Monday, August 30, 2010

The Prayer

On April 20, Teresa told me the School of Ministry would end in August.  We discussed reasons for the closing, and I didn't even think to ask about my job.  Until that evening.  I knew Teresa was preparing for the Women's Retreat that weekend so I didn't want to disturb her.

All weekend long at the retreat I prayed about my job.  Teresa asked us to write something down on a rock, something that God was asking us to surrender, to give to Him.  When I went forward for prayer, Ruthie asked me what God had asked me to write on my rock, but I couldn't even say the word.

I didn't want to surrender my job.
What would we do?
How would we pay bills?
How would we live?

I really wanted God to suggest another word to write down.  Something that was easier to lay in his hands.
So I said I didn't know.
And then I said I couldn't say it out loud.
And then I said it, "My job."

Ruthie has such a tender heart.  And she prayed for me.
And I tried not to think about any of this.

Until the Reflective Retreat by Kristi DeVito on May 1. In one of our quiet times, I read Psalm 37:  Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

This prompted me to ask:  What do I want?
Here is what I wrote:

  • I want to be Duane's helper, his partner in ministry.
  • I want to love, encourage, disciple women, mostly young women, but all women
  • I want to spend time with God, listening to Him, studying His Word, learning new things
  • I want to teach writing
  • I want to write.  I want to challenge people to see Jesus, whether in writing or orally. 
  • Essentially, I don't want a job.
And then I wrote:  If this is what I want, then why not ask for it?  
And then I wrote the answer to my question:  Impossible.  
And then I wrote the response to that objection: And yet, God is able to do the impossible.  

On May 4, Teresa confirmed my fears.  After the school ended, my job would end.  After that I wrote a resume.  I began applying for teaching jobs and tutoring jobs all over San Diego.  To date, I haven't had a single interview.  

I have never really forgotten my prayer on May 1.  
Frankly, it scared me.  I needed to find a job.  I needed to fill in the loss of income.  I needed to fix the problem.  It was my problem, really.  If I were a better financial planner, perhaps we might have been able to live on Duane's income.  And so I added guilt to my fear.  And I struggled all summer long.

Over and over, God promised Duane and me that he would take care of us.  
And we kept trying to "fix" the problem and find me a job.  

My job ended on August 16.  Still nothing.  
I returned to school for orientation on August 24.  
As I drove out of the garage, I remembered the prayer.  And I thanked God for answering the prayer.  I don't have a job, and I'm free to study, to teach, to write.  I thanked him for working out the details.  Even though I didn't know any of the details.  

Either God is faithful, or he isn't.  
He has always been faithful in the past.  He hasn't changed.

Two things have happened in the last week.  I'm still a little cautious, but I think we'll be okay.  I wish I'd spent the summer celebrating God's faithfulness instead of questioning his intentions.  I wish I depended on him everyday instead of trying to rely on my own problem-solving abilities.  

I am still learning to trust God.

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