Reach Out

She had been struggling with her job ever since the day she started. Two and a half years ago. She doubted herself. She felt inferior to her coworkers. She thought they talked about her behind her back. She never felt comfortable doing the job. She never spoke up. She tried to play by the rules. She wanted everything spelled out to her in black and white. She was afraid of the gray areas. She didn’t trust herself. She was afraid she would get fired. And last week, her worst fear came true. She was fired.

She’s embarrassed. She’s confused. She wants answers but doesn’t want to ask the questions. She wants to move on. But mostly, she’s relieved. She knows the position wasn’t right for her. But as she said, the demon you know is better than the demon you don’t know. So she never tried to find another job. Because sometimes, the fear of starting over is worse than the fear of continuing on a familiar, yet uncomfortable path.

She was told she was being let go because of performance issues. But no one in management had ever told her that her performance was lacking. No one had ever pulled her aside and shared their concerns. No one had ever rated her performance as below par. But, apparently, people had been talking behind her back. And not to her face.

Now she’s out of work.

I sat down with her this week. For four hours we talked. I shared my story with her. I let her know that I too had once experienced the same type of job loss. I too was told after years on the job that I was no longer good enough. I no longer had the right skillset. And in an instant, my job was gone. Unexplained. Unexpected. Unemployed.

I knew she needed to talk it out. To rehash the past two and a half years. What she did right. What she did wrong. What she might have misunderstood. We laughed about the fact that she never had to do that job again. And she sighed with relief. She is ready to move on.


All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4


I had another conversation this week. The grandma house sitting for her son’s family, who are on an extended island vacation. She’s the friendly sort. Even though she lives hours away, she knows more that’s going on in my neighborhood than I do. We always try to chat when she’s in town.

She said she doesn’t think her 70’s are going to go very well. She has diabetes. She now suffers from vertigo. She has glaucoma. And she’s undergoing tests for Alzheimer’s. If the Alzheimer’s test comes back positive, she will start to make alternate plans for her remaining years. She said she will give some of her money to her children. She will have to make arrangements for her house and other possessions. She’s afraid she won’t live to see 80. She’s in for an uncertain future.

And she still takes care of her elderly parents.

She seemed calm about the prospect of might lie ahead. But who knows the thoughts that go through her mind as she lays her head on the pillow each night. What fears race through her mind? What worries keep her awake? What disappointments cause tears to flow? What dreams will she never realize?

She says she’s lived a full live. She had a good marriage and children she’s proud of. She sees hope and promise for the future of her grandchildren. She believes they will have opportunities that she never had. She’s happy that her son found a good wife. She notices the physical strain placed on her daughter, due to the adoption of a special needs child. She worries about the health of her children and the choices they make. Yet she says she keeps these concerns to herself, because she doesn’t want to rob her children of happiness.

I told her that I would pray for her. She seemed to gain comfort from those words.

We never know what life will throw at us. And these two women don’t have the comfort of calling Jesus their Lord and Savior. They haven’t repented of their sins and committed their lives to following Jesus Christ. They don’t have the calm assurance that God is with them in every good and bad day of their lives.

Perhaps I’m called to be the light in their moments of darkness. Perhaps I’ll have the opportunity to share my faith and my trust in a loving God who knows their every thought and fear. He sees the paths of uncertainty they face. He holds their future in his hands. And he can hold them, too.

We see hurting people everywhere. We don’t always know the hurts they’re carrying. Because most people choose to remain silent. They suffer alone. But when someone opens up in a moment of raw need, those of us who have the hope of a certain eternal future must share the hope that we have. We can’t keep silent. We know the hope for our future. We must not be shy about sharing our faith. We can offer to pray for someone who is hurting or without hope, because God is attentive to our prayers. Our hope lies in Jesus Christ. Let’s help turn a hurting world to the source of all healing.

Running on Fumes

I can only imagine how Mary felt as she rode that donkey to Bethlehem. Hugely pregnant with a child she never planned to carry. Traveling with a husband she had never slept with. Now she was basically alone giving birth in a strange place without her mother and other women who knew about birthing babies. No baby shower to honor her and provide for the baby’s needs. No one to gently advise her on mothering and wifely duties. She was a woman without, yet she had all she needed. God was with her.

This year has been that type of year for many of us. We’ve lived alone in our own homes. Not allowed to freely live our lives. We wear masks in public. We’re advised to follow the guidelines, yet we see so many of our leaders freely breaking those guidelines when it suits their whims. We’re told we need to lockdown, yet the lockdown is pulling some people and businesses under without hope for survival.

