by Deb Kreienkamp
You might recognize this as a song title. I love this line in the song, “How can I keep from singing?” For me it is like a thank you to God for all the many things He has done for me and continues to do in our daily lives.
Yet, there were days in Dale’s and my journey of unemployment that I was changing the words of the song from “How can I keep from singing?” to “How can I go on singing?” It is easy to want to give up and accept being a victim.
The unemployment journey is a hard journey. It impacted Dale who was unemployed, and it impacted me as his spouse.
• There were stressful times, wondering about finances and how long Dale would be out of work.
• There were lonely times, not knowing what direction to go.
• There were sad times with the loss of a community of people we had gotten to know for many years where he worked, whom we felt were family. Dale loved his team and cared very much for them.
Yet amid it all, God was there with us and is always good!
Unemployment is hard as a couple, but it is also hard as a spouse. Unless you have gone through it, it is hard to totally understand the isolation you can experience.
Unemployment is not a normal or welcome topic of conversation. Usually, you are the one reassuring people you meet that “everything is going to be okay”. Finding someone who will just listen and let you vent is hard. I have been blessed with a few girlfriends and sisters-in-law who care and listen.
I can then remember the other words of the song,
“No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that rock I’m clinging Since love is Lord of Heaven and Earth How can I keep from singing?”
In scripture, we are reminded that we will experience difficult times in life that will test us:
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:6-7).
One of my favorite Christian authors is Robert Morgan. In his book The Strength You Need: The Twelve Great Strength Passages of the Bible, he writes “Faith is an act of galvanizing ourselves with God’s truth against discouragement.”
God’s truth is the only thing we can count on. God has been there for me and continues to be with me. He strengthens my faith through a song, a devotion and always in his word. There is no better way to do this than the Words of God. In Him, you can turn on the music, sit down, relax and rest in God’s promises in your journey.
Dale Kreienkamp is the author of How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them. He is a Human Resources executive and consultant who has experienced a personal journey of unemployment twice when both positions were eliminated in organizational restructuring. These personal experiences created a desire within him to help others impacted by unemployment through inspirational devotions. Dale is also an active volunteer at his home church and leader in his local community.