June 29, 2013

God is Good - His Mercy Never Ends!

I have just come through one of the most difficult weeks in my life. Truthfully, it probably ranked fairly low when you consider other weeks (giving birth, going through a divorce, etc.) Yet, in recent history, this week was pretty tough on me. I had a lot of issue at work, was finishing up a research proposal, and then had emergency dental work. Thursday and Friday were particularly unpleasant, but today is better, and I feel like I am on the mend (PTL!)

I am not afraid of the dentist, per se, it is more that I hate the unknown, and I tend to exaggerate just how bad it could be (should something happen). I have been this way since I was a child, and while I try very hard to not let my imagination get the best of me, most of the time it does. Friday was no exception.

I had a severe infection in one of the roots of my teeth. The dentist felt it had been there for years, and it was the cause of a lot of my sinus pain and headaches. I had to go to the Endodontist for a root canal, and spent two and half hours in the chair while he drained the infection from my upper tooth. I suffer a wee bit of claustrophobia, so between the plastic sheet over my mouth, and the bite block -- I felt like I was suffocating. It didn't help that I was still numb and sore from the previous day's extraction (of a broken molar). I was miserable as I tried to keep myself calm and swallow normally. It was so hard for me to remain focused, but through it all I could hear my Savior whispering to me "just breathe, just focus on breathing." I did and I survived it. It was a challenge for me to remain calm, but I just kept my breathing slow and steady, and before I knew it, the procedure was done. God is so very good to me!

Today, as I said earlier, is a better day. I still am taking Advil for the swelling, and I will be on antibiotics for the infection the rest of the week -- but thank the Lord -- the decay and infection is gone. I am better, and I know that very soon I will start to feel like my old self again. God is so very, very good.

So this brings me to the reason for this post. I have been under so much pressure lately. My work has taken a different turn that expected, and I now find myself in the position of looking for another job. I had such high hopes for CVS Caremark, and someone reading this blog my just say "well, gee Carol - it's been a year and now you want to leave this job too?" Yes, you are correct.

I spent one year at Macy's - one very long and trying year working Retail. It about did me in physically, and while that job was not a good fit, I think it did help me move to the next level.

I spent 15 months at UOPX, in a job I really wanted to do, but after getting into the nit and grit of it, realized that it was just a sales position with quotas and pressure to perform. I thought it was advising, which is what I wanted to do, but it turned out to be nothing more than talking students into going to school at UOPX.

I have been at CVS Caremark for ten months, and of the previous positions, this one by far has been the most difficult. I have worked long hours, with little to no reparation. I have listened to the spiel only to see that management is going to make the same mistake they made last year, and the next welcome season will be the same or worse.

In all, I am reminded of the fact that I asked the Lord for these three jobs. I begged, I pleaded, and I promised Him that I would do the work if He opened the door for me. I wanted so much to get any job, that I said I was willing to work retail. I did, and it about killed me. I said I was willing to sit in a cube and be on the phone 4-5 hours a day, making robo-calls, just to get my foot in the door at UOPX. I did, and the mind-numbing work just about killed me (boredom, beyond boredom). I begged to work at CVS Caremark, and said I wanted to no longer help people, but work with computers and be on my own. I wanted to be an analyst, to show everyone how logical I was, and how I could do research. I am in this job, and for all intents and purposes, I order prescription cards. I do some research, but mostly, I order cards and I pull reports to show managers why their client's are not getting their cards from the print vendor.

In all three cases, the Lord told me that the jobs were not good for me. He said that they would not work out, and that really it was best to wait. I was impatient, and I wanted "OUT" now. I asked, I promised, and the Lord delivered on His word to me.

Now, I am in the exact same position as before. I want out, in fact, I need out. I am scheduled to take two doctoral courses starting August 19 - and I will not be able to do my current job and those classes. I know that the classes are His will -- so the job has to go. I have applied for about five-six positions, and the emails are coming back "Thank you, not interested." Nothing is opening up for me, and I am feeling stuck in this job. I am thankful for the dental insurance (PTL!), the time is running out for moving to a new position prior to school starting. What do I do?

I am a firm believer in God's Providential will. I don't think anything happens without His permission, whether we believe it or see it. I think God is orchestrating the details for all of His children, but especially those who are seeking Him for His hand of deliverance. He knows my needs, and therefore, He has a plan in mind. Do I go against Him? I don't think I can, personally, and not at this point. It is either His way or my way, and my way seems blocked. So I have to think that His way is open, and I am not moving forward toward that open door. I am afraid or stubborn, or something. I am stuck, and I cannot move forward.

Now as I think about it, I realize that I am being willful. I believe that there is a reason why the Bible is full of characters who didn't always do what God asked them to do. I think those stories are there to encourage us, but also to give us a person with whom we can identify. I know my person. I know I am a "Jonah." I wish I were a Paul or a John, but alas, I am Jonah, and I like sitting in stinky whales.

I have not gone where God has told me to go. I have tried to get there around bout, and in my own way. It doesn't work, and God uses figurative whales in my life to hold me, to contain me, and to keep me stuck for a while. I sit and stew. I pray and cry out, but I don't get any forward momentum until I confess and agree with the Lord. Then that whale spits me out, and I find myself right where God told me to go in the first place.

My Jonah story has taken place several times now, and it is always the same. I sit and stew for a long time, asking Him "why, Lord, why?" It takes a bit before the truth sinks down in, and I accept the message "Because you are not listening. You are not going. You didn't obey."

Yes, Lord, you are correct. I didn't go, I didn't obey. I didn't listen.

Dear Lord,

I am ready to listen now. I don't want any job, I want the job of your provision. I don't want my way, I want your way. I don't want second best, I want your best. I have wasted so much time being sick, feeling unwell, and thinking I had it all figured out. I don't. I don't know what to do or where to go - but I know that I must follow you. I must obey you, and I confess to you now, that I am ready to listen, and to obey. I will go where you send me, and I will do the work you have prepared for me to do. I will live where you tell me to live. I will follow, I will obey, and I will trust you now. I confess this in Jesus' Name. Amen. So be it, thy will be done. Selah! (Pause and Calmly Think about it!!)

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