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!!)

June 26, 2013

Breakthrough

OK, so it has been less than one day and God has already done something marvelous for me. This morning, I posted about my trial and how hard pressed I felt, almost hemmed in on every side. I was lost, clueless, and feeling so overwhelmed with my circumstances. Work was and is a struggle. I am in the midst of crisis, and I am feeling micromanaged on a daily basis. I cried out to the Lord, begging for his help and for a way out. Instead, God gave me the endurance to see this through and to stay focused on my most critical task at hand: finishing my research proposal for my Com 700 class.

I am reminded of that song by Plumb "Need You Now" where she cries out to God for His help, and find that He has given her the strength to keep on breathing. I feel this way now:


I was at this point today. I cried out to the Lord, and told him that I needed him now. I couldn't deal with my boss, my job, my paper, my classes, my future, my responsibilities. It was all too much, too heavy, and I was sinking lower and lower. God rescued me. He gave me strength to see the day through, to complete my paper, to focus and do what needed to be done. Moreover, He covered me as I went to the dentist. I had a toothache, and it has been getting worse each day. I have not been to the dentist in over 15 years - and I was afraid of the cost, the work, etc. God blessed me, and gave me the grace to be calm as the dentist did what he needed to do. I have a lot of work that needs to be done, but I know that my insurance will cover all but 25% of the cost, and that it will take about five-six visits to have everything completed.

I also realized that God's plans for my life are non-negotiable. I made a covenant with him a long time ago, and that covenant was to do his will, to follow after him, and to trust him. He would provide for me, He would be my shelter and refuge. I would be his servant. The deal was made at the Cross of Jesus, and I pledged to follow him, to obey his word, and to do his will. I cannot have my own way anymore. I cannot go my own way. I have to go his way. I have to follow his lead.

My paper is 95% complete. I have to write a summary and do spell-checking, but it is done. I am pleased. It was such a trial for me to write it, but it is done. I hope it is acceptable to my professor, and I hope I do get a good grade on it. I tried my best, and for the first time ever writing a social-science paper, it is pretty good. I know I can do better, and I will do better. I know that I need practice, and I will get all that practice through this program.

I also applied for more positions as an advisor. I believe God is calling me to Regent to work, but I don't know how that will come to pass. I put in my application, and I sent a letter to their HR person. We will see what comes of it, but at the least, I feel that I did what God wanted me to do.

I give Him praise today, and I worship Him and I live for Him. I can do nothing at all, nothing acceptable to Him. I am emptied out and He is filling me up, doing his will, and living his life through me. I am emptied. He is filled. We are together working as one united in purpose and in focus and in determination. He receives the praise and honor. He receives the glory. I give it all to him now, and I thank him for his goodness toward me this day. Amen, so be it, thy will be done! Selah! Pause and calmly think about it!

Difficult, but Forging Ahead

Yesterday was a really bad day (well, in truth, let's say it was a not-so-pleasant day). My work environment has gotten toxic, and yesterday was my first day back in to the office. I called in sick on Monday, so Tuesday, I was aware that there might be outfall from the previous week. We have a bi-weekly meeting with the team in Scottsdale, and I figured that this would be the forum for the manager to use to scold us all on our bad attitudes and her expectations for compliance. Granted, some of us do have a bad attitude, but generally speaking, most of us are just very frustrated over the lack of empathy and sincere trust that seems to be prevalent in the company.

The day started off so-so, but around 10:30 and the meeting, it had really gotten the better of me. I was upset, for a number of reasons, but I am not normally this upset. I do not explode unless something really bugs me. My boss chose to bug me at the meeting. I didn't want to discuss something during the meeting because it had nothing to do with the team. I said so, but she pushed, and pushed. I exploded and told her that it was something we didn't need to discuss in the group. I was told I had a bad attitude.

I left the building, took an early lunch, and simmered the hour before returning and trying to regain my composure. It was hard to do because I knew that my afternoon was not going to be busy, and that I would have to be deal with the issue at hand.

