From Struggle to Salvation: A Family’s Journey Through Hardship

From Struggle to Salvation: A Family’s Journey Through Hardship,

Paul was a typical young boy. He went to school, played with his friends, climbed trees and ran after his dog. He followed the norm for kids his age. Charlie and Martha, Paul’s parents, shared a house. They also lived with John and Natalie, his siblings.

Navigating Life’s Challenges: The Story of Paul and His Family

Paul’s life was blissful and peaceful. However, his life took a sudden turn towards the end of the year and it was not for the better…

The days ceased to be happy and pleasant. Paul stopped laughing, played less with his friends and was easily distracted in class. His teacher reminded him time and again to pay attention but he almost always received failing grades.

Paul’s quality of life was declining day by day.

Surprisingly, the problem began as soon as Charlie, his father, was able to spend more time with the family. Charlie stayed at home and spent more time with his mother, his siblings and his friend Paul. However, instead of happiness, there was sadness, melancholy and constant conflicts.

How is it possible? Don’t all children like to spend more time with their parents? Don’t they want their parents to play with them, give them hugs and cuddles and help them with homework? How could things have gotten worse when his father spent more time with them?


Don’t think that Paul or his siblings lacked paternal love. Also, do not mistake their father’s love for them. No way! Charlie loved his wife and children. However, something kept him from being alone.

Paul reflected on the fact that once his father had come home later than usual. He didn’t want to talk at all. Perhaps he had a headache or backache, Paul reasoned…

After dinner, while crying, his father informed them that he had lost his job.

Paul was perplexed as to why his father was crying. Then he reasoned:

—It must be because he’s very happy. He won’t have to get up so early anymore. We will have more time to spend together, to walk, play, read and he will be able to rest.

John and Natalie, Paul’s younger siblings, also didn’t fully understand what was going on. The only thing they thought was that their father could now take them to school and spend more time with them, or that they could finally have lunch together, as their father used to say…

Everything went as usual in the first days Charlie was out of work

Even Charlie seemed to enjoy his new life. He would leave early to start looking for a job. After dining with the family, he would take Paul and his siblings to school. He assisted his wife with the household chores. He even found time for a nap.

Naturally, Charlie felt depressed and eventually angry when he thought about his job. He missed his colleagues and his work. Moreover, he was very worried about not being able to send money home. But things continued as usual.

Life became more difficult as time went by because Paul’s father could not find a job. Problems began soon… Charlie no longer wanted to get up and look for work. When Martha, Paul’s mother, became angry, she would start shouting and Charlie would respond even louder.

To get Paul and his siblings up and to help around the house, their parents would yell at them to wake up.

Martha repeatedly screamed, “I can’t do it alone,” while furiously banging pots and doors. Charlie responded that he didn’t know what to do and that it wasn’t his fault he was jobless, with more shouting and banging.

The day continued with people fighting, complaining and yelling…

Things got even worse

Charlie began to drink a lot of wine. He stopped playing with his children, going to school with them and helping around the house. Martha reproached Charlie for doing nothing while she was furious. The butcher and the grocer no longer wanted to place their trust in them. And the supplies of food and clothing decreased each day.

As a result, the lives of Paul and his siblings became very depressing. They stopped playing with their friends, avoided eye contact with people and lived in constant fear of their parents’ shouting and arguments.

The eldest brother, Paul, wanted to support his father. To cheer him up, he wanted to do something like giving him a hug. Paul also wished his mother would be happy. He longed to see her sing while preparing meals, to give them big hugs when they came home from school and to kiss them when they woke up in the morning.

Paul desired these and other things but his parents often only offered him a challenge, a punishment and sometimes even a hit.

One afternoon, Paul took his siblings to school after a fierce argument between his parents but he decided not to enter. He stayed on the sidewalk pretending to play and when the cleaner and teachers were not looking, he ran away.

Paul kept running

His heart was filled with many motivations to keep running further and further. He moved so fast that he collided with a man moving quickly in the opposite direction around a corner and both fell to the ground.

Oh, what pain! What a number of bruises and sprains! However, Paul’s heart hurt more than the blow itself.

He suddenly experienced being caressed. It had been a long time since anyone had touched him. When he looked up, he noticed that kind face.

They asked him in a soft voice: —Did you hit hard? Is the pain strong…?

Paul then began to cry. And he cried a lot. The blow and the scratches hurt, so he sobbed. However what he cried most about was his mother, his father and his siblings.

That man gave Paul a bear hug after noticing how much Paul was crying. Then he gave a tender yet firm hug as if he were holding something fragile or breakable in his arms to protect it.

Paul cried and vented for minutes, perhaps even seconds but he missed those hugs so much that he ended up smiling. The man asked Paul why he was running so much and what was making him cry that way as they got up from the ground. Paul then explained what was happening in his family.

The man explained to Paul that he was pressed for time because he had to finish some paperwork. He needed to interview potential employees because he wanted to get his new business up and running before Christmas.

And you know what…

Charlie found a job…

Now he is ecstatic with his new position. Paul’s mother, Martha, has become much happier, more serene and even sings again while preparing meals. Natalie, John and Paul have fun and laugh as if it were the best time.

Some claim that Paul’s chance encounter with that kind man was a mere coincidence. Others claim that luck played a significant role. There are those who claim that, since it is a fairy tale and these things only happen in fairy tales, it must have happened.

However, Paul assures that the reason both of them collided was because God placed a person in his path.

This kind man helped my father with a job, as well as helping us. He also told us about Jesus. He spoke of His profound love. He explained why Jesus Christ came into the world on the first Christmas and how that event would change our lives. To offer us mercy and hope.

Then we realized that God wants to support us, protect us and lift us up. We began to put our faith in Him.

I, Paul, can assure you that the hand of God was in what happened because, later, when my family and I read the Bible, we found promises like these:

“You can put your faith in God, who will not subject you to trials that you cannot bear. Moreover, God will also provide a way out of the trial when it comes.”

What else can I say except that Christmas was unique?

I realized that God loves me and when you realize this, life takes on a special quality. You too can live a better life and enjoy a special Christmas. God loves you and invites you to trust in Him and to experience His love through the arrangement of people and circumstances.

I must leave you now. My loved ones are waiting for me. We will give many thanks to God before celebrating Christmas by sharing a joyful meal. Merry Christmas, dear friends, a Christmas where faith in God, love and hope reign.