Personal Story: This Winter of Our Hardship

23 02 2009

Today we hear a personal “Job story” from Margaret Thornton–the mother of our own Fiona Thornton at The Well.

The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations (Psalm 33 v 11)

It’s official–the UK is definitely in recession. Shops are closing, jobs are cut and many businesses are in trouble. The daily news headlines take me sharply back to the last recession in the early 1990s when my husband, Alan, was unexpectedly made redundant from his position as a junior partner in a firm of accountants. We had moved from London to a small Oxfordshire village five years earlier full of hope and a clear sense of God’s call but suddenly things looked very bleak. We had two small children and only a small income from my part-time job. Alan started working from home but to begin with things were very difficult financially.

In once sense there was a real temptation to blame God. Had he deserted us? Had we done something wrong that we deserved to go through this? Living in much reduced circumstances was tough, the lack of holidays or any treats, even writing to charities we had supported for many years reducing our giving. It felt painful.

But God’s plans and purposes are way above our own. He made up for a lack of money with more time and flexibility. We had the opportunity to run a Christian after school club at the local primary school for 7 years which attracted the majority of the kids at the school.

Looking back 17 years, the business Alan started has grown to employ 14 people and although there have been many more occasions when circumstances have caused us to doubt God’s provision, on each occasion we have trusted, clung to Him (maybe sometimes as a last resort!).   I can say that not only he has never let us down but that it has been in these ‘winters of our hardship’ moments as Obama called them in his inauguration speech that my faith has grown most.

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24 02 2009
Lent « far far away…

[…] mum reminded me yesterday that The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations […]

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