Thrown Out Of The Nest

After praying and even fasting for the healing of my marriage for more than seven years, I finally had to give in and let him have his divorce. I told him that divorce is unscriptural except in the case of adultery, which I have never committed, so I will not have anything to do with the divorce except to sign where he needed me to sign. I didn’t even get a lawyer.

I found myself home with my four children, a single mother with no education beyond high school. What to do? My former husband was sending child support and alimony but it wasn’t enough – I knew I had to go to work. But how? I wasn’t trained in anything. I had gotten married right after graduating from high school.

One day I saw in the newspaper an announcement that the government was opening a program designed to train people who had no training, to help them find a way into the labor market. I went down and registered for the program, but there were certain requisites they said, and that they would call me if and when I was accepted into the program. After a wait of several days, finally on a Friday I received the call. They told me that the income from my former husband put me over the income limit for the program. My heart just dropped.

My father said to me, “what are you going to do now?” I said, “God will provide.” I didn’t mean that as a trite quote, I believed exactly what I said.

On Monday morning I received a call from that government office telling me that there was a change in the income limit, and that put me just under the limit, so yes, I would be received into the program.

Now …the government doesn’t work on the weekends. What happened between the phone call on Friday, and the phone call on Monday morning??? I would never know. I just knew that God was behind it.

So I went down and took a two-day seminar on how to choose a job type suitable to one’s interests. Having finished that, I waited to be assigned to a placement program.

The call came. I was told that there was one opening available to me. It was a computer technology course at the local community college. I told the man that that certainly was nothing I could be interested in, and couldn’t they place me in a secretarial position, ANYTHING but computers? At the time, I didn’t know what a computer was. All I knew was that my former husband’s career was in electronics and I had seen his textbooks and that was the furthest thing I could ever have any interest in at all. PLEASE, I asked the government official, surely there’s something else I could do. No, he said, it’s the only thing available, to me. Not only that, but I would have to take tests. I’d be competing with others for one of the 16 available seats in the class.

I was terrified.

I went to my weekly prayer group and told them all of this and asked them to pray for me, to BEG God to open a different door for me, because “computer technology” was absolutely not right for me, I had no interest in those kinds of things and surely God could raise up something else, he knows me and he knows this is not right for me. We all prayed earnestly that God would open a different door.

I was notified of the date of the tests. I defiantly refused to study for them. I had been out of high school for several years and I hoped I would fail the tests. So with my heart in my stomach, I went to take the tests. Trembling.

I passed. I was given one of the 16 seats in the computer technology course.

All I could do was cry. I felt abandoned. Scared out of my wits. I wanted nothing to do with electronics. Hadn’t I gone through enough, Lord? And now this?

I arrived at the college on the first day of classes. The teacher comes in looking grumpy. Wonderful. All I need is a grumpy teacher. He began the class by snowing us over with more information than anyone could possibly digest. It felt like he dumped on us the equivalent of the entire course in one day. I went home and cried. I called my mother and told her how horrifying this was and that there’s no way I was going back. But she asked me to stick it out for one week. So …I did.

What I didn’t know was that this grueling, horrifying snow-job was purposeful. There were more than the 16 people in the class. He needed to weed out anyone who wasn’t really committed. Several people dropped out.

On the first day of the following week, it was like a different world. He was smiling. He started from the very beginning and so grounded us in the basics that we came to love the course. In fact, by the end of the course I could honestly say he was the best teacher I had ever had. He went slowly and didn’t go on until we thoroughly knew the material he had presented. Repeating, step by step. I got an A for the course. I actually cried when the course ended.

Now – I had to find a job. HOW I dreaded this part – I don’t do well under stress. Just the thought of going out job hunting was a nightmare to me. I knew I couldn’t do it and didn’t know where to start. My stomach was in knots.

God is so in-tune to our makeup, he cares about our weaknesses. I have found him to be absolutely merciful. I received a call from a company hiring in my field. Come to find out – it was the doing of my computer tech teacher. He had recommended me for the job! This was the mercy of God. HOW I thanked him, and still do.

When I look back at this story what I see most clearly is the scud marks my shoes made on the ground as the Lord literally dragged me by the shoulders to that computer course. If only I had known that this was going to be the foundation for what I would do for the rest of my working years and beyond. Every job I have had since then has been in the computer field. When I think on the mercy of the Lord, it just stuns me over and over again, I can hardly fathom it. The Scripture says he is the husband to the widow, and though my former husband was still alive, he was dead to me – and God stepped into those shoes and created something for me that I would love for the rest of my life.

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