Saturday, February 17, 2007

Twilight Zonish

Dearest one and I know that when we start swearing at a computer, it's time to turn it off. I understand why people are tempted to throw computers out of windows, I really do. I've repeatedly tried to log in to blogger today only to be greeted by a screen that pretends I haven't typed anything into it. I've been swearing up a storm all day.

This has been a full week. We started with our 25th wedding anniversary Monday. Tuesday dearest one had a job interview. Wednesday we met with friends. Thursday dearest one got the job. Today it was announced to his coworkers.

Just a few weeks ago dearest one was driving to work, talking to God about his job, his desire to get out of shift work. Dearest one prayed, "Make me an offer I can't refuse that doesn't include night shift." Oh, the balls it takes to pray so. That afternoon dearest one phoned to tell me that he had been approached that morning to apply for his boss's job. She had taken a transfer to another unit at the hospital and they would need a replacement. Never has a prayer been answered quicker than it was that day. It ranks right up there with the time dearest one sat in this yard that we now live in and told God, "I have no money for a down payment but I believe you are a God of miracles, so if it's your will that we live here, make it happen." Shortly thereafter the real estate agent phoned and said that the owner was willing to carry the mortgage for us.

Don't be mistaken, we are not of the name it and claim it mindset. Far, far from it. The name it and claim stuff makes me a bit sick to my stomach. It is so far from the cross of Christ. God is not some magic puppet that bends to our wishes as if we speak into a drive thru microphone and arrive at the fast food window to collect our order. All I know is that from time to time dearest one prays really specific prayers that God answers in a way that feels surreal and twilight zonish.

Dearest one is humbled by this latest answer to prayer and thrilled by the challenges of it coming to pass. To be in a job where all his life experience, especially the stuff outside of his short nursing career, is valued, is a gift. He starts next Wednesday. It means working 8am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, with weekends and holidays off. We have spent so much of the last few years asking each other what day it was because dearest one could have worked any day of the week and the days tend to blur into one another after several 12 hour days in a row.

The next few months will be challenging for dearest one as he moves from what he knows and is comfortable with to the unknown steep learning curve in front of him. If you think of it, please pray for him. He is a man after God's own heart. He has been praying overtime for humility and wisdom. He has wonderful leadership qualities that have never had the opportunity to be honed quite like this. He has this quiet way of knowing that God not only loves him but likes him, too.

I have been trying to keep busy with things outside the house. Trying to make my world bigger so that I feel like what I am doing with my time is worthwhile. It isn't working. I don't feel like I have any more purpose than I did before the busyness. But I'll keep doing the community volunteering that I'm doing. Faking it until I make it. Hoping that I will wake up feeling worthwhile. There have been spans of time this winter when I've felt worthwhile. Then there are times, like today, when those feelings evaporate. Some days I think I am still mourning the empty nest. Other days I am mourning my loss of health. Most of my days are clouded in a fatigue that feels relentless.

Next week I start physiotherapy for an injury that is most likely a result of my connective tissue disorder. I don't remember injuring it. One day my elbow started to hurt and eventually I mentioned it to my doctor. No tennis elbow. No golf elbow. Just a weird collection of knots above my elbow. With a defect in my collagen - the glue that holds the whole body together - I can't afford to let an injury become chronic. The last time I did that, 7 years ago, I was left with an injury that still hurts when I sleep on that side.

Next week I also start a 12 week commitment to participate in a chronic pain rehab group. The week after we start house sitting for two weeks in town. I hope to get to many AA meetings in that two week period - it will be a treat to live in town and go to as many meetings as I can.

Three years ago we were a family using the food bank and collecting welfare. Life's circumstances had kicked us in the you-know-where and it hurt. A lot. I told the woman who ran the interfaith food bank that one day I would go into the churches in that town's community and share our story. I would put a face to the food bank user. I phoned her a few weeks ago and told her I was ready to share our story now. This coming Sunday I will be speaking at the United Church in that small town. A church whose people walk the talk and are among the most active volunteers with the food bank. I will share how humiliating it is to walk into a food bank and how difficult it is to think straight when you aren't eating a balanced diet. I will share how our faith kept us going and how I told dearest one how hard it was to struggle without the relief valve of an addiction. There are 7 or 8 more churches on my contact list and I hope to speak in those churches during Lent.

