Tara is an example of a wife who didn’t lose hope. Four years into her seventeen year marriage to Thomas, he lost his job which plunged him into deep depression. They both came from well-to-do families, so dealing with financial hardship proved to be foreign to them.
Her husband, Thomas, a college graduate and computer scientist collected unemployment for over two years.
Through this trial, Tara let go of her focus on materialism and dependence on things to feel happy. She learned, “God knows what will satisfy our souls.”
She admits, “I used to get $75 hairdos,” which she gave up. She also said, “No more expensive make-up. I started to use the fireplace to keep our home warm and hung my clothes on the clothes line to dry.”
“Although at the time it was hard,” she said, “the difficult times made us shift our stance—shift our focus onto the solid Rock.” Before that Tara admits she wanted her husband to be her rock. She learned, “We are not to see our spouse as an idol. My spouse is not my rock; God is my Rock. I kept hoping in our wonderful God.”
Here is more of what Tara also learned during that difficult time: “If we reach out to God, he’s faithful and powerful. I learned to give him our requests and our concerns. God showed me so much in the hard times.”
Although it would have been easy for Tara to go out and get a full time job, God didn’t let her do that. She learned when a husband loses his job, there can be an increase percentage of divorce. God showed her that in the work setting there would be negative influences. One woman she knew who was going through hard times went out into the work force and found a new husband.
“I kept thinking I should just get a job,” Tara said, “but God didn’t lead that way.” One issue was, “I didn’t want to make more money than my husband…God did not call me to get a full-time job, but I continued my writing and took odd jobs. My husband also took odd jobs like detailing cars.”
Tara continued to attend her Bible study where she was surrounded by godly women. She said, “I needed someone to pray with me and fight for my marriage with me. We prayed together and realized there was a spiritual war going on.” She discovered that the key to winning that war was to “push through, look to God, and draw close to Him.” At times “I felt I was pushing against an immovable stone. He wants us to push to develop godly character.” The outcome was that “My faith was being refined and coming forth as pure gold.”
A quote that lifted Tara up was, “A friend is one who sings back your song to you when you have forgotten the words.” She found women like that in her Bible study.
One thing that helped Tara so she didn’t lose hope was “getting away time—taking a drive and going into a meadow to meditate.”
Tara took seriously “marriage vows we said at the altar.” In fact, she kept the words of her marriage vows close by
During this time when her husband was jobless and depressed, they had no insurance. Her husband took no medications. “We plowed through it.”
“When my husband was in this deep depression, he doubted the existence of God,” said Tara. She added, “I battled my own doubts. It seemed there were no results to my faith. I felt disillusioned. My husband was not meeting my emotional needs, but God was my enough.” One thing that kept her going was “five generations of Christian heritage.”
Another thing that kept Tara from losing hope in her marriage and in her husband was this: “I learned to praise the Lord—no matter what was happening. The power of praise helped me to focus on who God is. If we can lock into who God is and who He wants to be to us, it’s life-changing.”
Tara had many ups and downs during those years. She learned, “At low points, draw close to God.” Tara wrote in her journal to draw close, being transparent with God. She expressed that it’s important to “tell Him exactly how you feel—even anger.”
Tara knew this fact: “In my marriage, there’s a story. If we continue to embrace the cross, we’ll come to resurrection morning. We’ll have a story to tell.” Tara learned to “hope in God, not circumstances” and “the key is to refocus on God and have a heart that says, I believe; Lord, help my unbelief.”
Tara’s troubles did not go away completely in the years since her husband got a new job. They still live in a modest house and have financial issues at times, but she continues to hope in and put her trust in the Lord.