Thursday, September 1, 2011

On a Personal Note...

This has been a very trying week for me.  I have a real issue with stress and it is definitely something I need really need for God to work on.  I don't know how to give up stress.  If there is any verse that applies to the time I am going through now it is one I shared recently.
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"  Mark 9:24 NKJV
This morning on my ride to work, a song played over my iPod.  It was called "Leaving Seattle" by a Christian band called The Basics.  It really struck me and helped me learn to realize just what it is I am going through now.  Where I am right now is right smack in the middle of a long journey of faith.  We have made too many steps to turn back and I have no idea where this road ends.  God has not revealed that to me and every curve I make it to seems to have one more just a little way up the road that I can not see around. 

Just like the many road trips I have taken in my life, I left for this journey in the dark.  I made a post some time ago about not knowing how I was going to get to where I felt God was leading me (for my wife and I to move north) but I knew the direction and began to move in that way.  Now that some progress has been made and the light has began to shine on the reality of the situation, I am no more comforted than I was when I was in the dark.  If anything, it is worse.  I see the reality of what we can afford with the mortgage we were approved for.  Some of the houses were nice, but they tend to go real fast.  Others were so nightmarish that the only thing that could probably be done would be to tear them down and build from scratch.  I have even seen that low amount we were approved for shrunk by the reality of some mistakes in my past peaking their way into my present.  Just about all of it is related to my most miserable dismal failure of my life, that being my time in college.  I left high school near the top of my class, in every honors society you can be in, with several Advanced Placement courses under my belt and passing their requisite tests for college credit, scholarships, and getting into every college I applied to save one.  What happened then?  Apathy happened.  It was not that I could not do the work, it was that I did not even care.  I was swallowed by a level of apathy I can not begin to explain, but what happened 20 years ago haunts me still to this day. 

Beyond that, there is yet another old debt that has come home to roost.  I spent a fortune a few months ago to get my student loans back in order and out of the garnishment that was on my paycheck, but then a new old debt popped up.  Apparently, a debt from an old college that I thought was forgiven apparently was not.  Apparently, their own garnishment was just waiting in the wings for eight years and now it has been applied.  It is too old to show up on any credit report, but once I show pay stubs then that money will be deducted from the amount that the bank determines I can pay each month towards a house.  That in combination with an increase in payment in my student loan because my income increased will basically make it hard for me to (at least on paper but not in reality) afford a storage locker let alone a house.  The fact is that once the condo is sold,. that debt will be paid in full but I simply do not have $5000.00 to pay it now.  So will a bank give me a loan with the contingency?  Only God knows.  Then of course there are the expenses of daily life that pop up and delay our paying down of other debts.  Just this week we had to pay $400.00 to fix one of our cars and that very same car will need four new tires soon. 

As for jobs, I have a job that provides wonderful benefits.  The pay is adequate but not great and the current commute is a budget and car killer.  Other than that, I am not happy where I am working.  As staff gets replaced, the personality changes and it is to a point where there is no joy but just a routine I go through every day.  I actually love the people in my department and we work extremely well together.  Unfortunately, our department was swallowed up by another that is a cauldron of drama that spills often in the little corner they shoved us in.  I am not apathetic and my work ethic remains unchanged.  I work very hard at what I do.  Now let's talk about my wife.  My wife resigned her teaching position and while her income is actually higher now working for her father, it is not where she belongs.  My wife has a calling and a gift from God to be a teacher.  That is who she is and every day she is not one is a travesty in my mind.  Furthermore, her current job with her father would be untenable if we move north because the commute would be too long.  So far she had one offer up here, but it is not her calling and the pay was way too low.  Other than that, there have been no calls regarding the applications she sent out. 

I am not writing this for any kind of a pity party.  I am writing for prayer for sure, but not for pity.  I am just explaining the earthly reality of my situation.  As the sun rises on my journey, I am able to see the road for what it really is.  It is filled with potholes, curves, and hills.  I also know that I am almost out of gas and I have not seen a service station in quite some time. 

But then again maybe that is exactly God wants.  If I am stuck on the side of the road, completely out of gas, and in the middle of a journey where it is too far to go back and too unknown to know where to go then I have no choice but to surrender.  If I have no gas that means I can not drive and if I can not drive, I need someone to carry me.  It means I have no choice but to call on God to not just guide me, but actually take me there, to wherever it is He has me going to.  I said in the beginning that I need to surrender all that I am to whatever God has for me.  That is still a work in progress.  Progress is the key word because while it is not yet completed, it is progressing.  As I get more and more desperate on this journey, my heart surrenders more and more to what God has for me.  I don't know where that is and I do not know when I will get there.  What I do know is that God has already prepared it for me from before the foundations of the earth.  I must rest in that knowledge because it is only that hope that keeps me on this road.  I've used this verse several times in recent posts, but I must keep reminding myself of it.  Not only do I have to remind myself of it, but I have to learn it, word-by-word, with the key word today being "all." 
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

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