Sure enough, around 3:30 my boss calls me in to discuss the issue and my attitude. I tried so hard to keep my cool, but I am not good at it when pushed. She told me my attitude was bad (in not so many words), and that she was trying to help me. She pretty much blamed me for not telling her my concerns - so in short - the whole mess was my fault. I don't get it really - how can something out of my control be my fault. My manager is to blame, and she refuses to take responsibility. I listened to her go on and on and on about how she has done everything possible to make things better, and justify her actions with other team members. I thought she was delusional - not understanding how her words, her actions, and her non-verbal behavior created the entire problem.

AGH!

I left work, came home -- still steaming. I needed to focus on my paper that is due today (well, my professor says today or Friday). I ended up doing nothing but going to bed. I slept the entire night, in my clothes, on top of the bed (I fell asleep that way and didn't wake up until 7:00 this morning).

I am panicked over my courses at Regent. I am frustrated at my work situation. I am doubtful of a new job on the horizon anytime soon. I see no way out. I cannot work in this job and do my classes at Regent. I have a major conflict and I don't see any way out.

I have prayed for an open door, but no door is opening. I know the Word says that there will be an open door, but why not for me...

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1st Corinthians 10:13 NLT


Lord, please open a door - let me escape from the micromanagement and controlling behavior of this one person...

I applied for several adviser positions at local colleges yesterday. I am miserable, and the stress is unending. I have a major paper due, and I cannot focus because all I think about is my job, and the micromangement and harassment that goes on each day. I need a way out...

Praying today for an open door - please Lord, please provide a way out today.

June 23, 2013

Moving Forward

Packing up and moving forward. This is God's will for my life. I know it, I feel it, and I am stepping out in faith to follow His leading. He is Good, so very Good.

Today was a strange day. First off, I had a very enjoyable morning at church. Our church is in transition, and there are certain changes taking place that I am not comfortable with, but cannot see that my view will stop the forward progression of church growth. Yes, all in the name of church growth -- the old, comfortable, and safe haven of our small community is becoming a mega-church like program with praise and worship, corporate building campaigns, and coffee shacks. It is hard to see the warm and friendly place I called "home" change and become a mega mall atmosphere with entertainment, state of the art media, and renown teachers and preachers (visiting from larger MCs around the country). I miss the old way we did things, and I miss the old friends who came every Sunday, sat with me after church for coffee and cookies, and who shared in our collective sense of community. Everything is different now. Everyone is different. It is a changing dynamic, and I am uncomfortable with this kind of change.

I digress. I am actually using my experience at church to form the foundation of a research proposal for my doctoral course. I am looking at the role of church as an organization, and the social identity which is formed through the mixed message of theo-communication and multimedia. Interesting points to consider, not sure they are worthy of study, but I am going to use them just the same.

On the other front - I am moving ahead with the plans I feel the Lord has for me. I have decided to follow Him and look to Him for His provision of a new job. I applied to a couple places today, sort of odd places that I found through the online jobs boards. We will see what happens, but for the record, I am not sitting still. I am moving and I am fully clothed in His armor and standing firm against the attack of the devil. I know he wants me down and out, and I know that he wants to keep me depressed. No can do, devil man. I am confident in the Lord. I am boasting in His Name, and I am resting in His Provision. He is good, He is so very good to me.

As I type this out, I am falling asleep. I don't feel well, and I was planning on finishing my paper tonight. I did read the rest of my journal articles (PTL!), but now I am thinking that I might end up staying home tomorrow. I feel sick, sort of a tired, head achy sick. I think I ate something that disagreed with me, so I think I will stay home tomorrow and finish my paper and end my course on a very high note. Perhaps the Lord desires I stay home too. Wouldn't it be sweet if I got a call from a head hunter or recruiter tomorrow. Oh, wow! That would be awesome. If not, no worries. I will just go to work on Tuesday, and deal with the drama as best I can. Then Wednesday, I will work from home, and spend Thursday and Friday in the office. The weekend will be here before I can say it, so I am good. Even if I feel crummy right now.

Lastly, I am thinking about what to do next. I am considering plans, and I feel the Lord pressing in on me to consider something different. I don't know - maybe I just feel sick -- and that is why I think He wants me to do something different. Oh well - I am trusting Him. I am loving Him. I am waiting on Him.

God is so very good to me, so very good to me all the time!

God is Good - All The Time!

