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  • Elizabeth Marie

Clouds and Silver Linings

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

My mother died at the end of 2019. She had lived a full life, and I had grieved the changes she underwent as she deteriorated mentally and physically over the previous few years. Yet, although physically for Mum, it seemed it was a good time for her to pass, I still struggled emotionally, more than I thought I should.

I began the year 2020 feeling flat and struggling to work, overburdened by grief. I remember when at my nephew’s birthday dinner, listening to the witty banter, I determined that I would be happy despite my recent loss; then that evening, my daughter ended up in the hospital, and a few days later received a devastating diagnosis.

Between these two events, I found myself emotionally exhausted, oppressed by clouds of grief and anxiety. Somehow I managed to put one foot in front of the other as I continued to work in the busy practice where I was the Lead Dentist. But I yearned for a rest, feeling burnt out and weary.

Then out of the blue, with only a few cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, the government put the country into a level four lockdown. Be careful what you wish or pray for, I thought, as my work disappeared overnight.

Being stuck at home during a lockdown triggered feelings of frustration and fear in me. A few years earlier, after having had two and a half years off work due to complex health problems, I had to start my career all over again. I had found an answer to the illness I’d been suffering from and was eager to get back to work.

For the first eighteen months after I returned to work, I did three part-time jobs in three different practices and then swapped to another surgery, so I still had three part-time jobs. Working in multiple surgeries was challenging, having to cart all my various tools with me and packing and unpacking the car numerous times each week. And still, I did not have enough work to pay the bills, as we were building a container house to live on our farm, and my husband wasn’t working.

I asked God for more financial provision but didn’t know what that would look like. I had been selling nutritional supplements; would it come through that business? Or perhaps I would follow an old dream and write for a living? I wasn’t sure what the answer to my prayer would be. Five days after my prayer, I was offered a new job with 35 hours of work in just one practice. And as I prayed, I heard the words ‘multiple sources of income.’ I knew God had provided this job for me, but also that in time, He would open other doors of provision as well. So I decided to keep the writing option open and continued writing my first novel, which I would publish in 2017.

With the pandemic lockdowns–New Zealand had two–came an opportunity for me. I started an online business, writing and publishing romance during the second lockdown. God provided for me through Dentistry for a time, and now, he is providing other ways to develop income. During the time of being sick and then having to sell our house to clear our debt, God also miraculously helped with a land deal so that we ended up mortgage free. God is so good!

This is my silver lining amongst the chaos in the world today. I am thrilled to have the opportunity and time to continue to develop new skills and pursue a business that I had always wanted to do. I am grateful for the gift that I have to be able to follow this dream, and I hope for opportunities for you as well, dear reader, in this unique and crazy time in world history.

I hope you, too, can find a silver lining amongst the clouds that threaten.

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