God often takes things from us for His own good reasons.
Our task is to seek the purpose.
Much like everyone else, I have suffered many losses throughout my life. Some major, like the death of my father and my brother.
Some minor, like a girl I was very much in love with, who decided she was no longer in love with me.
And some just plain annoying, like when I lost my sense of smell.
When I was in my late twenties I was fired abruptly from my job as the Director of Marketing for a small business in the town in which I grew up. Only one week before getting the boot, I was given an employee review, receiving high marks on everything, and was even told I was an asset to the company. Yet a week later I was told I was being let go due to poor performance, to collect my things … and to leave.
It was a bit of a head scratcher.
I was good at this job. I was happy at this job. And it was taken away from me.
Soon after I was fired I learned that I was sacrificed so a former employee (and a good friend of the owner) could have her old job back – my job.
I was mad. I was resentful. I was bitter.
But I did what anyone else would do … I looked for a new job. And after several months of searching, I found one.
A good one.
It was with a very large company, in a much larger city than my hometown. It involved lots of hard work, lots of extra hours, and was accompanied by lots of travel.
It was exhausting, and I loved it.
I learned a lot, and made friends and colleagues that still endure over 10 years later.
God’s Plan and Purpose for Us
I realize now that God knew I would never leave the job in my hometown, because it felt so safe and secure. And back then safety and security were everything to me.
God also knew that I wasn’t growing as a person there. So He gave me the push I needed. And there is no greater push, than a heave-ho.
Turns out the new job took me out of my safe zone, and helped me to break out of my shell. It helped me to find my voice.
And it also helped me with humility. Within a few short years, when I started thinking back to that old job in my hometown, I realized I wasn’t as good as I thought I was there. I was reliable, diligent, and a hard worker … but I was also quiet, nervous, and often apprehensive.
And perhaps dare I say, even though the way they let me go was done poorly, maybe in hindsight I deserved to be dismissed.
God knew this. I didn’t.
And His good reasons for allowing me to be fired, humiliated, and suffer for months with little to no income was because He knew I needed this.
All of it.
And leaving that old job wasn’t just about the job. Because, as always, God had deeper intentions in mind. Intentions that went far beyond my capabilities as an employee.
I had to move away from my hometown to be closer to the new job. And this helped me to make new friends. And some of these friends helped introduce to me to the Catholic faith.
At the time, I was a die-hard Agnostic. Sure there was a God, but I had no interest in knowing Him, or following His laws. Or even wanting Him in my life.
But yet not even two years later, I was confirmed and baptized into the Catholic faith. I still look back at the amazement of it. And I thank God every day for my faith. And for putting me into a position that finally made me seek the purpose.
And not only did I make new friends, but some of these friends became instrumental in my life, and one is now like a brother to me, and even helps me to take care of my mother.
God took my old job from me for His own good reasons.
And my task was to seek the purpose.
And I did.
Things Aren’t Always What We Thought Them to Be
I realize now that the purpose wasn’t about me working for a large company, or living in a large city. That was the just the means to help me find what I most needed.
In time I returned back to my hometown. But not the same person. And I’ve learned that through it all, God always knew what I needed. The same way He does for everyone.
He knows when we should have more and He knows when we should have less.
He knows when to take us out of our comfort zone, even if it’s very hard.
And ultimately, He knows what is good for our soul. And it’s our task to recognize and answer His call.
Another thing I’ve learned – when you realize that God is running the show, it’s hard to become mad, or resentful, or even bitter…because when we leave our life in His hands, we find it much easier to avoid all the negative feelings of loss or denial, and replace them with gratitude and hope.
So often in life we’re tempted to think that other people have more than we do. Are better off than us. Are treated better than us.
But as we try to develop a genuine union with God, we are able to think and see things more clearly and correctly.
Trust me, it’s not easy. I’m continually working and failing at this daily. But if we keep trying, and are diligent in our efforts, we are able to find more peace, and even gratitude when life seems dark and unbearable. So, whether we’re successful or have failed, or experiencing joy or sorrow, as long as our only wish is to please and honor God in our every thought, word and deed…
We will be ok. More than ok.
Whether we experience the loss of a job, a loved one, a fortune, or even our sense of smell.
Because you’ll realize that God is taking care of you at every moment, and has His good reasons for everything that happens in your life. You just need only keep your eyes on Him and let Him take control.
And in the end, when you meet God face-to-face, you’ll fully realize just how wise and loving He was in His care of you.
Seek the purpose. You’ll be glad you did.
Alan Scott is a writer and graphic designer residing in Virginia. A former Agnostic, he converted to the Catholic faith in 2004. In 2014 he started his blog GrowInVirtue.com, which focuses on growing in holiness, by attempting to live a life more simple and virtuous, a life that is lived for God. When he’s not writing or designing, you’ll find him, hands dirty, in his garden. You can find him on Facebook, too.