{Turning tragedy into thanksgiving} Bill’s story.

Written by: Bill Lawrence

Before I begin with the reason for me writing this blog, let me just give you a few facts about myself. I have been blessed beyond measure from the beginning of my life. I was born into a very loving home where belief in our Lord Jesus Christ was never hidden or denied. My parents both believed in God and instilled that into all 5 of their children. I was blessed with the most wonderful wife that only God could have chosen (his choices for us are perfect). I have also been blessed with two absolutely amazing daughters that I love more than I will ever have time show. They, in turn, were blessed with extremely great husbands who I consider sons more than just son-in-laws. Last, by but far not least, I have been blessed with seven, yes seven, of the most fantastic, beautiful, perfect, Grandchildren on the face of this earth (sorry – they are just the best)!!

Anyway, in life’s journey there come many ups and downs and we have choices as to how we handle them. The up’s of course are the easy ones, we know we’ve been blessed and we thank God and move on. Every once in a while however, we are thrown a curve ball, and that’s when “choices” become a bit more difficult. A long time ago I was in a service, and forgive me, I don’t remember who was even speaking, but I will never forget the basis of the message. It was this: that in everything give thanks, not just the good, the easy, the I-got-the-answer-I-was-looking-for type stuff; but also the not-so-good, the hard, and the you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-God kind of stuff. For a long time after that service, I put into practice just what I had heard; I thanked God for everything: great Family, roof over our head, kids with good grades, food on the table, new car, raise in pay, you get the picture.

I should have mentioned as well, as a career I had chose to go into accounting and I had been fairly successful in following that path. Don’t get me wrong, I hadn’t made my first million but we were blessed with everything we needed and sometimes a little bit extra. I had made a few job changes along the way that were increasing my experience and of course with that a bit more money. I had found a job however, that I had been at for 8 years now and I could see myself actually going the distance and retiring from this one. To put it bluntly, I absolutely loved my job. I worked with great people, everyone actually got along with one another, and the owner of the company was great to work for. Life was really great!

Then I went in one day, worked the whole day, and as I was getting ready to leave, I was given my walking papers. The financial situation of the company had taken a nose dive and cut backs were necessary. I was devastated! I don’t know if I even breathed for 10 minutes? I walked out of there that day thinking what will I ever do, how will we survive, I am not getting any younger, everyone in the world is looking for work. I started the car and I remember thinking, how will I tell my wife and my family I have let them down? I drove for about 5 minutes, really no more than 5 minutes, when I heard that still small voice inside me saying “in EVERYTHING give thanks!!” It says in I Thessalonians 5:18 – in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I honestly for the first few minutes there by myself, driving, thought, God – are you serious? I just lost the best job I ever had! But then I thought, Bill, if you’re gonna preach it, you’d better live it! So, I started first very softly under my breath saying, “thank you Lord, ah – for the loss of my job”. Then I said it over and over again and it got louder and louder. By the time had I got home I was almost singing praises to God – yeah – for losing my job!!

When I gave the news to my wife I expected a lot of tears, what are we going to do, we’ll never survive; but in fact what I got was “well how do you feel about that?” I said to her, ‘we will get through it, I have been praising and thanking God all the way home!’

Anyway, the long and short of this story is I didn’t get a job right away (I think God knew I needed a rest too). I applied for and received employment insurance, which because of my unbroken years of work, I was granted 52 weeks of. I believe also that God tests our faith sometimes right to the limit. After searching every employment opportunity that I could, the job I was finally offered, I received after 52 weeks and one day. God is good – all the time!!

Just to sum things up, I am no one special, I am just a normal everyday run-of-the-mill son, husband, father, and grandfather. The special one is our Father God, who loves and cares deeply for each and every one of us. I am just blessed enough to be surrounded by enough children to have seen that child like faith work – so – if God said it –then I believe it, because it’s true!! Praise his Holy Name!!


Bill Lawrence lives in Hubley, Nova Scotia with his wife Suzanne. He is the father of two grown daughters, Mandy (Nathan) Essex, Ontario, Stephanie (Chris) Timberlea, NS, and the proud grandfather of seven grandchildren; Benjamin, Emily, Sophia, Zachary, Madison, Spencer & Grayson. He works as a Property Services Coordinator at SNC Lavalin O&M. He is a member of Full Gospel Church and enjoys playing the piano and singing.


One comment

  1. Thanks for sharing … the reminder is needed for me… to be Thankful in “EVERYTHING”. I have been through a few things… and Aunt Suzanne has reminded me of what you just said… to be Thankful in “EVERYTHING”… no matter what. Love you Uncle Billy…. xoxoxoxox


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