We celebrate two things this week. The first, as you saw from the last post, is Brad’s new job. He will be working at Sacred Heart Parish in Robbinsdale, as a youth and young adult minister. It’s perfect for him in many respects, and he follows a good friend of ours in that position, which makes the transition even smoother. We are excited to see what’s in store.
Looking at the other places we both applied, it is easy now to see that God was holding out for this. Whether we thought so at the time or not, each rejection letter or email we got was a door that needed to close in order for this one to open. From this side of the trial it is also easy to see how God took a great fear of mine (financial instability) and used it to prove Himself my provider. Further, through this new job of Brad’s, God has given us a blessing we would not have sought out if we had not been laid off. And, in these times when many are still searching for work, He has given us authentic compassion and a heart of prayer for the un- and under-employed.
These things were not always visible to us while in the trial, but part of the joy of this gift is being able to see that what we suffered in the past 6 months was for our good. All’s well that ends well. That brings us to the other thing we celebrate this week: Gianna’s first anniversary in Heaven. There are many parallels.
We celebrate not the fact that she suffered and died, of course. For, in many respects all is not ended yet for us. We are still in the midst of the trial of life without her. In celebrating her anniversary, we are recognizing that she has reached her reward. Just as we look back on 6 months of uncertainty with relief and joy because our employment trial is now over, so does she look now at her own short life and see the meaning behind every needle poke and every tear. And I think that she sees us all still in this Valley of Tears and with her prayers is seeking to remind us that if we persevere until the end, our outcome too will be glorious. She and Peter remind us that in comparison with eternity, our lives here on earth are as short as theirs were. And the result of living it well is worth the cost, even a thousand times over.
One final thought. Many, in hearing our good news this week, have commented on the goodness of God. Amen!! He is! But the saying reminded me that I should react the same way when I receive bad news, too. Is God any better today than He was when we got the news that our job had been cut? Was He any better the day Gianna was born than the day she died? No. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He does all things well, and we will come to see even the hardest things this light if we give Him a chance to show us. Even if we have to wait until Heaven.