June 19, 2013

Overwhelmed and Uncertain

It is Wednesday, and I am working from home. Lately, my WFH day has come to be a day of serenity for me. When I was asked what day I wanted to work from home, I recall thinking that either Monday or Friday would be good. However, when I asked the Lord, his response to me was "Wednesday." I thought, "Wednesday, really?" I mean it is smack-dab in the middle of the week. Surely it would be better to have a long weekend, even if one of those three days was a work day.

In hindsight, I see the wisdom of that decision. First off, few on my team wanted to WFH on Wednesday. Secondly, it has turned into a respite from a difficult job, a difficult team environment. I work M-T in the office, then I have a day at home. I come back into work for TH-F and then have my two day weekend off. It has been good for me, and I am thankful that I listened to the Lord on this point.

My job at CVS Caremark has become difficult to tolerate. I am in a bad situation where both management and company policy are designed to keep employees from having a work/life balance. In addition, I work for a manager who is insecure, and behaves in a child-like manner. I have been asked if I like her, if I am ignoring her, etc. I am shocked at the level of behavior, and the lack of professional communication skill and ability. My coworkers are all in their 30s to late 40s. I am the oldest in my group, but we are all professional people who know how to handle ourselves, and get along well. However, our manager plays these games and treats us without respect. I have watched this person  hurt other people on my team, and force one particular individual out of the team without any justification or reason.

Many complaints have been filed against her, but HR has not done anything about her behavior. Personally, I cannot take it any longer, so I have decided to resign as soon as possible.

As I consider my path and where I believe God is calling me to work, I see clearly that this job is in conflict with His will for my life. I am a doctoral student, and not to belabor that point, but my priorities are now different than before when I was a masters student. My week at Regent helped to confirm that to me. I am either 100% invested in this program, or I need to step aside and make room for someone else.

Once before I felt this way, and that was when my son was a baby, and I tried to handle a masters program and raise a child. I was overwhelmed and had little support at home. I resigned from the program citing family issues. I put my masters level education on hold for seventeen years until my son was old enough to no longer need Mom all the time.

Now I am called to pursue this path, and I know the plans the Lord has in mind for me. I am feeling the conflict again, but this time, I am able to say "I can do this, I can give 100% to the Lord and to His work." My son, almost 20, is self-sufficient for the most part. My parents are here in my home, and are providing support to me and my son. While I cannot quit and not work in a job, I do not have to be career oriented and focused. I can work in any job that makes money to help support the family. I don't have to be the breadwinner, the head anymore. I know that God does expect me to care for my aging parents, and I am committed to doing that for them -- I also know that I can do that without sacrificing the calling He has placed on my life.

I am beginning to see things clearly. I am beginning to understand why God has done what He has done for me.

  •  Moved into a shared home with my parents - believing this was a direct answer to prayer regarding my feeling overburdened with responsibility and worry about handling school, job and family
  • Accepted into this program not really knowing why God called me to it. Believed that he wanted me in this program because of the faculty experience and interest as well as the school's commitment to raising leaders who are God-centered. Found out that my calling (learning French fluently for ministry, for example) coincides with the faculty and Dean of the school and their missionary efforts in Africa.
  • Realized that my calling to this program places me in elite status as the program is considered to be the #3 Communication PhD in the nation, and the only PhD in Communication in a Christian university/college.
  • Spent one week on campus where I experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in a way like never before and came to understand the ministry of the school - serving the students and their individual calling by God
  • Met wonderful and talented students who I will consider friends for life - another prayer answered.
  • Confirmed my intended course of study, and believing that it aligns with God's will for me and his work
Now, I sit here today and think about all that God has done for me over the past year and half. I graduated with distinction from Mercy College, a rigorous and structured Literature program, in 2012. I spent one year in between study to rest and gain refreshment (to clear my head, and begin thinking about the next level of study). I am on the backside of that time, and I need to get my head in the game and start pursuing this program with diligence.

Issues that are still unresolved

  • Job - I need a job that will not impact my studies at Regent. By this I mean a job that I can do either part-time or full-time that requires little of me other than my time and participation. I cannot be in a position of responsibility unless it is for a small area such as a classroom (as in teaching) or an office (as in administrating). I need to be free to go home when the shift is done, and not bring any work home with me.
  • Freedom to travel - I will have some opportunities to travel with my program of study (Oxford, Africa, Sundance Film Festival, etc.) I want to be free to go if the Lord says to go.
  • DJs schooling - my son was accepted to both ASU and Northpark for this fall. He decided to stay at the CC for one more year and complete his AFA in Theater instead. He is now thinking of studying Psychology (perhaps), and I want him to do that at a Christian university. Until he makes up his mind, I am responsible for his schooling costs. Hopefully, the Lord will help him make a decision and we will all be settled on it.
  • A second car - not as critical now as before, but still I need to purchase a second car so my son can work and/or get himself to school. Still praying over that one...
My mind is whirling, and I am trying to keep it all in perspective. I need a different job now. I need to resign and get into this new position before August 19, when I will be enrolled in two doctoral seminars. I need to have my plan of action in process, and not find myself starting a new job at the same time as these seminars. God knows my needs, and I am resting in him. He will provide - I am certain of it.

Dear Lord - you know my needs, and you have graciously provided for me. I know you will continue to show me the way to go, and I am committed to following after you. I will go where you send me, and I will do the work you have prepared for me to do. I ask now in your Name, for a new job, something easy, less stressful, where I can focus 100% on your calling. I am trusting that you will provide me with a new position this week, and that I can resign and move forward placing my doctoral study first in all things. I ask this now, trusting and believing in your Name, and resting in your Sufficiency. It is in the matchless and merciful Name of Jesus, that I pray this now. Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah!

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