Are you going through some pretty difficult stuff? Are you facing some challenges it appears you’re going to go down anytime soon if care is not taken? Is the current socioeconomic situation taking a toll on you and you seem helpless? I’d like to share a true story with you this morning and just encourage you to hang in there.
It was in February she spoke to me. I had been invited to facilitate a team coaching activity in her company and after I was done she asked to have a word with me in private.
As soon as we were far enough from her other colleagues and had a bit of privacy she began to cry. I was a bit taken aback but not so surprised. I’ve had to deal with many people overwhelmed by their crisis in time past so I just kept my cool and allowed her cry for a while. Then she began to speak.
According to her, things were going pretty well for them all through last year. A relatively young family of five – three children, with their first child being 8 years old and the last one about two years old. The three children were already in school; a very good school, pricey, but good.
Her husband had a good employment with a logistics company and was enjoying his job as well. He was paid enough to carter effectively for his family and pay all the bills. She also has a good job, working in the finance department of a reputable investment firm. They were happy and progressing, everything was really good.
Suddenly by the end of last year precisely in December, her husband was relieved of his employment. He did nothing wrong, the company he worked for wanted to right size and unfortunately his name made the sack list. They were both devastated as his salary actually covered about 80% of their domestic expenditure. He hadn’t been in the employment of the company for that long hence, his severance benefit wasn’t anything fabulous. Then the crisis began.
Her husband tried to be a man, he told her not to worry and that in a short while he would get another job. This didn’t happen and by January they had become very broke. Their house rent was due and the landlord had increased it by another 20%. It was time to pay school fees for their three kids too and there was no money to pay; her own salary couldn’t cover everything. That same January they received news about her mother’s deteriorating health condition and the need for an urgent surgery and so much money was needed to purchase medication.
Another critical situation was their inability to afford a new maid by January after the last one left in December.
By January things had become really difficult. Her husband’s severance benefit had run out and still, he hadn’t secured a new employment. In fact, most organisations were downsizing rather than recruiting. The escalating cost of essential commodities including electricity, fuel for transportation, food and groceries for the homemade everything worse. By January her husband was beginning to lose his composure. He had become irritable, grumpy and cranky. He became short-tempered, shouted about everything and became intolerant of the kids. The house had become tensed up. Things weren’t going well. The bill pressure was mounting; rent, school fees and hospital bills all at the same time, and of course the running cost of the home was still there; no friend or relative had any extra cash to lend them, money had become scarce, everyone was conserving cash.
Three days before we met, she had been invited by her supervisor and the human resource partner to be notified of a transfer to Abuja. She was upset and she strongly put up an objection, but the only alternative open to her was to turn in her resignation. The company wouldn’t have these number of financial experts in Lagos and begin to recruit again in Abuja, the cost was uncalled for, someone had to go and she was the one nominated.
That was why she came to me for counsel, what was she to do? She was to leave by the end of the month. Her husband needed her support at this critical time, no maid to take care of her kids, her mum needed attention and yes, her company is providing accommodation in Abuja but she would have to do the furnishing herself.
It was too much for her, she broke down and the tears began to pour again. I let her cry. Afterwards I began to speak to her. I said to her, if there was anything she needed to hold on to very strongly at that point, it was hope. Everything may look really bad and gloomy, she may be discouraged and deflated, it may appear there is no way out but one thing she should never let go is hope. And I assured her, it was all a test and the test was meant to grow her personally and mature her family in entirety, I encouraged her and assured her I’ll keep calling to see how everything goes and I said by the grace of the God she serves, there will be a way out.
About 10 days ago I got a call from her, she was sounding so happy and excited it took her a while to relax and tell her new story.
According to her, when she arrived in Abuja; her very first week at work, a high profile client walked into her office and they began to chat. Suddenly he mentioned he needed someone with good experience in logistics and supply chain. She told him she know someone and she immediately sent her husband’s CV to this high profile client. Within a month, this high profile client employed her husband and today he earns triple what he used to earn at the place of his former employment. He has a brand new SUV as official car, a brand new four bedroom apartment in a beautiful estate as official residence and frequent overseas travel. As of 10 days ago that she shared the new news with me, the whole family had relocated to Abuja, the kids were in a better school and they had a new maid and even a nanny. Her Mum also had a successful surgery and was now resting in Abuja at their place. Everything eventually worked out for their good. She didn’t lose her hope, she held on, didn’t resign, though a difficult decision, she went to Abuja on transfer not knowing her breakthrough was waiting for her there. She simply held on to her hope.
Ladies and gentlemen, I do not know what you may be facing today and I may have no idea how much pain you carry on the account of your numerous problems and challenges. But I assure you, one day and very soon, things would change suddenly for the better. You will have a new and better news to share. Your story will change for good, you will experience a new and glorious season even in these tough times. You will jump for joy and have a new song.
The only thing inevitable and unavoidable in the life of any progressive person is crisis. The ultimate test of courage is how well you perform in crisis.
Courageous patience is the ability to stay on course and never give up when you do not seem to be making any progress or when things are going against you.