When the only thing you seem to be getting are "thank you for your application, your skills are of value but we found someone better" letters, your morale starts to sink. Day after day. Week after week. Month after month. And those are the replies you actually receive. More often than not, you're seemingly sending your resume out into a giant black hole, never to be heard from ever again.
We try to keep in good spirits. D has such a wonderful and positive outlook that it would take more—much, much more—to get him down. But there are good days and there are most certainly bad days.
You start wondering if the boulder will ever be rolled away to reveal the bright sunshine it had been blocking. You begin to think perhaps this lifestyle—one which you've never imagined or wanted—is the one you'll have to adjust to.
In the irony of the job hunt process, the wider the gap between jobs, the less likely someone will want to hire you.
And that's when you start wondering, is this the life that God is "blessing" me with? Is this life the life worth living?
Don't get me wrong. I know that God is still blessing us. I'm still gainfully employed and D still manages to get odd jobs now and then. We can pay the rent, we can feed ourselves and we can even give ourselves little treats now and then. But it's also one in which as D says, "we're surviving, not thriving".
But it's not the financial side of things that's causing me despair. And I know we're doing much much better than many other people around the world. I recognise that this falls into the realms of first world problems. That still doesn't stop the sense of worthlessness that slowly creeps in with each rejection letter, with each non-reply, with each day that goes by where you start losing that sense of who you are, of what you should do, because you're simply waking up in the morning and looking for work, only to receive . . . nothing in return.
God has brought me through enough difficulties in my life for me to trust Him. To know that He is good, that He loves us and that He wants so, so much more for us. I know that at the end of the day, hopefully in the not too distant future, we will look back at this period in our lives and discover the reason why we had to go through what we're currently going through. I know that, because He's proven to me time and time again that that is what happens. He only wants the best for us and there is a purpose to everything He does.
And yet, it doesn't stop the fear. It doesn't dilute the worry. It doesn't curb the despair. Your faith starts to waver. The anger and frustration at God, at our situation, begin to show.
God at times permits tragedies. He permits the ground to grow dry and stalks to grow bare. He allows Satan to unleash mayhem. But he doesn't allow Satan to triumph. Isn't this the promise of Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose"? God promises to render beauty out of "all things," not "each thing." The isolated events may be evil, but the ultimate culmination is good.
We see small examples of this in our own lives. When you sip on a cup of coffee and say, "This is good," what are you saying? The plastic bag that contains the beans is good? The beans themselves are good? Hot water is good? A coffee filter is good? No, none of these. Good happens when the ingredients work together: the bag opened, the beans ground into powder, the water heated to the right temperature. It is the collective cooperation of the elements that create good.
Nothing in the Bible would cause us to call a famine good or a heart attack good or a terrorist good. These are terrible calamities, born out of a fallen earth. Yet every message in the Bible compels us to believe that God will mix them with other ingredients and brings good out of them.
But we must let God define good. Our definition includes health, comfort, and recognition. His definition? In the case of his Son, Jesus Christ, the good life consisted of struggles, storms, and death. But God worked it all together for the greatest of good: his glory and our salvation.
And so we hold on in hope. We continue to trust. And I continue to pray that D will get through this and that his spirit won't be broken by this famine in his life, in our lives. All we can do is let God continue His work, and sustain us through the tough and difficult times.
PS: If anyone reading this is looking for, or know someone who is looking for, an Assistant Accountant, I know a really talented and hardworking one who is ready to start immediately!