When Life is a Shotgun


We’ve been walking on the road of joblessness for a month now. The call came suddenly, completely left field.

And we’re wondering what it all means. My husband has been the breadwinner all these years, married to a writer who can’t always make a living with words. In that way, he’s been my patron of the arts.

And now I’m his patron, picking up jobs like flu bugs, and working to pay our bills. I’m grateful, so grateful at our community who have beautifully stepped in to stand in the gap, pray, and ask about our needs. I’m grateful that Patrick, who has been working steadily all these years, has some mind space to think through what’s next as he applies for new positions.

And, oddly, I actually like austerity.

I like going to Aldi and seeing just how little I can spend on groceries. I like selling books at Half Priced Books so I can buy some onion bulbs for the garden. I like discovering potatoes that overwintered, like surprise parties from the ground. I like creating unique outfits out of what I already have.

But here’s what I don’t like: not knowing.

I wish I could say I had the faith of a mustard seed, but I fear my faith is tinier still. I’d like to, instead, have God map out what He has for us, cleanly and neatly, so we can boldly walk into the next stage of life. Except that He’s not obliging my “need” to know. Patrick is sending out feelers like a shotgun–here, there, this locale, that locale, that business, that ministry. Bullets of hope are flying hither and yon, never seeming to reach a target.

So I continue to Aldi, grateful for the $10 coupon, grateful for all those years we were single income, and I learned thrift.

Because I am grateful, even in the not knowing. Because it stretches my faith. (Oops, and it shows how it wanes, too). It makes me trust when I can’t see. It causes me to stop and pray and ask and listen. It makes me dependent. It reveals my weakness in such a way that I deeply need God.

I don’t know where we will be in one month or five or next year. I don’t hold the future. I simply try to hold on for the ride, wandering in circles sometimes, exasperated at others, sometimes still and peaceful. And I pray God would meet me in a brand new way in this unsettled, shotgun place.

How about you? Have you ever been in an unsettled, unknowing place? How did you learn to trust God?