Some days I use blogging as an escape from doing the next right thing. Some days I use it as an escape from most everything. I've decided to take a break from blogging until after Easter Sunday. Other than email and bloglines I'll be silent between now and then. If you knew how hopeless I am at being quiet, you'd laugh. I will be back eventually. God bless you.

19 comments:

annie said...

Oh Hope, your story is such an encouragement to me. Your willingness to be so honest is a blessing to others. The honesty can be well applauded but the kicker is what lies behind the honesty and that is the willingness to be vulnerable. For me, the vulnerability is the hard part. I sense it is for you too.

Blessings on you in your silence and on your dear one as y'all adjust to the changes brought on with his new position.

I'll look forward to reading your posts after Easter Sunday.

Anonymous said...

(((((((Hope)))))))
Mich

Poor Mad Peter said...

The God of Surprises, I've heard it said, and it sure works that way sometimes. I also once said to Joyce, if I get any more good news, i;ll explode!

I hope you two roll with it and enjoy every minute of it, and relax best you can.

anj said...

God bless you on this break, God bless your dearest one as he starts his new vocation. I pray your time in town will be rich with God's presence. Faking it until you make it never has worked for me, at the same time, I know it works well for others. I pray that Way will open for you in this necessary sense of purpose and knowing our life makes a difference. And there is something else I want to pray for you, but it eludes me right now, so I will continue to hold you and yours in the Light and wait for that one more thing to surface.

sue said...

Hope, I am so thankful that God is answering your prayers, He does choose unusual ways some times though doesn't He? You will be thought of and prayed for while you are away. God bless you and dearest one. Sue

gracie said...

that's so true about addiction being a release valve... an escape if only for a moment from reality... oh how much I now enjoy honesty!!! The challenge is to remain honest and not allow little lies to yourself to creep in.

Enjoy the quiet.... I'll be looking forward to reading the epiphanies I'm sure you'll experience.

bobbie said...

yipee for DH, sigh for blogland!

i will miss your "voice" here, but am so glad that we talk to overcome my withdrawal of your blogposts!!

i have been pondering what i am supposed to do for lent/give up for lent to help me to find more of my center - still haven't heard what it's supposed to be yet. i have too wondered if it was blogging...

i don't think i have the discipline, it's become such a tool for me... lent kind of snuck up on me the other day.

Hope said...

Only daughter thought I was giving up blogging for Lent but I'm not. My decision to not blog until after Easter was simply a deadline I picked for myself that began before Lent and ended after Easter. I don't have any thoughts yet about Lent. Well, at least I don't know how I am going to approach it.

curious servant said...

The break sounds like a good idea.

I like the way you view prayer. I'm glad D.O. got the job through stepping out in faith. Very cool.

Happy Lent.

Jim said...

I worked that night shift for many years and know the strain it puts on a family's life. So...congratulations!...on all God is doing in your life, ma'am. My best advice for the speaking engagement is: relax...in Him. You will do well and He will do well through you. In my prayers....

daisymarie said...

I hate when you go away.
Take care and drop an email now and then...I'll keep you my favs list so I will be reminded to pray.
Hugest hugs!

Anonymous said...

Hope,

What a privilege it has been to have known you and watched God work in so many ways over the past several years.

You are His and His alone, and He is truly yours. His grace alone is sufficient in all things.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Love! ddw

MrJ said...

Psssst....

Do you know how to get in touch with Fish? Our friend in the French Quarter?

Matt Mjacopec@yahoo.com

http://sonrisecma.com/blogs/mrj/Default.aspx

Anonymous said...

Worthwhileness probably depends on the looker. This post surely looked worthwhile to an old lady in the Mountain West. Thanks.
kdip

ukok said...

Just stopping by to let you know you're on my mind today. I pray you'll have a much blessed holy week!

daisymarie said...

Looking forward to you being back soon!
This morning I was doing a whole research/study piece on hope...just made me miss you more!

HeyJules said...

Happy Easter, Hope.

Miss you, friend.

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter to you and yours, Hope.
Mich

Hope said...

Thank you for your patience and your well wishes. As soon as blogger lets me sign in again I will resume posting.