June 22, 2013

Feeling More Doubt

It's the end of a fairly rotten week. I cannot even begin to explain how bad things have been this week. I have experienced the lowest of lows, and have had overwhelming feelings of doubt cloud  my heart and mind. Yesterday was the kicker, the capstone of the week. One of my colleagues at CVS Caremark left the job for a different position within the company. In truth, it was a good thing for her. However, the events that led up to her moving were unfortunate, and avoidable. I am sad to see a colleague leave, someone well-regarded and respected, simply because of a manager who didn't like her, and set about six months ago to get her to leave. It is despicable, and there is nothing anyone will do about it.

I was very sad yesterday. I had a hard time keeping my countenance up all day. I managed to be perky for my friend, brought her flowers and a card, and even took her to lunch. Still, the lingering sadness was there, and the forced interaction with the person who created all this drama, required. I don't want to deal with my manager, and I don't know how to control my feelings on that point.

I am not sure why I feel the way I do. I believe I am being oppressed, to start. I know that my week at Regent was incredible. I came home feeling so energized, and so empowered. I had the best time, even if I had that "deer in the headlights" look all week (the sum total of what a doctoral program entails, slowing sinking into my newbie first year brain).

I cannot tell you how the Holy Spirit seems to be radiating through that campus. I have never felt that way before, and I have been a long-time Christian. There is this sense of abiding peace when you are on campus. Not just personally, but corporately. There is a feeling that you are on holy ground, that you are part of a holy experiment, and that you are very safe.

That sense of peace and that feeling of safety stayed with me the entire week. I even experienced a tornado that went right near my hotel (practically over it) and never once was I afraid. Please note: I am deathly afraid of tornadoes. I have been since I was a child. I have tornado dreams at night that signal deep-seated fear issues. Tornadoes and me, we just don't go together.

Yet, the day we had the tornado warning, I was calm. I went into my room, turned the TV on and watched the news talk about the tornado, where it was heading next. I was right in the path, right in the projected path. I didn't know what to do. Our hotel didn't have a basement. I thought about going into the bathroom or the hallway. Instead, I sat on my bed, and then watched the storm approach out the window. I kept asking the Lord, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" and "Lord, should I go downstairs to ask the hotel what to do?" Instead, I just felt this peace, and I was not afraid. I waited until the rain stopped, the clouds cleared, and then I went outside to the grocery store to get myself some food for dinner.

It was surreal for me. I would normally be balled up in panic, crying, or feeling so helpless that I couldn't stand. Instead, I was OK. I was calm, and I was at peace.

My entire week was like this, peaceful, serene, good. The weather was hot and sticky, and my hair was limp and out of control, but I was happy. I was so happy.

As I was on the plane heading back to Arizona, this feeling of great sadness came over me. I started to cry. I thought, "Lord, why am I so sad?" I was happy to get back to my family, to go home. I missed my family, and I missed the dry heat of Arizona. I was so unhappy, feeling as if I had lost something or that I was leaving something precious behind me. I cried out again, asking the Lord for help. The word came back, "You left your heart in Virginia."

I thought, "how weird is that?" I didn't understand what He was saying to me. All week I have been wrestling with that word. What does it mean?

I spent this past week miserably dealing with petty personality issues at work. I am bored in my job, and I am fed up with the way my manager treats our group. On Monday, my manager text-ed me asking me why I had ignored her in the bathroom. She went on, "why didn't you say hi to me?" I text-ed back that I did say hi, but she replied with "no, you didn't. I said hi twice and you ignored me."

OK, in truth, I was upset with her behavior. I had heard about something she did to my friend (the one who was leaving as soon as she heard about the outcome of her interview) on Friday. She broke a confidence, and said something she shouldn't have. It upset my friend, and it was unprofessional. I had lost respect for her once I heard that story. It was a culmination of a lot of examples of her nonprofessional attitude, and her unbalanced and child-like behavior. I didn't want to interact with her. I was mad at her for behaving that way, and I wasn't in a mood to be friendly. I did say "hi," but I didn't stop to talk. I headed into the stall to do my business, and to focus on other more pressing matters (why I was so sad, feeling so overwhelmed, and the Lord's word to me about leaving my heart in VA).

My lack of response blew up this week into a major problem. I was ignored by my manager, and taken off jobs/tasks in what appeared to be punitive retaliation.

