June 2, 2013

Overwhelmed

It is a lovely Sunday morning here in sunny and very warm Arizona. This is my second Sunday in my new home. I miss my town home, especially on Sunday mornings. I was able to sit in my bedroom alcove and look out the window onto the green space in our complex. I had large pine trees right outside my window which gave the appearance of living in the mountains. My view at my new home is of storage sheds and a brick wall (LOL!) I guess it is like living in the city, where you have a window that looks out at the neighbors building. Oh well...

I am happy to be in my new home. My parents seems to be doing OK, tolerating the extra people and the noise. They seem to be adjusting to my cats, and my cats are slowly adjusting to my parents. All in all, it has been a good move.

I spent yesterday unpacking boxes from the garage. I was pleased to be able to get all the "saved" boxes to fit into my half of the outside storage units. The rest were allocated for Good Will or for an upcoming garage sale. My Dad's particular about how "his" garage looks and wasn't happy to have all my stuff crammed in it (even though he promised me 1/3 of the bay space, he has used my space since they moved in back in March.) He has promised me that his takeover of my side was only a temporary need, just until he was able to get all his hardware/woodworking/tools/stuff sorted. I doubt it as my father has never been able to corral his stuff in all my 50 years of life. I don't see it happening anytime soon.

I am overwhelmed today as I realize that next Saturday I fly to VA Beach for my summer seminar course/residency. I am not ready, and I don't see how I will be ready for that trip. I still have:

  • A Journal review to write (4-5 pages)
  • A statement of integration of faith to write (1-3 pages)
  • A preliminary proposal to write (4-5 pages)
  •  Techniques of Close Reading to read
  • History of Communication to read
  • Research Design to read
Plus I have work, meetings, and a project in process that I am assigned to as lead. I need to go to Target after church today to buy a larger suitcase, and I need to get some shoes and a few items of clothing still. I found out the residency dress code is "business casual" which means work clothing and not vacation clothing. It might be hot and sticky - and I need some other items to wear that won't look too casual.

Overall, I am worried about getting everything done. Granted, I do have Saturday on the plane (7 hours) and all day Sunday - if need be - to finish up reading/writing assignments. I had hoped to visit Colonial Williamsburg on Sunday, but now I am not so sure. Oh well...I will rest in His Sufficiency, and Trust Him to figure all this out.

Thinking About Next Week

I am thinking about next week, and my workload, and I am wondering if I can continue in my current job as Communications Analyst or if I need to find something less stressful. I am really feeling the pinch at work, and I know that our upcoming Welcome Season is not going to be easy on me. I have two doctoral classes to take, and with our welcome season issues (not as bad as last year), I honestly don't see being able to do my job and take these courses.

Last week, I applied for a position as Community Relations Advisor. I thought the job sounded interesting, and since it was working with non-profits and charitable groups, it aligned with my education. I logged in yesterday and the job posting has expired. Either they didn't find anyone or they hired someone for the post. I looked for other jobs and I don't see anything at this time.

I looked at the usual list of job opportunities - ASU, GCU, the community colleges and there is nothing available for me. I don't see any opportunity right now so I am thinking that I have to wait this out, and just let this be. I am worried about the workload, and doing well at Regent - I have to remember that God has called me to put my faith in Him and in His Provision - and not my own abilities, own thinking, or own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6).

I believe God has called me to study this program at Regent. I wrote my second assignment on a difficult book - a book on the theory of scientific discovery. The book was so over my head, so challenging, that I considered dropping from the program. I thought, "Lord, I cannot read this book. I just don't get it. My mind is mushy, and I don't have the interest in studying this discipline." The Lord responded back with a calming answer: "Carol, I called you to study this program because it is my will for you. This is not about what you want, but about what I want you to study." Ok, I believe this Lord. I believe that you desire me to study this discipline and while it is foreign to me, difficult because it is social science and not humanities - I will trust you to teach me what you want me to learn. I will write what you tell me to write, and read and glean from the books what you want me to read and glean. It all comes down to this point: You are God and You know what you want me to do. I am your servant, and I will follow after you and do what you call me to do. Enough said.

I received one response back on my paper - from another student. It was a nice response, and it encouraged me. I re-read my paper, and truthfully, I was blown away by my writing. I am a good writer. I know it, and I take some pride in the fact that I can write well. However, this paper was not me - clearly not me. I wrote what I believed God was placing on my heart, and somehow he made it all come together and make sense. The paper was really good. I was pleased.

Now, I have to complete these other papers and then I can rest. My hope is to have everything done except for the reading by the time I fly to VA Beach. I can read on the plane - which was what I did on my two previous trips last month. I can skim most of the reading, and focus only on those areas most important to me. I know God desires this program for me, so I have to believe that he has it all worked out.

Lord, I ask you to bring me a job that will not conflict with Regent.

For the past 6-8 months, the Lord has stipulated that I needed a job that wouldn't "conflict" with Regent. I didn't quite understand what He meant by that, but now I see it clearly. I thought a job that would be supportive of me going back to school (some employers and managers are supportive, some are not). I thought it would be a 9-5, 40 hour a week job that would not tire/tax me so that I could do my online classes. In truth, it was a bit of both - but now having survived the first four weeks of this introductory course, I see that I need a different kind of job. I need a job that clearly will allow Regent to be first in my life. I need to reverse my priorities and make Regent number 1, working/job/income number 2.

I cannot do both. I cannot work at a job that takes all my time and energy and try to be successful in a doctoral studies program. I have been seeing this as a realization for several weeks now. Even with all the extra stuff on my plate - travelling for business, moving houses, etc. I have been overwhelmed and overburdened to the point of exhaustion. I cannot work like this, I cannot handle the load. I see now that I have to give something up, and it is one of two things: Regent and/or my job at CVS Caremark.

I worry about making money, even though I am now in a shared home with my parents. They are relying on me to help them with the expenses, and I want to be able to provide the Lion's share of the expense. However, I see that the demands at CVS Caremark are conflicting with Regent, and no other job there, will be any different. I need to go to a different company, do a different kind of work, so that I can focus 100% on my studies and do what I believe the Lord is calling me to do.

But where do I go? Where do I look for a job that will not impact my study at Regent?

Lord, I ask you to show me a place where I can work so that I can complete my PhD and focus 100% on your intended study and discipline.

I thought about teaching again, but every time I look at faculty positions, I get this feeling like that is not the intended path the Lord wants me on. It is like a feeling inside that turns over and over and leaves you with a bit of a distaste in your mouth. I have gotten that feeling before and I have always assumed that it was a prompting of the Holy Spirit letting me know that this was not His Way for me.

I looked at other administrative positions, but I am not seeing anything that will pay me enough income. Perhaps that is my problem. Perhaps I want a certain amount of income, and I believe that I need to have it to exist, to survive?

Lord, shape my view and understanding of what I actually need to live and then provide a job that aligns with your plans for my life?

I am tired, so very tired, and I don't want to change jobs again. However, I don't want to stay either. I am stuck, in this weird place, feeling the need to go, but wanting to security of staying put.

Lord, I let go of CVS Caremark so that I can move forward and receive the job of your choosing. I know that you have moved in my life, so today, I ask that you would provide a new job for me, and that you would give me the opportunity to leave my current position very soon. I ask for your will to be done, and I thank you for the provision of this new job. I ask all this in Jesus' name now and forever, Amen (so be it, thy will be done!) Selah!! (Pause and calmly think about it).

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