Throughout this process of waiting on a job, I have wanted to kill my husband many times. It’s fine, really, because he’s wanted to kill me too, and usually this ends with us taking a giant sigh and sending one of us out the door to relax a bit. It’s amazing what even a drive alone can do for one’s patience.
|The Village Chapel, our new church home|
Unemployment is like the unplanned vacation to nowhere that you never wanted to take. In your mind, you think "Hey, maybe a little time off would be nice" and you have visions of utilizing time in between job applications to read or bake or start one of those many Pinterest projects you've been pondering. But, it's not like that at all.
While my husband is the one actually filling out the applications (since I'll be a full-time student in less than a month, I've only applied to part-time work), never-you-mind that this is fully a TEAM Pardy effort. We scrutinize his resume together, we pray over emails and cover letters that are sent, and we strategize as much as possible to get his foot in the door somewhere. It's been said that looking for a full-time job is a full-time job, and that's no joke.
But, the reality is, that we’re just not used to living in each others’ presence all the time and so, the precious moments that make up “alone time” become imperative to our survival (and happiness). We also want to continue actually liking each other – something we both consider rather high on the list of priorities in our marriage. ;)
So, while there have been waves of tension ebbing and flowing as the job search continues, humor and honesty have become even more essential ingredients to our sustainability than ever before.
A few times over the last couple months, we’ve been frustrated and dumbstruck at our own lack of faith. Yes, we are here – having obediently trusted God as He has moved us across the country. Yes, we are here with food on our table and a roof over our head. And yet, we take turns (well, sometimes at the same time) getting angry at our situation – at how could God possibly be making us STILL wait on a job to come through!? How, God, how? Argh!!
|You gotta love a good Jesus meme|
And, then, in a moment of refreshment or humor, we laugh at our ridiculousness. One night, we just shook our heads at ourselves saying, “We are JUST like the Israelites. We are so dumb. Like, gee, God, I know you’ve given us food to eat up out of the GROUND and all, and you’ve provided for our every need up until now – but, what about tomorrow???? We are grumpy and annoying, and very, very forgetful.” It’s strange how relieving the reminder of our stupidity is to me, but it calms me in realizing just how OUT of control of the situation I am. And there is much freedom in not being the one in charge.
Never did this feeling hit home more than last Sunday when we were sitting in church. We are so grateful for having a church to sink our teeth into immediately upon our arrival to a new home – one of the many benefits of having family in town (who also attend there). I’ll cut to the chase and just give you part of the Scripture that Pastor Jim Thomas at The Village Chapel spoke on that day:
Mark 8: 16 – 2116. They [the disciples] began to discuss with one another the fact that they had no bread. 17. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? 18. Having eyes, do you not see? Having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember, 19. when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” 20. “When I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?” And they said to Him, “Seven.” 21. And He was saying to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
Josh and I looked at each other as the Scripture was being read. We gazed at the words again and slowly I leaned over, shaking my head and whispered, “We are so dumb.” He just pursed his lips and nodded, knowing exactly what I was thinking.
We read this passage in times of “security” and goff at the stupidity and forgetfulness of the disciples. Um, hellloooo? You guys JUST witnessed Jesus feeding thousands of mouths from practically nothing. Do you seriously think He won’t provide for you numbskulls?
How many times do I need to be hit over the head with this one, God? Well, apparently many, many times. My humanity gets the best of me far too many times than I would like to admit. I bitterly find myself praying for urgent provision as I climb into my comfortable bed at night. Um, what an idiot. Like my prayers are a little post-it note for Jesus to not forget us on His busy schedule up in heaven or something. Good grief.
I have had less money before. I have had plenty of money before. I have been given incredibly generous gifts before. I have been able to give incredible gifts before. I have suffered. I have celebrated. And yet…I will still sit and worry and become frustrated with God whether He is really going to come through on this promise. Reeeeally? I’m no better than those numbskull disciples with short-term memory loss.
My own life history is a clear reflection of God’s faithfulness. But, when that’s not enough, there are plenty of examples God has provided for us in His Word to knock us upside the head when we need it. I’ll leave you with a classic Scripture, one that is probably familiar to many of you, yet never truer to my heart than now.
Philippians 4: 11b-13 [Important to note that Paul wrote this while he was in PRISON, nonetheless…]
“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13. I can do all this through him [Jesus] who gives me strength.