December 23, 2012

Making Changes as the New Year Approaches

It is December 23rd, and I am sitting here thinking about my life, and making plans for the New Year. It is usual for me to be retrospective at this time of year, and today is no exception. To say that past couple months have been hectic would be an understatement. The last four months since leaving University of Phoenix and starting work at CVS Caremark have been difficult. I have worked harder at my job as Analyst, and I have logged more hours than when I was a Healthcare and Nursing Advisor. Yes, the jobs are vastly different. They each had their ups and downs, and they each came with their own kind of stress.

My new job is challenging in the work itself. I am being asked to use the analytical and logical portion of my brain every single day. My old job was monotonous and boring, and it was the boredom factor that really got to me in the end. I miss my friends at UOPX most of all, and I miss the fun we had there. Parties and other perks were the norm, and it seemed that every day we laughed, really laughed. I miss this most of all -- just the camaraderie and the friendship.

My new group is nice, and very friendly. We are busy, and that means that the general attitude is business-like. Professional. Quiet and subdued. I like this as well. The work level has been incredible, and while I knew I would be really busy, I didn't know just how busy that would be until this month. I know that this is not long-term, but it is for the short-term during what we call our Welcome Season (Healthcare Benefits/Open Enrollment). Overall, I am satisfied with my new job. I like the work, and I like the commute. I am happy with my pay, and with the opportunities that exist at this Fortune 100 company.

As I think about next year, and begin to make plans, there are some questions without answers. Some of the questions have been answered, and I feel good about what lays ahead for me and for my son. I put a list together, just to keep me reminded of God's Provision, the other day:

  • Schooling for my son is settled. He has applied to Arizona State University, and has been tentatively accepted. He has sent his transcript off, and now is waiting for official acceptance. I need to provide an Affidavit for Home Education to them, but for all intents and purposes, he will be accepted as a transfer student for Fall 2013.
  • I have one more item on my Regent to-do list, and that is to write a 1000 word essay on Communication trends. I started it last week, but found I was so overwhelmed with work, that I couldn't focus, and couldn't make heads or tails of what I wanted to say. I put that off, but it still needs to be completed by 1/1 (I have until 2/1).
  • I resigned my lease for another year. This keeps us in this home until November 2013, which is a good thing considering our closeness to the community college.
  • My parents have chosen to sell their home, and move into an apartment about 2 miles further down the road. It is a good decision for them, and will help them reduce their expenses and live far more comfortably as they head into their latter years (Mom and Dad will be 80 in 2013).
I think the major concern for me is money (isn't it always the case). God has provided adequate income for me, and I have been careful on my spending (though I am liking the fact that I can spend money on frills and extras). Just some worries...
  • I know we will need a new car this Spring/Summer -- before my son starts at the University. He will be commuting 16 miles each way, and he will need a car of his own. 
  • My school loans are coming due in January, and while I have been given forbearance, I will still be making a hefty payment until my application is accepted and I start courses at Regent (then the loans go back into deferment).
  • The job is good, but I don't know how I will do this kind of work and take six credits of doctoral studies in the Summer and Fall. It is a constant worry, and I feel that I need to do something different so that I can focus completely on these courses.
These big questions loom over my head -> How can I buy a new car, make payments on student loans, and complete courses for advanced studies when I make a fixed income now (good but not great), and when my work load varies and potentially could require long hours and overtime?

My human brain admits that it cannot figure out how God is planning on addressing these concerns. When I ask Him, He says "Trust me." When I ask for clarification, He tells me He knows me, He knows what I can and cannot do. This is His way. This is how God handles change -- it is always under control, always planned, and always prepared. Nothing happens outside His control. Nothing moves forward until He chooses for it do so.

I fret and stress over the lack of movement, or the status quo of no change. I want these questions to be answered now, and I want to know what to do, where to go, and how these things will come to pass. I want this knowledge so that I will not freak out anymore, so that I can rest and be at peace.

God knows me well. He knows that I cannot handle change, and that I freak out at the mention of change. He knows what I can and cannot do -- literally -- He knows that sometimes it is better for me to wait, then to know now. If I cannot handle what He is planning to do in my life, He knows that it is best for me to stew a bit until I no longer care about the outcome. If I don't care anymore, then He knows He can do whatever He needs to do, and I will just go along with the flow of His mighty will. He knows me so well, and I love the fact that He is a Good Father who tells me "It will be OK, Carol. Just wait and be patient. It will be OK."

Lord, why can I not rest? What do I stress so over the details? We have process so many details during the last couple years that you would think by now I would be a pro at change, a pro at handling the details. Yet, I falter now -- after all you have done -- and after all this time. Why am I so frail and so afraid to trust you, when you have been nothing short of a Miracle of TRUSTWORTHINESS every day of my life? Have you changed? Have you stopped being TRUSTWORTHY?

Of course, I know the answers to all these questions. I know that He is always TRUSTWORTHY, and that His word never fails. It is always TRUTH. I know that He cares deeply for me and about me, and that He knows that I worry and fret over details. He knows me so very well, and He loves me so completely. I know He does have everything under control. I know that the plans He has for me are good, very good. And, I know that His will is to be done, and that the plans He has are part of His will. Therefore, they will be done as well. It will all come to pass just as He has determined, and my life will follow His Way. I know all of this, yet I still stress and fret over today, tomorrow, and a year from now.

Oh Lord, help me to no longer fear the changes you desire to make within me personally, and in my external life? Help me now to accept what you want for my life, and to let things be, let you be in my life, and work through my life. I ask now in Jesus Name, that I would have the grace to let go, to really let go, and to let you have full control to move, to change, to alter, to direct and to complete the plans you have for me. To your Name be praise, and honor, and glory forever and ever. Amen, so be it. Thy will be done. Selah!

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