Yes, God is good all the time. I am so blessed to be called a child of the King. I am thankful that He loves me and that He keeps me safe, secure, and forever in His blessed peace. He is good, so very good to me.

Yesterday, was a good/bad day for me. I blogged about how overwhelmed I felt, and how the uncertainty of my work situation coupled with the fear of my doctoral studies seemed to be causing me confusion. I prayed for God's clear wisdom so that I would know what to do, where to go, and how to resolve the conflict (at work, and internally). I was frustrated over my lack of progress in school, fearful of finishing my last assignment, and feeling so very down about where I was personally, spiritually.

I thought it was hopeless, and that the oppression was going to win out. Then in a moment, my attitude changed, my vision cleared, and I began to "feel" better. I know we are not supposed to put faith in our feelings, but as human beings, emotional beings, we often succumb to our feelings. We are feeling people, and God created us to feel things. We are to be compassionate, empathetic, sympathetic. We are to be people who love God, and who love others because of God. How can we not live by feelings?

As I considered the fact that I was swimming in negative emotions, God reminded me of His purpose for my life. He gave me a renewed sense of hope so that I could focus and move through the turmoil and begin to see the brighter side of His will. Yes, I still have issues left to resolve; and no, the conflict didn't magically disappear. Nothing has really changed with my circumstances at all, but I can say that my attitude and my heart did change - and for the better.

God reminded me of His purpose for my life. He gave me a way out (as His Word always promises us). He helped me see through the clutter, and gave me light to find the open door. He showed me which way to go, and then He helped me get out of the rut and funk I was in, and to start moving forward. He is so very good, He is so very good.

Now I see what happened, and how I got myself into such a very bad spot. Some of the reasons fall on me - my willingness to participate in negative emotions (allowing them to sit with me rather than rejecting them and obeying the Word, calling us to be joyful and filled with thanksgiving); participating in the casting downward of my mental state, believing that God was not in control, and didn't have a handle on my current circumstances (believing Satan's lie to me); and lastly, taking my eyes off of the One who is calling me forward, and looking instead down at my feet (oh, I do it so often - haven't I learned this lesson yet?)

I gave the enemy permission to torment me, and I allowed him to push me, prick me, and generally punish me for things outside my control. In short, I took ownership of emotions, items, and other attitudes that really were not mine to begin with, and with which I needed to walk quickly and resolutely away.

New Light Has Dawned

I am sitting today in a new light. I feel refreshed, even though I didn't get enough sleep last night and my boys played havoc with me (pouncing, getting into trouble, generally being ornery cats). I made such good headway on my final proposal for my Com 700 class, and I enjoyed reading the scholarship on my topic of interest. I learned A LOT of very good information about intergroup communication and intergenerational communication. I came away with a new understanding of how important it is to have strong interpersonal relationship skill and ability, and especially how necessary it is for the Church to be able to communicate well with one another and the world. I found my niche, so to speak, the area of communication I feel the Lord wants me to focus on, and perhaps even study in depth. I am not certain if this is His plan for my dissertation, but I feel very strongly inclined to study it, and become a subject matter expert in this field.

Honestly, I didn't understand why God had called me to Regent University or why I was to study Communication. As a former Humanities and English graduate, I was interested in semiotics, language theory, and meaning (how we understand or comprehend language and meaning). I was also interested in social psychology and linguistics, and thought I wanted to become a Social Psychologist. The social science aspect of Psychology was scary to me -- and while I felt drawn to study this field of research -- I didn't think I could hack the scientific aspect of the discipline.

In my readings in preparation for completion of my proposal, I came to see how these interests are intertwined, and how they all fall under the very generous label of Communication. In fact, these are integral topics of scholarship, branched from their own disciplines, but being currently explored under the lens of interpersonal communication. God is so very good to me.

Now as I begin to see more clearly, I realize that God chose Regent's program because of it's traditional approach to the study of Communication (a side note -- God chose Mercy College for this same reason -- they approached Literature from a traditional view). Additionally, Regent is a school patterned and formed after God's own heart. They are in tune with the Holy Spirit's ministry and mission of evangelism, and they are actively seeking Christian scholars to participate in the dialogue of renewal (how the Holy Spirit is active and present in our world and guiding and directing our efforts -- predicated on the believer's willingness to allow Him that role, and to obey His guidance, etc.)

