THOSE FIRST FEW MIN­UTES WHILE THE NEWS SANK IN WERE DEV­AS­TAT­ING. I felt like my whole world was cav­ing in. Some­how I man­aged to stum­ble shak­ily out of my boss' of­fice. His words kept re­ver­ber­at­ing in my head: “Due to the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, we're hav­ing to cut back. So we wanted to ask if you wouldn't mind ac­cept­ing a cut­back on your work hours for now.”

Per­haps you've faced that kind of sit­u­a­tion, too. Whether you had full-time em­ploy­ment to sup­port a fam­ily or, as in my case, a part-time job that was help­ing to sup­ple­ment my in­come, ei­ther way, it's dif­fi­cult news to swal­low. What do you do? How do you pick up the pieces and go on?

Here's what worked in my case.

1 Re­mind­ing my­self con­stantly to stay pos­i­tive. There was noth­ing I could do about my boss' de­ci­sion, but I could de­cide how I was go­ing to re­act to it. Each time I was tempted to start get­ting dis­cour­aged or de­pressed, I would yank my­self back to pos­i­tive ground. It wasn't easy, but I forced my­self to keep at it.

2 Re­mem­ber­ing that no mat­ter what the cir­cum­stances, God was on my side. He loves me and His love hadn't changed. My out­ward cir­cum­stances had changed, but I still had the same solid ground of God's stead­fast love to stand on.

I kept that in the fore­front of my mind by read­ing the Bi­ble and let­ting God speak to me through it. Th­ese were some Bi­ble verses that helped me: “I know the plans I have for you, de­clares the Lord, plans for wel­fare and not for evil, to give you a fu­ture and a hope.” “We know 1 that for those who love God all things work to­gether for good, for those who are called ac­cord­ing to his pur­pose. What then shall we say to th­ese things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” “Blessed be the 2 Lord, for he has won­drously shown his stead­fast love to me when I was in a be­sieged city.”

3 Lis­ten­ing to up­lift­ing Chris­tian songs, such as “You Lift Us Up” by Paul Baloche and “Come to Me” by Jenn John­son. Th­ese songs and oth­ers are avail­able on YouTube and helped fill my mind with good thoughts.

4 Hav­ing sin­cere friends who lis­tened sym­pa­thet­i­cally, heard me out, and prayed for me. Hav­ing those friends helped me ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that I had some­one to go to in times like this. Some walls and dis­tance had grown up be­tween us due to my be­ing so busy. Th­ese all came down as I hum­bled my­self and showed my­self emo­tion­ally needy. As a re­sult, we got closer through this ex­pe­ri­ence.

5 Tak­ing things one day at a time, as Je­sus said: “Do not worry about to­mor­row, for to­mor­row will worry about it­self. Each day has enough trou­ble of its own.” In­stead 4 of try­ing to fig­ure out the whole fu­ture and where I was go­ing from here, I tried to set my­self one or two goals to ac­com­plish each day. As I took care of those, I felt en­cour­aged, know­ing that I was tak­ing care of some “to-dos” that I'd put off for a long time.

6 Count­ing my bless­ings more of­ten and learn­ing to see more clearly all the many ways that I was blessed. Even very lit­tle things I'd taken for granted lifted my heart and light­ened my step. 7 Last, but most im­por­tant, keep­ing my con­nec­tion with Je­sus strong. He said, “In this world you will have trou­ble. But take heart! I have over­come the world.” 5 I fig­ured the more time I spent with Him, the more of an over­comer I'd be­come.

Day by day, as I put th­ese tips into ac­tion, things got bet­ter. Even though my cir­cum­stances didn't change, what did hap­pen is that I got a bet­ter out­look on my sit­u­a­tion be­cause of be­ing more pos­i­tive and praise­ful.

Dur­ing the hours of work I still had, I con­tin­ued to do the best I could, putting my whole heart into it. Some­times it meant do­ing things I'd never done be­fore—like go­ing to the whole­salers' area in town and hunt­ing for dé­cor items. And then fig­ur­ing out how to fash­ion the wo­ven rattan bas­kets, pump­kins, and ar­ti­fi­cial maple leaves into an at­trac­tive au­tumn dé­cor.

Af­ter about a month, I was given my full hours at work again. As you can imag­ine, I was very happy and re­lieved. But al­though my sit­u­a­tion changed for the bet­ter, the tips I just shared are stay­ing with me. If my cir­cum­stances change again—and I'm sure they will—I now have some­thing solid to fall back on for those dark hours when my world seems to cave in.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from International

© PressReader. All rights reserved.