My "40 Years In The Desert" Paul Velasquez " IncrediblyBlessed78"

I got saved 44 years ago along the banks of the Merced River in Yosemite National Park. I have been married to the most wonderful woman for near 38 years now. For us both, our first and only marriage. When we got married we spoke at length, were church members and sought pre- marital counseling. We also agreed that there would be three people in our marriage. The third of course being God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

I was a few years younger, thought I knew it all and didn't commit my life to Christ as fully as I should have. I've always prayed but did not "serve" my Lord as I should have. This approach as it does for MANY didn't work out so well for me and as I am spiritually responsible for my wife and kids and they paid the price for my spiritual weaknesses along with me.

I was a bit angry, selfish and very judgmental of others. This attitude lead me to job hop every few to several years and we ended up moving from state to state which affected my kids greatly. Still, they and my wife loved me and were always supportive. Never any drugs or abuse or drinking; just the Lord patiently letting me wander, tapping my shoulder and correcting me. Still I resisted a full commitment to Him.

In 2002 we moved yet again while my oldest daughter and my grandkids stayed here in Virginia (as she should have). It was important to her to nest and not force her kids to live a nomadic life as I had provided.

I always had great jobs for a guy with no college degree, made very good money compared to the national average etc.. I have always had a high work ethic "in the world" but not the spiritual work ethic God demands of his children and especially from Christian men with families He has given to them.

Fast forward to 2014. I was a plant manager for a great company. Started with them in 2009 in OK. Then moved to take over a plant in KY. My plant was the oldest at 45 years. In Feb 2014 we had a major roof collapse due to heavy snow and ice accumulations. ( nobody was injured praise God) The new owners didn't want to keep the building and being my plant was the only unionized facility they decided to shut it down and part out the work to existing sister plants. ( I still wasn't committed to God I as should have been.) We did get the plant operational and I left in Aug 2015
as we were blessed to find a good job back in VA 30 minutes from our grandkids. God did answer my prayer to be close to our daughter and grandkids who I adore and dote on.

Bought a nice home after one and a half years. Things were great! Then the layoffs started happening at work. I made it to round 5 and found myself laid off from a high paying job at age 58 on Dec 10, 2018 without the now mostly required four year degree.... The plant will be closed by years end so please pray for the people there for their needs to be met. Many are well past retirement age and need their insurance.

It was at this point I finally got right with God. I finally got it. Pride went away, I got involved with a wonderful men's Bible study class, got back in to church, tithed on any and all funds we got from a modest 401K, small severance package and a little bit of gifted money.. I do not mention my tithes to be boastful in any way but as a means to give testimony to how God rewards full commitment and tithing is part of that commitment. I had never tithed faithfully. We gave here and there to various charitable organizations but not consistently. I also learned to be truly thankful for "all things" in this season of my life. In April I made it to a third and final face to face interview with the CEO of a wonderful company. I really felt that I would get that job. I mean really confident that I had interviewed well enough and that my professional achievements were enough. Then I got an email stating I didn't get it. I was crushed and through tears thanked God for not allowing the door to open. He said no. It hurt badly but I trusted Him through it even though bills were due and funds were drying up quickly.

My marriage got even stronger. I studied and learned how to grow my faith in God. Then God began to show his awesome love, provision, and restoration beyond measure and surely more than I can ever deserve.

Still, I was very concerned that I had not found a good job yet but knew God would carry us through as He always had. During this 'season" we never missed a bill or a meal. It was tight but somehow from a financial standpoint things were taken care of and It had to be God working on our behalf. No question about it. And, that beautiful daughter I mentioned earlier helped us monetarily as well. Several years ago she went through the same things I have recently gone through. Even when red in her bank account she began tithing faithfully and got right with God. I am utterly amazed to see how far God has brought her in her faith, spiritual growth and serving heart. and her income has grown so. My child ministered to me without knowing it. How blessed am I ?!

Last week and nine months to the day of my layoff and after exhausting just about all our funds and having to think about foreclosure and possible bankruptcy, my wife exclaimed, "Come here!" We saw a pending transaction in our bank account for $680. We didn't know what it was. If it cleared our account, the check I wrote that morning for my mortgage would bounce..

In a rush I headed to the bank to transfer $400 from a nearly maxed out credit card to my checking account. On the way I prayed and literally cried out to God asking him to please show me "something"! I couldn't fix it and didn't know what else to do. One minute later my wife calls me to say it was an unexpected deposit. Praise God! I was overwhelmed. Three minutes later on my way home I got a call from a former customer for an unexpected onsite interview for the next day. In managerial positions that just doesn't happen. There are always a few phone interviews before any face to face meetings and in my case once they figured out my age it usually didn't progress. There is NO WAY an unexpected deposit and call for a face to face interview happened by chance within 4 or 5 minute timeframe during my time of great need and anguish.

Four days later I had a job offer for more than what I had lost and still within 2 hours from our family. Yes, we will have to sell our home and move but I CANNOT wait to see what church He leads us to and how HE wants me to serve him.

There have been so many people praying for us these last several months. I am so thankful for all of their prayers. Prayer is so powerful and the biggest and most important thing that we can do for each other.

Friend, If you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior I truly hope and pray that you will seek him, believe that he is the Son of God. He died on the cross and shed his precious blood for our sins and was resurrected three days after He was crucified. He IS coming back for us and very soon I believe given our current world condition.

His gift of Salvation and eternal life with Him is free for the asking. Please accept Jesus today if you do not know him.

Praise, Honor and Glory to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Jesus our loving Savior.
 
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