Moreover, I am grasping the significance of my interests and how they are currently being researched (very limited). I am seated at the intersection of scholarship where little exists, some is theorized, and much work is needed. I am in a very good place, a very good position, and I have ample opportunity to succeed. God is so very good to me.

With this in mind, I read my scholarly articles last night with great interest. Each proved to be exactly what I needed for reference, and will enable me to quickly complete my final proposal before Wednesday. I was concerned that I would have to fill out the proposal - strain to finish it. Instead, I see now that the work has already been done for me. I simply have to synthesize the various threads, pull them into a cohesive conclusion, and add my own research questions. Voila! I will be done.

I am not sure how God intends to use my study and research at Regent for His will, but I know that it is part of His plan for my life. I also know that while I have felt out of sorts, out of place, and out of balance; in reality, I have been right where God wanted me. I may have teetered at bit, but I am securely in the place of His choosing. God is so very good to me.

As I move forward in His will, I need to be mindful of this point. I am were He intends me to be. I am not lost, I am not off the mark. I am right in the place of His choosing, and His work is unfolding around me. I need to keep the distractions to a minimum, and I need to remember that conflict is unavoidable. We are human beings, after all, and we struggle to have interpersonal relationships built on solid interpersonal communication strategies. We are not good communicators. The blessing is that while we struggle with communication, we (believers) have within us the best Communicator in the universe. We have the Holy Spirit of God living within us, and He is by far the best communicator to guide, to teach, and to transform our speech and conduct (if we allow Him to do so). He can turn us into powerful communicators whereby we can reach our world, resolve conflict, and resonate His glorious message of love and reconciliation through our Master and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen, so be it, thy will be done. God is so very good -- all the time He is Good.

Figuring Out the Next Steps

Now, I am poised to make my move. I know where I am to go, but not how I am to get there. I understand that God requires me to learn how to communicate better, and that through my study at Regent, I will become a SME (Subject-Matter Expert) in the field of Interpersonal Communication. I am to be a research scholar in this field, and to write on matters important to Him. I am to use my skill and ability as well as my training and research to impact the Church and ultimately the Kingdom with His message of love and reconciliation through Jesus Christ. I am to move forward focused 100% on His work. There is no other work, just this one task -- complete this PhD and become a SME in Interpersonal Communication. How He intends to use this for His Name is up to Him. I am to do the work, the tasks, the assignments; and I am to seek diligently to understand how to implement His pan. I can do this, I can do this -- not because I am smart; but because Jesus empowers me through the presence of the Holy Spirit -- and it is His will that I do it. Therefore, it is done. I have what I need to complete the program, and I lack nothing necessary to be successful. It is all wrapped up in Jesus, and I can walk boldly before Him knowing that He has me well-covered for any task, any assignment, any project I am asked to do. He is so very Good to me.

Lastly, while my home situation is not clear yet, I do know that God does care about where I live and work (job). He doesn't like that I suffer needlessly due to interpersonal conflict in my work place or that I am physically worn down due to stress and long hours. He cares about my well-being, and He doesn't want my current set of predicaments to keep me drained to where I cannot focus on His work. Therefore, if a new job is in order, a new job will be provided. If a move is required, then a move will be made. Nothing is outside of His control, and nothing is lacking in His understanding of my needs, wants and desires. He knows me well, and He loves me so very much.

I close now with the firm commitment to follow after Him completely. To live my life fully engaged, fully devoted, and fully committed to His work. There is no other focus for me, but this path, and the plans the Lord has for me. I am called to this work, and I am called to this appointment. Therefore, I must focus, and put on daily the armor of God so that I can withstand the attacks of the enemy -- an enemy determined to thwart the effectiveness of God's plan and purpose for my life.

My calling is sure, my commitment confirmed. I am certain of what I am to do, where I am to go, and how I am to do it. The rest is up to Him. I rest in His security and sufficiency. He is able to handle everything concerning His plan, His purpose, and His path. I do not need to be worried, concerned or doubting -- He has me well-covered, and I am good.

God is good to me. God is so very Good to me. God is GOOD ALL THE TIME.

