Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When God Makes Us Wait

Our timing is not the same as Gods...this is something that we, as Christians, know. Sometimes we just know from watching others, and sometimes we know because we have been the ones to sit & wait, sometimes waiting & waiting & waiting, with no end in sight. This latter option has been us...Michael & I.

In June of 2005, back when we ran our own company, we were forced to trust God for every little dime, nickle & penny, due to the fact that our primary customer cut Michael back to 1 day a week (from 3), thereby reducing our income from $5000+ to only $1200 - per month!!! This period was very dark and hard for the both us - hard emotionally, obviously financially, but most of all spiritually. We began to doubt our faith, to doubt whether we were fools for believing that God truly would provide for us in our times of need, and even wondering whether Christianity was a farse all-together. It was a tough road, but, in the end, God did show up in an unexpected way, shedding light on our foolish doubt and unbelief, then taking us in His arms and giving us a hug, like any parent does to their wayward child.

In October of that same year, Michael took a full-time position with another company. We closed our business and walked away from the world of self-employment. We were excited to see where God would lead, but quickly had our hopes dashed. It didn't take long to figure out that the man Michael was now working for was not only dishonest and an all-out liar, but that he had no clue how to run a company, had absolutely no respect for his employees, and would more than likely not be fulfilling all of his promises of grandeur to Michael when he was hired. He would knowingly put the employees of his company into positions that would either force them to lie to protect the company, or to speak the truth and risk being fired. Regularly, they were ridiculed, belittled, and told they were useless by this man, but still expected to perform above & beyond - like answering the phone at all hours of the day (and night - like 1AM), checking email and working while on vacation, etc. The working conditions have been horrible, and have taken their toll on Michael. But yet, here he has been - working like a dog and being treated like one - daily! And it hasn't been that Michael was content to stay in this environment! On the contrary, he has been looking, sending out his resume, and interviewing - for more than 2 years! But, nothing ever went past an interview. No offers were ever made, no doors ever opened.

It has been not only disheartening for him, but very tough on the family. Seeing Michael come home day after day from a job that he hates, working for a man that deserves no respect, yet trying to trust in God, depending on Him daily to give Michael the strength to persevere - another true test of our faith. We have been praying for years for God to open a door, any door, that would allow Michael to leave the company. There have been several instances when things have been so bad, I've half-way expected Michael to announce that he had quit! It has been a constant battle, but we've really tried to "stay the course", trusting in God that He knows best. It has been our hearts cry to know the "why" - why is he still there? Why hasn't he found another job? Why do we keep hitting dead-ends? Why???

Last Tuesday, Michael received a phone call regarding a position at a large, International firm with offices here in the Houston area. The head-hunter wanted to set-up an interview for him, so they scheduled something for Friday morning. Michael went to the 2 hour interview, met with 3 gentlemen, then came home feeling like things went well, but not overly-hopeful like he had been with other positions. Not wanting to get our hopes up again, we've prayed, and have continued to pray throughout the weekend and yesterday, but not holding our breath that we'd hear anything soon, since that has been the norm.

This afternoon, Michael received a phone call from the head-hunter...they were offering him a position as an Oracle DBA, beginning as soon as he could! Hallelujah!!!! An answered prayer, at last!!!! Michael has, of course, accepted the position, but we are waiting for a few details to be ironed out, but assuming it all goes as we expect it should, he plans to give notice at his current job on Friday.

So, after 2 long years of praying & waiting, then praying & waiting some more, God has finally answered our prayers with a spectacular job, in the exact area of the IT industry Michael wanted! My mantra for the last 2 years has been "We only want what God wants, and He only wants the best for us!" I have firmly believed this from the beginning, but the waiting has been sheer torture. Watching my husband go to a job that he sincerely hated, where he was under appreciated and under valued, and where he was berated and belittled on a daily basis has been a horrendous experience. I have spent allot of time questioning God, and then reminding Him that He really needed to step-up on Michael's behalf. I've begged Him to please open a door or a window, to just give Michael anything that might get him out of this horrible working environment, but God didn't respond. He didn't respond in my timing, with the desired responses that I thought He should. So, I've been frustrated, sad, and yes, angry that Michael has been stuck.

Tonight while working on dinner and chatting about his new job, a light bulb suddenly clicked on in my mind. Something that Michael had said several times since Friday didn't really register until that moment. It was the timing aspect that I've been questioning God about. You see, within this company (the new one), they've recently gone through some reorganizing. A new CIO was hired; he didn't fire anyone, but created some new positions, specifically the position that Michael will be filling. So, before this job could be offered to Michael, this company had to go through their reorganization, hiring a new CIO who would, eventually, create the position that Michael would eventually interview for.

It truly was a timing issue...the cart couldn't get before the horse! Maybe God was paying attention and knew what He was doing after all. Maybe I will eventually learn to trust & rest in The One that cares for us and knows what is best for us. Maybe...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Change in Profession, Perhaps???

I like to keep my options open. And really, I don't think there are many of us that would argue that point too much, right? But this particular profession didn't even land at the bottom of my list! I mean, really...me...a mechanic? A mechanic's daughter yes, but an actual, bona fide mechanic? I think not. But, that's exactly what hat I ended up wearing today.

My van has been broken, very broken, for the last 2 weeks. Michael & I figured it was the battery, since we could jump-start it and drive around...for a few minutes anyway. After about 10 or so minutes, the engine would start skipping, the dash lights would go haywire, and the gauges on the dash would all drop to nothing, like the car had been turned off. And, every now & then, it would just die. But still, we figured it was just a bad battery. Never-the-less, I wasn't willing to risk getting stuck out on the road with 3 kiddos, so we've been home-bound for 2 full weeks - fun stuff!

Anyway, we still figured it was the battery, until last Tuesday when we were told differently. We managed to gimp the car to the auto parts shop where they ran a quick test...it was the alternator, not the battery. Ok, fine, so we'll buy an alternator. But, do you think an alternator is the same price as a battery? Heck no!!! An alternator is about double the cost of a battery!! But, we were assured by the auto parts guy, our mechanic, and my father (the mechanic) that it would be easy to replace, and much cheaper than the $300+ quote we received from our regular mechanic. So we figured we'd give it a shot.

Cheaper, sort of. Easier? Um, yeah, not so much!!!!

Ok, keep in mind that my hubby is tech-savvy, not car engine-savvy! And, I'm a girly girl that can change a tire, check my oil and put gas into my car...that's it! Replacing the alternator turned out to be a total pain the rear, very difficult to get to then to get out of the engine (took more than 2 hours!), and even harder to install!!! Not only did Michael get totally frustrated to the point of throwing in the towel (and maybe a few other things while he was at it!) then figure out he was turning the screw in the wrong direction (thus figuring out the problem), but he later ended up drafting me to crawl inside of the engine to help get the belt put back in the right place...well, almost crawl into the engine, but if it counts for anything, I had grease all the way up to my elbows...and was all sweaty! EWWWWW!!!!

Anyway, we have both decided that from now on, we will pay to have any & all car repairs done on our vehicles, no matter how much money we could save by doing it ourselves...we are not do-it-yourselfers!!! And I will definitely not be crawling into anymore engines in this lifetime :)

Somehow we managed to get the car put back together, having to ALSO replace the battery that turned out to be bad too, and to stay married. It was a true test of "for better or for worse". If you can repair a car with your significant other, you can do almost anything, I'm completely convinced of it after today!!!