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In Her Own Words


My husband had been out of a job for a year. He wasn’t fired or laid off. In fact he willingly quit his job because

he had been accepted to medical school. Within a month of his entering medical school, though, we knew that it was not the best thing for our marriage.


Yet this had been his dream long before he met me. Since our very first conversation, he had talked incessantly about becoming a doctor, how much he would love his patients, and his commitment to treat them as if they were his own family.


I will never forget the day my husband came to me saying that God had told him that now was not the time for medical school and that he should be concentrating on our marriage. That was the day that my husband’s world fell apart. His lifelong dream had been shattered, and I was left with a disappointed and angry husband.


We moved back in with his parents and for four months tried to find jobs in a rusty economy. For someone as educated as he is, it was discouraging to be turned down every time he applied for a job.


For some time we were both angry about our situation. I had thought married life would be joyous and wonderful, while he thought he’d have at least a semester of school put toward his MD.

After months of living with his parents and making no progress on the job or the marriage front, we resolved to praise God in our situation, rather than complain about our lack of money, and to genuinely seek his guidance in our decision making. We prayed together for direction on what we needed to do next. When God told us to move to Texas, our first reaction was, “No way!” We were northerners who had never eaten chicken-fried steak—and wondered why it was called “chicken fried”!


Despite our skepticism, we moved to Texas void of jobs and confident only that God had something there for us. I was praying for a job within two weeks and an apartment within a month—and God gave us both!


During this time my husband realized that medical school had become an idol for him and that he needed to let go of it. One day when I came home from work, he told me, “God said that if I study and trust in him, he will bring me a job.”


I acknowledged what he said, but for three more months he was rejected every time he applied for a job, and work opportunities were dwindling. Yet we remained confident and kept our vow to praise God.


Recently my husband began studying his science curriculum—and a company called him about a position! Encouraged, we prayed: we wanted this job but only if it’s God’s will; if this position is not God’s will, then we would be happier without it.

My husband got the job!


I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart. I will tell all the miracles you have done.

I should put my hope in God and keep praising him, my Savior and my God. Call to me in times of trouble. I will save you, and you will honor me. * I love the

LORD, because he listens to my prayers for help. He paid attention to me, so I

will call to him for help as long as I live.

* Thank the LORD because he is good. His love continues forever.


50:15; PSALM 116:1–2; PSALM 107:1


Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Gratitude carries us through the hard stuff.

To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God’s accomplishments.

To rehearse God’s accomplishments is to discover his heart.

To discover his heart is to discover not just good gifts but the Good Giver.


And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the

daughter of Poti—Pherah priest of On, bore to him. Joseph called the name of the firstborn

Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” And the

name of the second he called Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”


Gratitude doesn’t come naturally. Self-pity does. Bellyaches do. Grumbles and mumbles—no one has to remind us to offer them. Yet they don’t mix well with the kindness that we have been given. A spoonful of gratitude is all we need.


Joseph took more than a spoonful. He had cause to be ungrateful. Abandoned. Enslaved. Betrayed. Estranged. Yet try as we might to find tinges of bitterness, we don’t succeed. What we do discover, however, are two dramatic gestures of gratitude.


Most parents go to great effort to select the perfect name for their child. Joseph did.

These were the days of abundance. God had rewarded Joseph with a place in Pharaoh’s court and a wife for his own home. The time had come to start a family. The young couple was reclining on the couch when he reached over and patted Asenath’s round, pregnant tummy. “I’ve been thinking about names for our baby.”


“Oh, Joey, how sweet. I have as well. In fact, I bought a name-your-baby book at the grocery store.”

“You won’t need it. I already have the name.”

“What is it?”

“God Made Me Forget.”

“If he made you forget, how can you name him?”

“No, that is the name: God Made Me Forget.”


She gave him that look Egyptian wives always gave their Hebrew husbands. “God Made Me Forget? Every time I call my son I will say, ‘God Made Me Forget’?” She shook her head and tried it out. “‘It’s time for dinner, God Made Me Forget. Come in and wash your hands, God Made Me Forget.’ I don’t know Joseph. I was thinking something more like Tut or Ramses, or have you ever considered the name Max? It is a name reserved for special people.”


“No, Asenath, my mind is made up. Each time my son’s name is spoken, God’s name will be praised. For God made me forget all the pain and hurt I experienced at the hands of my brothers. I want everyone to know—I want God to know—I am grateful.”


Apparently Mrs. Joseph warmed to the idea because at the birth of son number two, she and Joseph called him God Made Me Fruitful. One name honored God’s mercy; the other proclaimed his favor.

In Her Own Words:



y story is about disappointment . . . and hope. Of fear . . . and faith.

On May 30, 2007, my children and I watched their dad, my husband, take off in his plane to go to work. As a naval aviator and federal air marshal, he traveled often, and this plane allowed him to be home sooner. As he took off, though, the engine failed, and the plane crashed into the hill in the distance. I fell to my knees crying out, “Please, God! I am not ready!”


The sheriff who came to me to deliver the news that I already knew turned out to be my former next-door neighbor and a minister at a local church. He prayed with me. Friends showed up almost immediately with food and began cleaning my home. Over the next several weeks, I was also blessed to have a friend handle the legal matters and other friends help with my four children. Two school communities poured out their prayers and love, and they donated money to my family until financial matters were settled.


At a point when certain important paperwork had to be postmarked, I was praying in the bank elevator. I wanted the process to go smoothly because I was tired and afraid of what lay ahead. The woman at the bank said she usually did not come to this particular building, but she felt as if she had “a divine mission” to fulfill. When she overheard me on the phone, she knew God had sent her to pray with me.


A message on the Christian radio station I listen to said, “If you think you cannot go one more step, know that God is there to carry you.” I heard this just moments after I had pulled my car over and spoken aloud those exact words—“I can’t go one more step.”


Time after time, in the most difficult moments of my grief, God has blessed me so vividly that all I could do was praise him. He has been my strength from the moment the plane hit the hillside to this very moment that I write these words. It is true . . . God will carry you through.


Gratitude always leaves us looking at God and away from dread. It

does to anxiety what

the morning sun does

to valley mist. It burns it up.


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