Thank you, Lord Jesus -- you have given me the grace I needed to see this matter through and to understand your Will and purpose for my life. I am ready now to step out and to start moving forward. I look to your hand of provision and to your continued mercy and grace so that I can accomplish each task assigned to me. I do so with the knowledge that it is You who will be doing (completing, accomplishing) it through me. I rest in that knowledge, and I understand that I do not have to worry about the outcome. You do everything as it needs to be done -- you lack nothing, you miss nothing. Nothing will be missed - You have everything covered, and under control. I can rest, I can let go, and I can experience the joy and blessing of walking in your Word, living in your Way, and trusting in your Will. I give you praise today, and I thank you for the marvelous future you have planned for me. In your Name, I confess and pray -- giving thanks to you for your goodness and your grace. Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah - pause and calmly think about it.

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.

Clunk.

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.


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!

June 10, 2013

First Day Back at School

I arrived at Norfolk on Saturday. The trip to VA was good, not too stressful, and not overly long. I was able to fly in two legs, the first to Dallas, and the second to VA. Each flight was about 2 hours, so the whole trip was fairly easy to handle. I did have to wait while the rental car place got more cars ready for the customers waiting in line. But all in all, I had a good day.

Virginia is just as beautiful as I recall from my childhood visits. It was warm and humid, but generally pleasant when I arrived. The weather forecast was for stormy weather all week, but my first two days were actually very nice.

Sunday, I visited Regent University, and spent the day driving around and then shopping at the mall. It is fun to shop at department stores in different locations - just to see what clothing they carry that is different from my home stores. I ended up buying some jeans, casual khakis and a couple shirts. It was a good day.

Today was my first day in class. It was a long day, but good. The program is a little lax as far as organization. I noticed that when I first applied and throughout the application and interview process, found the low-key approach frustrating. My advisor, Dr. Keeler, is a dear sweet man. I enjoyed interviewing with him, and I think he is a gentle and nurturing Godly man (he has 9 children - I didn't know that!). He reminds me of a grandpa - sort of the type who accepts you as you are, and who supports you in your dreams and aspirations.


Regent is a lovely campus. It is small, intimate, but very nice. The buildings are all colonial in style, and the campus is well-appointed. The day was spent getting to know the other students and finding out more about the program. I was intimidated at first, not really knowing what to expect. After the day ended, though, I realized that just like when I was at Mercy College, I was not in competition with anyone else. I was there to do what I believed God was calling me to do, and it didn't matter what other people were doing. I had to focus on my job only, and let all the other people do what they were there to do.

When I got back to my room, I found out that we were under a tornado warning. Yep, there was the chance the approaching storm had a tornado embedded in it. I sat in my room for two hours, before the warning expired, and I ventured out to get something to eat. I am now back in my room, watching "Kung Fu" Panda and thinking about my research proposal project (due Thursday).

God has blessed me richly, and I am in awe of him. I know that he called me to this place for study, but I sure wish I felt more confidence in my intellect and understanding. Instead, I feel out of my depth, unsure about what I am doing, and thinking "Why, Lord? Why have you called me to this program?" I know that had I studied writing or rhetoric, I would have felt apprehensive, but my confidence would have been much higher. I don't get communication. I don't get the whole discipline. God wants me here, so I step out in faith and say "Yes, Lord."

That's all for now - night all!

June 6, 2013

Countdown Minus 2 to D-Day

It is countdown minus 2 to D-Day - my residency stay at Regent University. I leave on Saturday to fly to Norfolk, VA and will be on campus M-F of next week. I am at home today, taking a sick/PTO day, due to extreme fatigue. I have traveled on business for two weeks in May, plus I moved my house (just me, my folks, and my 19-yo son). I have kept up with my studies, and I have handled a very large and important project at my job. I am tired, very tired, but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I see the way out, and I am starting to feel excited about my trip. God has blessed me so richly. He has helped me stay focused, and to complete each assignment. He has given me grace, grace, and more grace -- and I am feeling the affect of His constant presence and provision. He is so very Good, He is so very good to me!

