How to Have Faith that Everything Will Work Out—Even in This Economy
Having an any way the wind blows attitude can be extremely helpful during difficult times. But when it seems like your courage is drying up and you’re stuck without a paddle, it helps to remind yourself that God is sufficient.
Ours is a world of uncertainty. Especially in this economy.
My husband David and I have moved six times in five years, looking for better opportunities in this post-recession world. We do what we gotta do to make ends meet.
Recently, we taught English in Seoul, South Korea. While there, David wrote a book and I did freelance writing and editing for clients in South Korea, the United States and Germany. Teaching in itself is exhausting, but couple that with 12:30 am conference calls with clients and all-day Saturday editing sessions at coffee shops—you’re going to be tired to say the least. It’s hard work, sure, but we’re firm believers in putting in the time toward our dreams, even if we’re not currently where we want to be, career-wise. We consider ourselves to be 21st century hustlers.
21st Century Hustling
Though we’re not afraid to go where the wind blows us, or to dive into new and possibly scary opportunities, the uncertainty can be exhausting at times. Especially when it seems like the opportunity well has dried up.
Sometimes, late at night, as I struggle to fall asleep, I give myself an intellectual thrashing, bemoaning the fact that I didn’t just settle down in one place and buy a house. I get especially thrashy after checking our bank account. But that’s just not how I want to live my life. I long to travel, to live abroad, to experience the world and all its myriad possibilities.
I only begin to regret our decisions in moments of great stress and worry. When my patience starts to run thin and my wherewithal is lacking, I start to worry that maybe this time things won’t work out. But every step, every decision we made has only been after a lot of consultation, meditation and prayer. Things have always somehow worked out. Every difficult thing we’ve gone through has only made us better and stronger.
David and I moved to Oakland, Calif. after returning from Korea. We’re both writers, and the choice came down to New York or San Francisco, as we wanted to be in a place where there were opportunities for creative folks like us. And it seemed like all the doors opened for us to move out to Oakland.
Now we’re almost one year out, and still facing a lot of difficulty and uncertainty. Will David be able to find enough freelance work for us to make ends meet? Should I look for another job? Will we be able to afford to stay here? How are we going to pay our student loans and health insurance? Why didn’t I wait to get that root canal?
I’m only human, and as these difficulties mount, and the tests seem encompass us from all sides, I start to lose hope, and I feel like I’m screaming into a void. I stop being able to trust that things will be OK.
What to Do When You’re Going Through Some Stuff
Back in November when I was going through some especially serious stuff, I stumbled upon this quote from H.M. Balyuzi’s book, Baha’u’llah: The King of Glory.
In it, Balyuzi tells the story about ‘Abdu’llah Pasha, who was also going through some serious stuff at the time. He was having difficulty believing that anything would work out (I can so relate), so Baha’u’llah told ‘Abdu’llah Pasha, to put his trust wholly in God, and to repeat every day, 19 times, these two verses:
“He who puts his trust in God, God will suffice him. He who fears God, God will send him relief.” (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha’u’llah: The King of Glory, p. 138)
So I decided to give it a try. I’d repeat it in my head during my morning commute, counting to 19 as I held my coffee cup in one hand and the train handrail in the other. Sometimes I’d just think it over and over again as I walked to the office, keeping cadence with my footsteps. Or I’d silently recite it in the shower, sometimes more than 19 times, because I often worry that maybe I’m not being sincere enough.
And surprise, surprise: things did not immediately get better. But gradually, and in hindsight, I’ve come to see that things really have improved over the past few months. We will find a way to get through this. That God is sufficient.
So all you dreamers and hustlers who are trying to make ends meet—keep working hard and trust that things will work out. Even in this economy.