Well, some good news...Ande finally was able to convince the director that he had to have that number to file for unemployment. She gave it to him, and when he called to give the number to the unemployment agency, they discovered they DIDN'T need it afterall. Apparently because it's a non-profit agency, it doesn't count towards unemployment. But they had to have that number before they could find that out. Go figure. Ande, being the good guy he is, called the director after finding that out and explained the situation to her, and thanked her for giving him the number. I love him so much.
Now, some not so good news...my brother-in-law called tonight from California and told Ande that both he AND his wife got letters from the military calling them back up for duty in Iraq. They're both former Marine MP's, and my BIL already served once in Iraq. His wife suffered a premature birth of their first daughter at 24 weeks and he was allowed 10 days to come home for the baby's funeral. Then he went back, because it was what he knew was the right thing to do. Now they have 2 little girls, one 1 1/2 and one 4 months. Needless to say, they don't want to have to go to Iraq. Fortunately, it's highly unlikely that they will send both of them, but if my BIL pleads his case and they tell him he can stay home, it's VERY likely that his wife will have to go.
My poor MIL is on the verge of a breakdown. Here are her sons, who she loves to a fault, and both of them are going through some really tough stuff. I mean, in my BIL's case, how do you choose? Do you put yourself in harm's way (even though he's technically disabled because of a back injury) to protect your wife? Or do you plead the disability and make it an almost guarantee that your wife will have to go to war? I know my BIL will lay his life down to keep his wife safe. That's not even an issue for him. But I also know it would be incredibly hard for him to leave her again, and now with two small children to care for? My heart goes out to them both.
I am reminded of the 23rd Psalm, which is an awesome reminder of how God is there for us, no matter what trials we have in our lives.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me besides quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (NIV)
Many times we hear that psalm in relation to someone's death, but it also applies to our lives. I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME. That should be a daily affirmation for anyone who believes in Jesus Christ.
The lives of Christians aren't made easier by believing in Christ - sometimes it makes things harder because we have to not get caught up in the world. But we need to remember that Christ is always with us no matter what, and whatever garbage we have to deal with in life will be replaced with the glorious eternity in heaven. I don't know about you, but I'd certainly rather live a sometimes crummy life on earth, knowing I have a mansion I get to spend eternity in. And to think there is NOTHING I've done to deserve it? How awesome is that?