I sit here today, trying to make sense of it all. I rashly applied for several jobs at Grand Canyon University. I promptly received emails back saying "sorry, we are going with a different candidate." I normally do not hear anything for weeks or not at all -- and in one day -- I got replies back slamming the door closed on those opportunities. I applied for a couple adjunct teaching positions, but I doubt seriously that I will get a call. I feel that I am stuck in a horrible job, and being weighed down with feelings of sadness and a lack of peace.

This is not normal for me. I am not normally overwhelmed like this for days on end. I know it means that I have done something or not done something. I know that I am partly to blame.

Lord, help me to understand why I feel the way I do and then show me how to get these feelings to go away?

In my conversation with the Lord while on the plane ride home, I asked Him what he meant by His word to me. I certainly loved being on campus at Regent. It is a beautiful campus. My colleagues there were wonderful, sweet, talented, and God-fearing people. I felt very much at home. I could see myself going to class, living near by, working in the area. It was nice. It was a nice community, very homey, not stuffy or uppity like Scottsdale. It was just a very normal middle-class, modest community. I liked it a lot.

One of my colleagues is trying to move there to attend on campus. She feels she learns better that way, and she shared that there are scholarship opportunities for students who attend on campus. She is trying to find a job, and has her husband's support to move there. I was so very happy for her, and I am praying it works out so that she can do that.

I thought about it too. I thought about attending campus. I thought about what our Program Coordinator said to us (me and my friend and another friend). She said that it is better to attend on campus, that there are a lot of perks, and opportunities for those that can be here throughout the year. I know of three students in my cohort who are attending on campus. These three will be in class together - weird to think about it - but if there are three doctoral students on campus, then those three are the one students in class.

On the plane, I asked the Lord if it was His will for me to attend on campus. I wanted to know if this was what He was saying to me. I don't remember His answer or if He did answer me. I just know that I felt so very sad - like when someone passes away - that deep kind of sadness that doesn't just go away.

Then on Sunday, I asked Him again, and I do recall our conversation. I know that going to Regent would be His will for me. I know that it would be good for me to go. However, I was hesitant about going, I mean - how could I leave my family? I just moved into my parents home to help care for them. I cannot leave them now?

More so, my son is set to study at ASU. He has his plans in order, and I would be uprooting him, asking him to change his plans. It seems like too much, to much change.

I said I would go if the Lord wanted me to go. I said I would trust Him to provide a home, a way to go, a job, a fellowship and stipend. I said I would go. I said I would go.


I said I would go, but I changed my mind. I said I couldn't go and I gave Him a boat-load of reasons why it just didn't make sense, it wouldn't work, and how it looked impossible.

I am miserable, again today. I feel so awful, as though nothing is right, nothing is going right, and that I am being pressed down hard and squeezed out. I hate this feeling, I hate the way I feel today.

Lord, I said I would go. I said it with hesitancy, and you knew that I was uncertain about the integrity of my words. I am sorry for telling you that I would go, when in my heart, I really was saying "no, I wouldn't go." I am ashamed of what I said, being partly willing, but really not willing at all. I am sorry for doubting your ability to do what was necessary so that I could go. I am sorry for saying one thing, yet doing another.

I ask now that you forgive me for my words, Lord. I see the bleakness of my life here in AZ. I have a good home to live in, and I enjoy being with my parents. But - there is no satisfying job here. I have no friends, and I have so very little with which to be involved.

Moving to VA doesn't mean that all this will go away, but it would put my schooling first and foremost, which is what you want for me. I don't know how I would do it, how you would do it. I just know that if you wanted it for me, it would come to pass.

I confess now that I miss that peace. I miss your Holy Spirit's peace. I have His peace, certainly I do, but it is not like that, not that way. It was a peace I never experienced before, a peace that covered me so completely, and a peace that surrounded me totally. I want that peace in my life. I want that security. I want to experience that "heaven on earth" feeling every day of my life. I want to be where He is active and involved. I want to be a part of something that He is a part of, and I want to be with Him always.

I am tired of being tired. I am so very tired of all the headaches, the heartaches, and the petty fleshly behaviors that are the "normal" part of living. I want to live in a convent of sorts - not to be a nun - but to be like a nun. Wholly devoted, wholly infused, and wholly committed to you and your way.

I ask now for clarification, and for your direction on my life. Help me now, Lord, to see where I am to go, and what I need to do. I ask this in Jesus' Name. Amen, so be it, thy will be done.

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