By Quinita E. Good
Being unemployed for over three years belongs to millions. According to DepartmentOfNumbers.com, over 10 million people were unemployed in the United States as of November 2013. In addition to becoming unemployed, I was evicted from my apartment, my car was repossessed, and I was admitted to the hospital for a stress-related illness. Again, I share these experiences with thousands of others. They are, no doubt, signs of our times.
After all, we are living in a deep recession. With heightened terrorism, our nation’s security is at risk; our communities have experienced more crime, and our families are often at odds with each other. It seems we are faced with pressures on every side. Yet, I cannot help but to hold on to a ray of hope that got me through some of the worst times in my life.
It is amazing to me how indomitable the human spirit is. I’m not sure of the date or time when I began to hope again, but at some point — probably during prayer — I believed that my circumstances did not dictate how I felt about my life. Sure, my finances had depleted and also my health, but somehow I called upon the strength God gave all of us—and falling, I fell on my back looking up. I could not, would not allow myself to wallow in self-pity.
Gradually, I realized that sharing my problems with anyone besides a healthcare professional was useless. Most of the responses I got were of the pity sort and sometimes, because the person I was speaking to was also depressed, it felt like the blind leading the blind. This cycle of thinking only made me feel worse.
One day, I picked up the book The Power of Positive Thinking by famed author Norman Vincent Peale. I found myself reading it into the wee hours of the morning, and feeling my spirit lifted, I began to limit those self-defeating conversations. One of the things I liked about Peale’s book was that he used scriptures from the Bible to encourage his readers. I must admit that as problems presented themselves to me, I had read my Bible less and less. Peale’s book renewed my interest in the Bible and I then re-committed to the study of scripture. My favorites were the Psalms and Proverbs because of their comforting insight into life and the faithfulness of God. I also began to scour the gospels so rich in God’s promises.
Oh, God’s promises! I had quoted these scriptures to others in the past, but I realized I had never leaned on them for my own sustenance. Now, when I read any promise in the scripture, I recite it in the first person until it gets down in my spirit and I can believe it like I believe the sun will rise tomorrow morning.
It’s funny how things snowball. After reading The Power of Positive Thinking, I began to devour more of Peale’s books, like Imaging and A Guide to Confident Living, wherein Peale exhorted that if one filled their mind with scripture and positive thoughts, you could actually change your circumstances. And things did begin to change for me. I began to have more energy and spent more time in selfcare. I was able to encourage others, and witty inventions and great ideas filled my mind. But more than anything, I began to dream again.
I dreamt of working and starting my own business. I dreamt of being able to help others who had experienced some of the same things I had experienced. And I dreamt of becoming an inspiration to my family.
Today, I work for the State of New Jersey as an administrative assistant. I am also the founder of Qwrites Writing & Editorial ServicesTM, providing freelance writing and editing to newspapers and magazines, editorial help to students in advanced studies, and pre-publishing assistance to authors. And, I have a better relationship with my son, who recently commented that he was proud of me.
If it were not for God’s mercy and the guiding of the Holy Spirit, I don’t think I would have been able to accomplish these things. I tell you this, because I want you to be encouraged, too. No circumstance is too difficult for our God who is the King of kings. And because you are His child, that makes you royalty. I declare that “no good thing will be withheld from you.” You will rise again!