Friday, November 07, 2014

{in times of desolation} ~ reflecting on times of struggle

I have been thinking about my friends,
blog friends and 'real life' friends,
who are going through trying times.
I have friends in all sorts of situations,
from family struggles to job loss or job insecurity, to major health problems.
Thinking of them has been turning me to reflect on how my life was 
about five and four years ago, and even longer, to be birth of this blog.
I got my Masters in 2006 in library science and lived in Ottawa.
I had a great co-op, a great first contract, a great second contract
and then took a job that ended up being a difficult complicated one
that I eventually lost
Later on that summer I read a book on toxic job environments
and how one feels when one is in one...
and realized that was me...
I think the job and the problems were so many-leveled that there was
truly not one person or person to blame; 
just a difficult situation that was only getting worse.
It took a long time to recover from this.
I took an English class that summer, thought of going back to school
and do English PhD but was basically told by my professors
and the prof of the class I took not to do it if I did not have
another source of income.
I began taking French courses;
one of the main problems for me getting a job in Ottawa
was that it is a government town (it's the Capital of Canada)
and bilingual with English and French.
I tried my best; it was really difficult to learn French as an adult.
To this day I love French...
the other day here in NJ at the grocery store there was a Dad and Son talking French.
I loved it.
Anyway, French learning was from 2009-2010.
By summer 2010,
even though I LOVED Ottawa and did not in anyway want to leave it,
I started applying to jobs outside of Ottawa.
I was flown to an all day interview and even was shown around
the place by a realtor in case I got the job.
I prepared for that interview for 2 weeks strait night and day.
I dazzled them in many ways, knowing each person and presentations they 
did that they had even forgotten about.
But they did not choose me because it was a two-jobs into one job and I 
was super strong in the one of two areas but not the other.
It took me days to recover strength from that, it was quite grueling,
with the flying out, interviewing and being shown around before 
going back to Ottawa.
Less than two months after that interview,
I got an unexpected tax bill in the mail;
at first I thought it was their mistake
but actually it was mine and I suddenly owned the government
an amount that would mean that I had no savings left whatsoever.
So many people came to my aid,
and my blog community was so supportive, I can't tell you how much
I was blessed by this.
Well, I found out via an blog friend who emailed me that I could
pay the tax bill in installments.
Like 10.00 at a time.
So that cleared up.  
But my money was still running out.
What was I to do?
At the same time I had crazy health issues,
I am sure from stress of it all, and felt that I could not move home to MI
to my parents because I would have no health insurance.
So there I was needing to pay rent, buy food, pay for my phone and hydro.
Well, my parents managed to fly me home for Christmas,
I believe to this day that St. Nicholas gave me a good affordable ticket
that they could pay for,
and God through people gave me enough 
money to pay rent for two or so months.
Then, after getting unexpected money for over two months,
I had again about 300.00 left after paying some bills,
knowing that rent was over 800.00, I was walking back
from the bank, where I had paid the bills,
and told God:
If You want me to continue surviving by means other than jobs,
than I accept whatever it is You bring me.
And all of a sudden I got an email for a contract,
got the contract and had work through Pascha and
enough money to last me a few months past Pascha,
by then having another contract...
By that summer, I was introduced to a man who 
in time I married and now live in NJ with,
my beloved Mr. Husband.
I had two more jobs while I was dating him, other than that second contract.
The first one was one that only lasted two months
and was very painful in losing it but it was a blessing
as it allowed me to see my Oma for what turned out to be the last time,
The second and last job contract I had in Ottawa
ended that summer that I was planning my wedding.
It was a great place to work and a real blessing to me.
So then I left my beloved Ottawa,
a new Bride to Mr. Husband and have been making my home in 
NJ ever since.
So I've been there:
*job loss and running out of money
*a health crisis that was actually 50/50 that it would be cancer 
but was not
*feeling at times very alone and in the constant stress of not having
enough money to live on, to pay basic bills
It's very hard.
I think in ways most of us or all of us go through times like this.
What I am hoping to do is to slowly write blog posts 
on what I learned through this time,
what I see as most important to do,
how I dealt with being a single woman without biological family
where I lived when I was going through all of this.
For now I will end by saying that
I am glad I went through it but of course in my weakness
would not want to repeat it.
I went from having great jobs, earning good money, to not having
enough money to live on,
even moving apartments to save money in the process.
I went from a beautiful perfect apartment to one with 
many challenges.
Yet that apartment is where my now husband 
proposed to me,
it was an apartment that taught me so much.
I will end with this:
Whatever you are going through,
God is with you.
Whatever it is, 
the Mother of God can help you.
The challenge may not end immediately but focus on being with God today.


Matushka Anna said...


elizabeth said...

thanks! Mat Anna, you were a dear friend to me during that hard time and I thank God for you!

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I do so admire your strength and faith, dear Elizabeth.

E Helena E said...

I appreciate you very much writing about these times again and all that you went through. Back in the old neighbourhood especially, I am so aware of your life here and how we got to know each other. Much love and hugs.

Nancy said...

God is truly with us, the struggle is to remember that and live in hope and faith. I often think of a quote by Peter Marshall, a well - known Protestant preacher, as he meditates on the Resurrection of our Lord "May we never again live as if Thou wert dead"

Laura said...

What a beautiful post, Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing your struggles. You are an encouragement to me.

matushka constantina said...

It's a beautiful thing to be able to reflect on our struggles and see that good always comes out of difficult situations, we just need to be patient and trust in God. I'm so glad you thought to write this post!