Cardboard Box

I had the privilege of spending some time with some dear friends this past weekend. This particular couple has known James and I for some time and  the wife brought an old blog post I wrote for a defunct blog to my attention. It was posted in way back in 2009. I couldn’t help but go back and read it again and thought I should post it here on the CRC blog. It is lengthy but a great reminder for me, and hopefully for you too. – Dr. Cassie Reid.

Sometimes it is really interesting how the Holy Spirit gets our attention. In my life He has a way of giving me insight in the most uncommon way. About 5 years ago the Holy Spirit gave me a vision of a cardboard box. I prayed about it and really had no answers as to why He was showing me such a vision.

One thing that I did know is that our lives had definitely taken a direction that was not making James (my husband) or me happy. It wouldn’t have seemed this way on the outside. My husband worked as an executive in corporate America, I started a private therapy practice, and we were both doing well in our careers. But underneath we were striving for anything and everything except what we should have been pursuing. We were surrounded by individuals who made millions of dollars and were always striving for something bigger, better, and badder. We started to focus on the money, on the things, and on the position. We thought about the potential of where we could end up as opposed to where we had come from and where we were going.

This was one of those seasons that while you are in the middle of it all is well. It’s the looking back that makes you realize things were not so grand. I kept getting this image of the cardboard box and wondering what exactly the Holy Spirit wanted me to see. I didn’t realize that soon enough these “plans” we had made were about to crumble, and fast. In December of 2008 my husband’s company went through a major downsizing. His position was eliminated. I will never forget the day this happened. I spent the day working from home due to icy conditions. He had planned to do the same but received a call from his boss that he needed his help with something and he was to come into the office. He got ready and I thought I was in for a quiet afternoon under my blanket. About an hour later I heard him come home. I ran to the garage, and still cannot forget the look on his face. He was white as a ghost and in that moment I knew our lives as we knew it were in limbo. Immediately the image of the cardboard box came to mind. In the panic I took the vision the Lord had given me and allowed the enemy to twist it into something else.  Isn’t this the way?!?! The enemy always wants to steal and destroy what God has imparted. I think that holding onto a vision or a word takes much more than a tight grip. It takes focus, it takes determination, and it takes perseverance.

Needless to say, I took that vision that the Lord had given me and allowed the enemy to mix in some fear creating a distorted view of what the Holy Spirit wanted me to see. I spent that day in disbelief and started believing that the vision of the cardboard box meant that James and I would be living in one under a bridge. I feared that we would lose everything that we had because, ultimately, we did not have the funds to continue the lifestyle we were living for very many months. And frankly, I didn’t believe that the Lord was my provider. We had become so wrapped up in what we could provide and what we were doing “on our own” that we had lost sight of Him and what He wanted to do for us, through us, and in us.

Finally a few weeks later, in one of our “discussions”, I shared my vision and my fear with James. I told him I saw that box and ultimately felt we would not survive in our home much longer. He spoke to the fear and emphasized that we had yet to miss a payment on any bill (and we were living on ¼ of what we had before). I knew this was true but didn’t want to see the reality of that; I wanted to focus on the negative and the distorted image of the vision.

A few days later James came to me and wanted to talk about what I had seen. He mentioned that he had been thinking about the vision but got something quite different. He began to explain that it wasn’t about living in a box but about the box that he used to remove his things from his office. When they informed him of his termination he was given a cardboard box and told that he needed to clean out his office. He began to explain what the Holy Spirit had been showing him. We had put our faith and our hope in his job. We had started to plan our life without the consultation of the Holy Spirit or the guidance of what we were feeling in our spirit. We started to make plans without His direction. This was a dangerous thing. We had completely written our destiny out of the equation and began to look at what we saw in the natural.

I wanted to convey this message because this is so easy to do. It is easy to lose sight of what we are supposed to do and become distracted by what the enemy wants us to see instead of what the Holy Spirit is showing us. The Holy Spirit wanted me to see that He knew all along that James would lose his job. He knew that we needed to fully trust in Him, instead of ourselves. We needed to realize that He was our provider, not our employer. James was used to take the image of the box and make it into something teachable as opposed to something to be feared. He took leadership and directed our household to total dependence on the Holy Spirit and his leading.

James was unemployed for 15 months. He worked some contract jobs but nothing permanent. The best part is that we never missed a payment on any bill and were able to continue to live the lifestyle that we love. We made a few sacrifices, but not as many as most. God has truly been our provider. He has taken a situation that would be devastating, and made it a teachable moment for our family. We have learned that He is all we need. He is the one who pays the bills, fills the bank account, and meets our needs. We have come back to serving others, depending on Him, and allowing Him to use us in whatever way He sees fit. All of these things have taught me how to be a better wife, and trust that sometimes my husband has the other piece to the vision. Oh yeah, and now the vision of the cardboard box involves a move, into a bigger house!