In some states, churches aren’t allowed to meet in person. But you bet that riots welcome any and all unmasked activists with open arms. Indoor dining is banned in some states, unless you’re in a special class of people. Vaccines are being administered, but no one is satisfied with the priority of recipients. Life is turning out to be hard for so many of us who are accustomed to comfort and mild luxury. We have taken freedom and spontaneity for granted.

I’ve said it before, and apparently, I’m saying it again. This has been a tough year. For many reasons. For many people. In many ways.

For most of the pandemic, I’ve been handling things pretty well. Except for the fact that I’m working from home, my life really hasn’t changed. There have been times during the past nine months when I’ve realized I’m happiest when I’m at home. So working from home has been a great relief for me. My commute is non-existent. I haven’t seen the workplace drama queen since early March. I can use flex time each week. Life sometimes feels pretty good.

But then reality hits. Work demands take all the joy out of working from home. Unorganized and lazy coworkers make the job a lot harder than it should be. Management makes changes without vetting them and expects everyone to fall in line. Workers are expected to do more with less. And the list goes on.


You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. Isaiah 26:3-4


People are on edge this year. For different reasons. Those who lost their jobs are fearful of what lies ahead. Those who are essential workers are running on fumes. And still more is expected.

 I am one of those essential workers. And for that I am grateful. I really am. No. I don’t work in healthcare, but I work with healthcare companies. And my work is never ending. Especially at this time of year. 

I so don’t want to complain. But today, enough is enough. 

I find I am easily annoyed at things I can normally brush off. I find anger bubbling when there’s no need. I find I need to slow my thoughts to find the true reason for my outbursts. I find I’m probably not the easiest to live with in these uncertain times.

I want to be kinder. I want to be patient. I want to hold close those I’m close to. And I find it’s a choice. I must search deep within to learn the reason I am so on edge. The findings aren’t comfortable, but growth never is. And I realize that comfort isn’t a necessity of life. But oh. How I wish it was. And I’m learning that comfort may be a thing of the past. Can I live with that?

I know that my true comfort is in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is with me in all my trials and troubles. He is with me when life doesn’t seem kind or fair. He is the great I Am. He is my protector and provider. He is with me always. Even to the ends of the earth.

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. Psalms 121:8

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

Close to You

It was a beautiful fall morning, and I was working in my flower bed. It was time to prepare for the unknown weather conditions of the upcoming winter. It was time to prepare the outdoors for cold weather.

When I went indoors to gather my garden tools, my dog was sitting by the front door. She was waiting for me. Hoping I would come indoors and spend time with her. On a Saturday afternoon, she prefers to sit by my side. She enjoys being in my presence.

So I got her leash and tied her up outside near the flower bed. She wanted so badly to be near me that she sat right in the middle of the flower bed. She sat as close as she could possibly get to me. She just wanted to be with me. She loves me. She trusts me. She enjoys being with me.

After awhile, she ventured further away. She sat several feet away in the grass enjoying the beautiful day. She sat where she could always see me. She wanted to keep me in her line of sight. She wanted me to know that she was waiting for me to come close. She hoped I would take a break from my work to sit down and rub her belly. She wanted me to make time for her. She wanted to know that I felt the same love for her that she felt for me.

This dog guards me like it’s nobody’s business. She stands glued to my side. She even protects me from the man whose name I share. She will stand in front of me to make sure I’m ok when he and I are in the same room. If he tries to hug me, she jumps on him. She protects me from her perceived evils. She is my guard and protector.


The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalms 145:18


Oh. How my Heavenly Father does the same for me. He loves me. He wants me to spend time with him. He’s always there. Waiting. Hoping I’ll set aside the things I call important to be with him.

There are times he sits so close that I can’t move without bumping into him. And I love that. I want to always be in his presence. Don’t I? There are other times that he is watching from the sidelines. He’s hoping that I’ll put down my garden tools of life and choose to open his word. The book of life he’s given me to read. He wants to be with me. He wants me to love him the way that he loves me. He wants to spend time with me. He wants me to want to spend time with him. But he doesn’t force me. He allows me to choose my priorities and allegiances.

God is my protector. He is my shield and defender in time of battle. He goes before me and behind me. He surrounds me with his presence. In known dangers and even in unknown, he is with me. He hides me in the cleft of the rock and covers me with his blood of redemption.

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. Psalms 23:1-6

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