Tag Archive | faith

When Someday Might be Soon

sun-on-mist-through-treesAnyone who knows me knows I have always wanted to live in a country setting. I want to look out the window and see beautiful scenery and not just neighbors. It’s never been feasible for us to move, mostly because of money, so it’s just a dream. Someday, I say. Someday.

A couple weeks ago a few events happened that made me rethink the someday part of that dream. I saw a couple houses in our price range that had land and beautiful scenery. My son got married, and another is closing on a house, so our family is shrinking fast, meaning we could do with smaller spaces, which might be more our price range. My husband’s job is in a location that makes it easy to head out to a country setting without him spending half his life in the car.

So we talked to an  agent and decided to put our house on the market. I’m painting and repairing and working myself to death to get it all ready. And while I do, I worry. And I doubt. And I question the wisdom of this. We have a perfectly fine house. It’s on a pretty lot, considering we live in the city. There is no reason for us to move except that I want to. It will be expensive, and it’s work. My husband and son couldn’t care less, so it’s happening just because I want it to, and wow. It’s been hard to tell myself this is okay.

My husband isn’t happy with his job. It doesn’t use his skills, and the pay is much lower than his last job (he was an engineer who lost his job about eight years ago), and it’s second shift, which has been hard. When we decided to move, he stepped up his job search, thinking maybe he could find a new job before we move, and then we could simply move to his new location. I’m fine with that. I hate for him to feel trapped and not to be challenged by his work.

So I’m worrying about finding a new house and whether it’s worth a move just because I want it. Feels decadent. And he hopes to find a job before I find my long-awaited country house, because he would hate to find a job three days after we settle and force us to move again.

Today he got a call from a recruiter about a job that’s close to us but far enough that it would make a country life easier. The job would make more money, and it is in a small, rural town close enough to our big town that I could easily keep my son involved in his life. It would be the best of all worlds. It would be amazing.

And my thoughts about this? It could never happen. That isn’t how God deals with us.

God must get so tired of me for doubting His goodness and His love and His power. I fall into this same pattern of thinking over and over and over. And yet the Bible makes it clear He isn’t tired of me. He doesn’t get frustrated and make my life hard just because I expect it to be hard. His love is huge. Of course He could give us a good job and a good house at the same time. He’s done it for other people. It’s not an impossible dream. And if He does or doesn’t do that, it doesn’t change His love for us. He isn’t a big meanie who doles out blessings like a miser.

So where does the doubt come from? I’ve had plenty of things in my life work perfectly. Healthy babies that grew up to be healthy adults. A roof over our heads even after months on unemployment. A great church. We have cars that run and toilets that don’t. So where do I get this idea God puts a limit on how good things can get?

I’ve been like this forever. It’s something God and I hash out over and over and over, my doubt that He cares about the little things, that He works in the details. The big stuff, sure, like salvation and justification. Heaven. I have no doubt he loved me enough to send Jesus. So why do I think a few details are beyond Him? And where do I get the idea that He wants me happy, but not too happy. Life can be good, but not too good.

I don’t have answers for that. I have the feeling the next few weeks are going to shake a few things loose. I’m a mom who’s spent the last quarter century putting myself second to my family, and right now I’m asking my family to sacrifice so I can see trees. You bet I have some things to learn here. And my marriage–whatever happens with the house and a job, we’re about to make some changes. We’ve not moved in seventeen years. And in more personal ways we’ve been pretty stationary, too. Big changes in our outer world will mean big changes in our relationship. And that’s exciting and scary.

So. We’re putting our house on the market. Simple words. People do it all the time. My son is a mover, so his entire livelihood depends on people moving from place to place. But it feels huge and strange, and it’s bringing up a whole lot of emotions and shaking loose a whole lot of wrong thinking. And God is there waiting, smiling, urging us to seek Him and work through it all and maybe for once get a real picture of His love, maybe one I can keep hold of for a time.

I’m excited. I’m terrified. And as the words of this blog leave my fingertips, I know this is God calling me to come closer. Whatever happens, He stands with outstretched hands and beckons me to come close so He can take the burden and work through the questions and grow me into the person he wants me to be. City, country, good job, bad job–He can and will work through whatever He has planned for us.

Step of faith? Step of selfishness? Doesn’t matter. He’s part of it and loves me, whatever the motives, whatever the path, whatever the outcome.

Waiting for the call…or not

Last week my husband had a job interview.  By the time I post this, if I post this, he might know if the interview has resulted in a job.  Or he might never hear from the company again.

This isn’t THE job, the one that will use his skills, give him a sense of worth, and carry his family through to retirement.  This is a job that might see us through grad school and allow us to come out the other side of this little adventure with a bit of retirement money left.  He felt the interview went well, and the work is, you know, work, and it would be great to have a bit of a secure feeling and even a schedule again.  And money.  It’s closer to his field than fast food would be, and that’s a plus.

But I can’t make myself believe he will get the job.  Not this job, not any job.  Never.  I am ashamed to admit it, but somewhere in the past two years I stopped believing this particular prayer would ever be answered with anything but “No.”  Even though God commands us to work, I don’t really believe that’s in our future.  Usually I wait with anticipation for that call that he got the job, but not this time.  Not even a little bit.

It’s a strange attitude shift.  The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God, and then the same verse defines faith as believing God exists (check) and believing he rewards those who trust in him.  Hmmm.  Reward.  I definitely believe in a final reward in heaven.  But here…  I must admit somewhere along the line I started to believe that God is interested not in rewarding me but in seeing me handle hardship well.

Yes, I admit it, I expect things to be terrible, and then I am supposed to trust God, and then he is glorified.  Of course I see people get jobs and take vacations and remodel their homes and have cars with A/C and even find healing from ailments, but that’s them.  God doesn’t deal like that with us.

What a scary, twisted view of who God is.  And a terribly non-thankful way to approach the myriad of rewards in my life.  I have a home.  I have a car.  I have healthy children, a spouse who loves me, a government that isn’t trying to kill me, stores that sell me food, a church that cares about me and can safely teach me truth….  The list is embarassingly long.

God rewards those who trust in him.  And he delights in giving me good gifts, starting with Jesus, and even if he ended there, it’s enough, but he didn’t.  He doesn’t look for ways to break me so he can pat me on the back and say “well done.”  When I start to think like that, I become bitter and completely lose sight of God’s compassionate character and what he wants to build into my life.  And I certainly don’t lead others towards him.

I hope my husband gets a job.  And I am comforted by the knowledge that God is faithful when I am faithless, and he will forgive my sins and change my attitudes if I ask him and follow him.  Now that I see it, I have asked for a serious pruning of this particular failure, so I know this time of doubting will end, and he will teach me to see him right again.  It is comforting to know that however far off the path I stray, I am loved, I am brought back, and I am a child of an amazing King.

By the way, no word yet on the job, so my husband moves ahead to other venues while he waits, but maybe soon the answer will be ‘yes’.  Regardless of God’s answer to this prayer this time, though, he is still preparing for me good gifts.  Not everything I want exactly when I want it, but everything good for me exactly when I need it.  I need to remember that and be thankful for all he does for me and for all he is to me.