Studies and Plans

I made the decision last night to forgo the academic writing, and stop trying so hard to sound "smart." I have a tendency to be erudite (Oh, I love that word), and I need to write simply and cogently - to be clear and concise. I can do this, I know I can. I need to let the Lord speak through me, and I need to allow Him permission to direct my writing. I know that if I do this, my work will succeed. I will complete my assignments with less stress, less hassle, and less dread. I will do the work assigned to me, and God will receive the honor and the blessing. Bless the Lord, O my Soul!

I have had to complete two short papers. These went well, I believe, but I have no real gauge since my professor doesn't enter grades into the grade book. I have a personal statement (written last night), plus a journal review and a preliminary proposal to finish today/tomorrow. Once these are done, I can complete the rest of my reading, and be ready for next week. I am not sure what or how I will get these done, but I know that this is up to the Lord. He has to do it through me, and once they are complete, I can relax and let be.

Lord - please give me your grace today to complete these assignments and finish the work I have to complete for next week. I am asking you to write your words through me, and to write whatever you want me to convey to Regent, my professors, and my classmates. I ask now that you be honored and lifted up - that you take all the credit, all the glory, and all the honor. I relinquish my desire for grades, for achievement, and for power. I let this all go, knowing that only you will be honored in this pursuit and that I am your tool, a resource you are using to accomplish your plans. I am letting go of these needs for approval, my fear of being rejected, and my control of circumstances. Please guide these remaining assignments, and let the words flow freely from me so that I can rest, I can relax, and I can be reassured that everything is good, and you are in control of the outcome. I ask this in Jesus' Name, and I give you all the praise! Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah!

Job Front

I have applied to a couple positions at ASU and PVCC - local schools. I am tired of what is happening at my job, and I am worried about the workload this fall. Now is the time to move, to go to another position. I am not sure what the Lord wants me to do, and normally I would wait for Him to direct me. I have asked to start applying, but I haven't seen any real movement one way or another.

Lord - please direct my steps in regard to a job. I let go of my need for authority, and for my desires to be promoted. I also let go my need for money - my fear of having collectors and tax men at my door. I realize that these are old fears, fears that were part of my experience in my marriage. I have been free from those fears since I have relied upon you alone, and you have been faithful to provide exactly what was needed at each and every turn. I look to your hand now, realizing and understanding that you are God, that you are able to provide a job to me, and that you know each and every need. I rest in your security, and in the knowledge that you are in control of this situation, and I am well covered. I ask you bring to me a job that will not conflict with  my studies at Regent. As far as the job itself, the tasks, the money, the insurance benefits, etc - these I leave to you. I receive the job of your choosing, and I ask that you provide this change in your perfect timing and in accordance to your perfect will for my life. In Jesus' Name I ask this  - Amen!

Miscellaneous

Lastly, I lift up my needs for weight loss, and my concerns over my current physical health. I signed up for Weight Watchers earlier in the month, and had a good start - 3lbs lost. However, with travelling twice and the move, I gained that weight back. I am frustrated, and I am fearful of being this size from now on. I am not well, and I am tired - I need to lose the weight, to feel better, and to know that I am living healthy.

Lord - I have tried to lose weight my way. I did Atkins, and I signed up for Weight Watchers. You have told me the plan you want me to use, you showed it to me - The Daniel Plan. I started to follow it, but lost my interest and ended up trying my own way. This plan is hard for me, it is restrictive, and I don't like it. You said it would make me healthier and give me more energy. I cannot seem to follow this plan. I cannot give up the foods I love, and I cannot give up the comfort I feel when I eat them. I relinquish my need for food today. I realize that I am addicted to certain foods, but really this is a power struggle with you and with food. I need to control food because of the years I lived where I didn't have enough to eat or I wasn't free to make food choices. I remember how I suffered having to eat the same foods every day, Mac and Cheese, pasta with marinara sauce, peanut butter and jelley -- over and over again -- day in and day out because there wasn't enough money to buy other food. I had to turn down offers for lunch at work, to forsake times with friends because I didn't have enough to eat. I have come to hoard food now, and to believe I deserve to eat food because I can afford it now. Help me to turn my upside down view of food around so that I understand I do have freedom to eat - but that I need to use wisdom in my food choices. Let me see that I am still empowered to choose, I need now to choose my carefully, that is all. I ask this in Jesus' Name, and I rest in your provision of enough food, and enough freedom to make those good choices. Thank you, Jesus! Amen.

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).