The Lord is good. With deadlines. (Part II)

Susan M - April 8, 2007

I posted in Part I about a time I prayed for something to happen, and I gave the Lord a deadline. And He met it. I don’t often do that. For me personally, it has to be something really big, and something really important, for me to feel justified doing that.

I’m someone who often receives answers to prayers. I don’t know why. Spiritual gifts, and all that, I guess. I don’t know why some people really struggle with receiving answers to prayers. My husband is one of those people. Sometimes I think it’s a personality thing. In my experience, it seems like the Lord gives us only as much as we need, and no more. I don’t think my husband really needs very much. Or maybe it’s just that he hasn’t figured out how to ask so that he’ll get an answer. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll go into that more in another post.

For now, I want to share how the Lord met another deadline.

We moved to California about two or three years ago, after my husband graduated school. I’d been working fulltime to put him through school prior to that. I assumed that once he graduated that’d be it. I could stay home fulltime. I’d already missed five years of my kids’ lives. That was going to be it.

Well it didn’t work out that way. The company he hired on with is small and he basically took the job with the agreement that after a certain amount of time and company growth (which he would facilitate) he’d get a big raise. We both definitely felt like this was where the Lord wanted him. We made a list of things we wanted in the place we moved to. And prayed for them as a family. Just about everything on the list was met (except for the boys each getting their own bedroom).

So I needed to get a job. I was receiving unemployment from my previous job, which we barely managed to skate by on, along with my husband’s small salary. When I first realized I’d have to go back to work, I prayed that I’d be able to put it off as long as possible. Months went by, and I kept applying for jobs and not getting one. Be careful what you pray for! I didn’t get a job until the very last possible moment. It came down to: If I don’t get a job THIS WEEK, we won’t be able to pay rent.

Well I got a job that week. I’d made a list of everything I wanted in a job and prayed for it. At the time it didn’t really seem to meet every criteria on my list, but it met most. Looking back now, I realize it has met more than I knew at the time I took the job. One criteria it for sure didn’t meet was being close to home. My commute is an hour each way, on a good day. On a bad day it can be an hour and 15-20 minutes.

I really enjoy my job. I can handle the commute (I look at it as uninterrupted music time). But it leaves me no time or energy for anything else. Our house looks like it’s been lived in by three unsupervised teenagers for 2 years, which it basically has. My kids only have a few more years at home, and we’re all missing out on a lot of things because of my job. I’m just not there to make a lot of things happen. My husband gets home early enough to make dinner often, when it’s not the time of year when he has to work 60 hour weeks. I get home at 7:30 (on good days). Bedtime is 9. (Early morning seminary really sucks.)

We pray and read the scriptures every morning as a family. Our family prayers started having the same content every morning: that I’d be able to stay home with the kids. I realized that we were just sort of praying for that without any real faith that it might happen. So I gave a FHE lesson on prayer. I shared with the kids different prayers I’d had answered, all in different ways, and asked them what they thought we should do. After discussing it, we all agreed that we’d pray for me to be able to stay home, and give the Lord a deadline. I think this was in November or early December. My oldest son wanted the deadline to be winter break. I didn’t think that was long enough. We decided on spring break instead.

Spring break was last week.

I was nervous about it the whole time. What if the deadline wasn’t met? What if for some reason unknown to us, it’s really important that I keep working fulltime at my job? Would the kids be able to understand that following God’s will is what’s important, and sometimes His will is not what we expect or want? Would my husband be willing to accept that maybe it was not God’s will that I stay home? For me, one of the important things to having a prayer answered is being willing to accept that it might not be.

Well, my husband got a raise two weeks ago. It’s enough that if we’re really careful, we can squeak by without me working fulltime!

My biggest concern was my health insurance. I’m on an insulin pump, and my husband’s insurance sucks—I get much better coverage through my job. I figured I’d have to take an occasional freelance contract to pay for my insurance out of pocket.

I’ve talked to my boss before about working from home and it was shot down. It’s just not feasible with the kind of work we do and how things operate at the office for me to work from home. So I told him two weeks ago that I was quitting. Unless I could work out some kind of way to work from home, even part time or as a freelancer. At first, the answer was there’s no way I can work from home. But he told me he’d keep me on for two months working from home doing some work that never gets done around the office that is possible to be done from home, if I could come in two days a week. I said they’d have to be half days so I could be home by the time the kids get out of school. He agreed. And he said it’s too bad we don’t have a certain type of project right now that could be done from home.

Well guess what? The company just landed some new business, and it includes that certain type of project. So, it looks like working from home might just work out. At least, I’ve been garaunteed two months of working from home, and I get to keep my medical insurance while doing so.

This is my last week working fulltime in the office.

The Lord is good.

9 Comments »

  1. Awesome. Thanks for sharing. I need these stories to strengthen my faith.

    Comment by Tom — April 8, 2007 @ 11:29 am

  2. These stories have been so uplifting. We need some serious help from the Lord on same major life decisions right now, and we always seem so hesitant to really exercise our faith in Him, choosing instead to try and do it all ourselves (which despite herculean efforts by us, isn’t really possible). This has given me hope (and you know what that leads to…). Thank you so much for sharing these parts of your life!

    Comment by veritas — April 8, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

  3. I’m so happy for you, Susan. I have heard that deadlines are important to set when praying for something, but I’ve never really done it. I’ve been too scared that things wouldn’t work out because of my lack of faith and then I’d really be depressed. How’s that for lame? Or maybe I’m afraid things WILL work out – and I’m not sure if I really want what I think I want. Sorry this is so convoluted. I love your stories and I love that you get to stay home. Yay!

    Comment by meems — April 8, 2007 @ 11:43 pm

  4. Thank you so much Susan! I’m right there with meems on reasons why I’ve never done this before but I HAVE to try now. I’m in a position where I need answers and some serious help from the Lord but my faith is lacking and I’m not sure what I want, but making some deadlines (which, in turn will give ME deadlines, which I need) could seriously get me moving somewhere. Thank you again!!

    Comment by Bret — April 9, 2007 @ 12:58 am

  5. Awesome post Susan. Thank you for sharing another experience with setting faith deadlines. I can definitely learn from this.

    Comment by danithew — April 9, 2007 @ 5:59 am

  6. Thanks Susan. You inspire me.

    Comment by Mark IV — April 9, 2007 @ 7:16 am

  7. I’m actually usually kind of hesitant to tell people about this kind of thing, because I find myself thinking, what if they try it and it doesn’t work for them? Being married to someone who has a hard time getting answers to prayers makes me nervous about that!

    This might sound silly, but I often pray about what I should pray about.

    Comment by Susan M — April 9, 2007 @ 8:02 am

  8. Suasn,
    I wish you lived on the east coast. My family could really use one of your FHE lessons.

    Comment by cj douglass — April 9, 2007 @ 10:40 am

  9. wow! thanks for sharing this. i’m so glad that your prayers were answered. i think big kids need the sahp more than the little ones…

    Comment by makakona — April 15, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

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