I don’t know how you are feeling with the way things are going in your world, but I know I quite often find myself having to lean more in to God lately.
I live in a relatively small town. Our financial climate is driven by logging, ranching, mining, and tourism mostly. All of these industries seem to be facing some pretty serious challenges.
And for someone like myself, who suffers from anxiety, I’ve found myself taking a huge interest in what has happened and what can happen. I really like to know what the options are for moving forward. Here’s what I’ve found so far.
The logging industry seems to be going through a pretty big overhaul, with a lot of mills being forced to close. I’m not saying that the industry is lost, just that we’ve ridden this particular train for maybe a little bit too long. While it is a renewable resource, the fires we’ve faced have certainly changed the availability of timber. And the different critters that affect the forests have certainly limited the quantity of merchantable wood.
The ranching community has been facing a lot of challenges for the last decade or so. It started with the “mad cow disease” scare in Alberta, and moved from there. A lot of ranchers in our area have had to find other jobs to bridge the gap. And quite a few of those jobs are in the logging industry.
The mining industry always appears to be fluctuating. We’ve had one mine in our area close down, but we have the possibility of another opening up in the next few years. I know that they are all driven by commodity prices, but I honestly don’t understand a lot of the market for those.
Tourism has taken a hit with rising fuel prices, but our particular area has been branching out to include different specialties, and I think it will continue to do so.
What does this all mean? I have lost many hours of sleep to that very question. I guess the bottom line right now is that our mills are still running, although at a reduced capacity. We still have one mine operating at full capacity. The ranchers appear to be making it. And we still have people exploring our little slice of paradise.
And deep down, I believe that God has a plan for all of this. And I’m fairly positive at this point, that part of His plan is to show me that I need to depend on Him, because He has always provided a way. I can look back a long way in my life and see evidence of His goodness.
When I was newly separated from my first husband and was laid off, He provided. I found a new job almost immediately.
And when I didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent until I started my new job, He provided again. Before I was laid off, I had agreed to go to a New Years Party with friends at a local casino. And I won the exact amount I needed to pay rent for that month. It was Him, letting me know He was there.
He also used that time to give me a glimpse of my future husband. The man who would fully introduce me to the God that had been picking up my broken pieces all along. It was just a glimpse, but He was preparing my heart. It took me a long time to heal from that first marriage.
What I’m trying to say, is that before I ever sought Him out, He was playing a huge role in my life. And that I still have to learn each and every day, that I have to go into it leaning on His strength. That I spent so many years trying to fight through this on my own when I didn’t have to. He was there. And He still is.
I don’t know if you suffer from anxiety like I do. I don’t know if your immediate surroundings are surviving or thriving. But I do know that we are never alone. We can choose to ignore the gift of His presence, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t still there. He’s waiting for us. For as long as it takes. He wants to put your broken pieces back together. And all you need to do it let Him in.
Friend, I’d love it if you left a prayer request in the comments if you are struggling right now. I would be honored to life you up to Him. And I know how hard it is to wait for the answer. I promise, I have been there. But He will answer. He always does.
I need you to know one more thing. You aren’t the only one who has questions or doubts. If you are having a hard time, please seek out help. Asking for help from those around you doesn’t make you less. Please know that. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, please seek out help.