Back to Work for God's Sake

By: Chuck Wagner

Philippians 4: 6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

In the fall of 1985 I convinced my bride of eight months to relocate from Iowa to Phoenix, Arizona. A business opportunity led me to believe this would be a good move for us.

From my wife’s standpoint, it was anything but. She had a difficult time adjusting to big city life, but she hung in there and we gradually built a new life in the desert. Within three years our two sons were born, after which time she went back to school and became a licensed manicurist.

She proceeded, over the next 22 years, to establish a successful business, raise a family, make new friends and settle into a comfortable life in the city. Our construction business was also thriving, so from our perspective our future looked to be set. Unbeknownst to us at the time, God had other plans.

The economic turndown of 2008 proved to be more than our business could survive. Fortunately, we still had a successful contracting business in Iowa, so in 2009 we transported our equipment back to the heartland.

Our hopes were to resurrect the Arizona business when the economy improved, so for the next two years I lived in hotels in Iowa while my wife maintained our home and her business in Arizona. In 2011, we realized that returning to Arizona wasn’t an option and made the move back to Iowa.

To my wife’s credit, she never complained and actually made the transition look relatively painless. She secured her license from the Iowa Board of Cosmetology and soon after was doing manicures for family members. It wasn’t long before friends and friends-of-friends were calling for her services. Even though it was obvious that another successful business opportunity was at her fingertips (no pun intended), she felt called to full-time volunteer service and started Hospice training.

As of this writing, she has been with Hospice for about three months and absolutely loves it. I know from reading some of the letters she has received from her patients’ family members that she has been a huge blessing to them. By the same token, these people have been an incredible blessing to her. In our nearly 27 years of marriage, I have never seen her so happy or so at peace.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: How do I respond to life’s changes and challenges?