Praise God I Have Suffered

by Teresa

About six years ago my husband, Terry, and I became business owners.  From day one it was a struggle physically, emotionally, and finacially.  We kept thinking that as we stuck it out it would become easier, or at least pay off.  But in actuality, we experienced quite the opposite.   We worked long hours and invested every penny we had put back for retirement.  Still, the situation worsened and was taking a toll.

Finally, this past January, Terry and I decided that we had to throw in the towel.  We were scared to death and humiliated, but agreed that this new path could not be any worse than the one we were on.

So now, both of our stores are closed.  We are still spending a lot of time on them trying to get inventory returned, paperwork closed out, tax stuff finalized, and lawyers met with.  One of the owners is giving us a lot of trouble which will make the process take a bit longer.  This part isn’t fun, but both Terry and I have the attitude that this is what has to be done to be done with it, if that makes sense.  And being done with it sounds so appealing that this is almost enjoyable

For the first time in at least five years, and I have trouble remembering much past that, I am eager to live life.  We are in the middle of one of one of the most dreaded situations I could have imagined a year ago, yet I am at such amazing peace with it.  I know that God put us here like this for a reason.  We had a tremendous struggle with the stores which effected home and married life horribly.  We had the stresses of two more babies in critical delivery situations, and a lost pregnancy. The strain of my nursing studies capped it all off.  And it seemed that financially we may still loose all of our possessions.  I worried so much because I didn’t know how we would provide for our multitude of children.  I lost sleep, snapped at my husband and children, cried, aged, etc.  I prayed and prayed and prayed that things would work out, of course, the way I imagined them working out.  But the situation only worsened.

So here we are now.  No business, no jobs, and after the bankruptcy is complete, no credit.  And what do I have to show for it?

I have learned patience.  God’s plan will play out on his timeline, not mine.  I thought it was urgent that I get out and start working to earn money for the family (despite four children, nursing school, and all the business finalization stuff), but work is not offered until after graduation.  So I will enjoy my kids and maybe catch my breath.

I have greater faith.  I am not the provider, He is.  And He has.  Money has shown up for us to stay current with our house payment and utilities and such in ways I cannot explain.  I have been offered a job (which is NOT the one I imagined myself in) with a supervisor who I can already tell will also be a spiritual mentor.

I am stronger in spirit.  I have been through so many valleys.  My God did not carry me back up, but he did hold my hand and lead me.  I guess he thought I needed the workout.  Maybe I will be better fit to hold others’ hands and lead them if needed.

I appreciate everything, from life’s pleasures to tough lessons.  I can’t even put this into words.

My marriage is stronger.  I am so excited to be a wife and friend without the business partner aspect.

What good is worry?  I have always been a ridiculous worrier and I knew there was no benefit, and it was indeed ruining my life.  But how can one just stop?  The answer…God shows them, proves to them, that he is in control, even if it takes six years.  And the hardest lessons are never forgotten.

Praise God I have suffered!!


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