Friday, July 6, 2012

A Year of Adventure: Testimony by Hiram Claudio

This adventure began on September 8, 2010.

Pastor Hiram Claudio
Truthfully, I didn’t see it coming. I got to work the usual time. My boss called me into his office around ten. Within minutes I was told, it was my last day. I’d been there almost seven years and really thought I’d be there many more. But it was over. Different emotions ran through me. I was angry and scared. Bottom line, I was out of work.

Since I worked in New York City, I thought I’d find something fairly quickly. But I wasn’t alone and it was hard finding anything. I felt the pressure of the deep sense of commitment to provide for my family. Yet, I always knew that any provision my family enjoyed came directly from the hand of the Lord. And that was still true.

Well, time passed and … nothing. As the holidays approached, anxiety grew. My severance package only paid me through the end of October. But we had each other and a loving Christian community to walk with us. Still, the weight was significant and growing daily.
I prayed, “Lord, please help me find something. I’ll do whatever I have to in order to provide for my family.” Turns out … that claim was tested.

Just before Christmas, I was contacted about a position that my skills fit well. It was out of state yet they were willing to conduct the entire interview process over the phone. I really didn’t think the opportunity was real. Yet, I spoke with this company three times and … got the job!

It meant living apart from my family. But, my wife and I agreed there was no sense in moving our whole life there until we were sure it would be long term. So, in January of 2011, I packed my car and traveled one thousand miles to … Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I arrived on January 16th.

It was COLD! During the first month, the overnight lows were around -15F. But the job was good and I found a small church that embraced me. However, with all the blessings, it became clear that, although the company offered a permanent position, living in Wisconsin was not for us.

So I prayed again, “Lord, I again really need to find me something.” You’d thought by now I would’ve learned to be more specific. Well, the Lord answered and in late June, I drove fourteen hundred miles from Oshkosh, Wisconsin to … San Antonio, Texas. I arrived on July 1st.

It was HOT! I experienced average daily temperatures of around 105F. I began another new job, another one bedroom apartment, and was now even further away from my family then before. Yet, as was true in Wisconsin, I was never alone. I often grew tired of the situation, but found a strength that was anchored to His loving presence.

THIS time I prayed VERY specifically, “Lord, I need a job, back in New York, close enough so I can be with my family.” The Lord answered with a job on Long Island that was closer to my home than the original one I’d lost. So, on September 29th, I packed up my car again to travel nineteen hundred miles back to New York.

It was a long drive but I was excited. I was heading home. But an hour outside of San Antonio, near Austin, I got a phone from my step-mother in Puerto Rico. She told me my father had just passed away. My heart fell. I didn’t know what to feel. I’d just spoken with him a week prior. Now, he was gone and I wouldn’t even be able to attend his funeral.

The long drive suddenly became longer. Now, I wasn’t just tired. I was weary. Yet, I can testify that it in those moments of solitude, I found solace. I knew I wasn’t alone. Truth is … life presents challenges for us all. Yet, through each turn in the road, we are promised a traveling Companion who is loving and faithful.

During these nine months away, and through life in general, I’ve gained insight as it pertains to being weary. Difficult times alone don’t create weariness, but rather a lack of awareness during them that does. When we lose our sense of His presence, we can easily cave under life’s weight. Did I get angry? Sure. But I didn’t lose hope. That’s what God did for me. And that’s His promise for you too! Hiram Claudio

NOTE: Hiram Claudio is an IT professional who also serves as a Christian minister and Bible teacher.

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