripture about don't work, don't eat and providing for your own LOL!  Not too long after the layoff, a LOT of job offers literally came to my husband!  Without any of his own doing, calls came in offering him some great jobs.  The big boss from the former company also called trying to get him back in some fancy corporate positions.  I thought, wow, see, God is so good, it literally came to him.  But... My husband kept saying, no, that isn't it, as each offer showed up.

After about the 5th offer and my husband saying it wasn't the one God was sending - I thought to myself, ok, there'll be another coming.  There wasn't and for 11 months we waited.  Every time my husband prayed, God said it is coming.  God worked so much out of ME as each month passed by.  We lived like we'd never lived before - spending the year under the poverty level and watching ALL of our savings run out - waiting.

The most unsettling part was I found out that nobody (except parents) cared for us!  No friends or family came to help, no offers of assistance, no food, no nothing!  No one cared; for real.  I remember craving certain foods so bad I felt like I was going to go out of mind.  I remember hatred and bitterness inside of me against church people that claim to be of God and knew my husband was laid off and offered nothing at all, not even a question about if we were ok.  I had to pray through all that and FORGIVE people in my mind.  But it taught me something - it taught me that 1. I haven't surrounded myself with God's true people and 2. I care more for others than they do for me.  I saw the selfishness of people and lack of care for others as God commands in His Word.

But God kept us.  We never starved!  Somehow, someway, God gave me wisdom with the food budget and I made it work.  We didn't have what we wanted but we had what we needed.  I was even able to find a medical clinic that saw us for free that was based on our income, which was ZERO!  We eliminated so much from our budget and found out what it's like to live bare bones.  Poverty in America looks way different than other countries but it is very uncomfortable when you've had everything all your life (needs and some wants) and to go to barely surviving with no hope on the horizon.

We trusted what my husband said God said to do till the end but nothing ever came.  My husband felt like a failure and started doubting so much.  By that point, I KNEW beyond ANY doubts that he was following God and although I couldn't explain why IT didn't come - I knew my husband and I knew we did what God said and waited.  People said so many cruel things to us, mostly to ME because they didn't have the guts to say it to my husband.  Forget that I have brain damage and can't handle much - they didn't care - they had to say their Job's friends' speeches to the weakest link.  I forgave them and my response to them was always that of faith in my God.  I wasn't going to waver and I stayed steadfast.

In many prayers to God, I kept getting the SAME response: Someone didn't listen.  SOMEONE didn't do what God told them to do in 2023 involving us.  Knowing this, at first I was furious, who is this someone that held our year in their hands and ignored what God told them to do!?  Then, it turned into deep sorrow because (and listen close) - by this person not doing what God told them to do involving my husband, they are going to suffer.  So, I prayed for that person.

By year's end, my husband quickly got a great job and how that came about was a miracle in itself.  He is making more money, working less hours and comes home happy.  We're enormously blessed with money running over but I'm changed forever.  I've always looked to the things of others and given to those in need but now more than ever, my mindset is altered and I hate the greed, covetousness and selfishness that has taken over so-called Christians and the church.  

God sometimes has to reroute His plan for us because of man.  God can't make anyone do anything, we are given a freewill.  Look at what your freewill in not doing what God told you to do can do to a family!  But no worries, God not only restored ALL of our savings in just 2 months but He is pouring enormous blessings on us that I'm now having to figure out what to do with it all.

Read Part 2 - The Blessing of 2023 here.