Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Forgiveness is only easy in Theory

First off, I'm grateful.
Taken from

When I saw my doctor yesterday she wrote me off for 10 days.  I think my new boss and employer may be upset, but since I've got a physician's off work order, there is nothing they can do.  Since I've never used any of my sick time in the 13 months I've been on this job, I've got more than sufficient days to take these 10 days off with pay.  And I need them!

After a brief time in the Word I took a hike with John this morning, made us a wonderful brunch, and then settled in to to read the next chapter in The Cure . Can't express enough how incredible it is to not be exprierencing constant calls from work and to be able to engage in my life.

 Not surprisingly, God must have had this chapter just waiting for me today.  There's a lot in this chapter about forgiveness and, much to my surprise, the Holy Spirit convicted me about my need to repent and to forgive my employer.  Wow-here I've been feeling like the victim and then I'm hit with the fact that I need to do some repenting!  Although I may have been victimized, for my own health (not to mention the fact that I'm supposed to be a person who reflects God's love in my workplace) I need to both forgive my work and repent of the sins I've committed in the midst of all this.

Isn't that annoying?!  I don't know about you, but I'm much more comfortable with self righteous indignation than with humility.

One of the truths the authors brought to my attention is that my struggle with forgiveness is related to my trust in God.  If I believe that He is control of everything, and that anything that occurs in my life is because He has allowed it, then I will trust that these tough situations are going to be used for my good and that God will see me through them.  (Obviously one of my sins has been my failure to trust God, my self will.)

I'm grateful for this book because the authors reminded me that the repentance is not something I can work up on my own. 2 Timothy 2:25 makes it clear that God gives us the gift of repentance.  So it was no big dramatic thing; I just asked God to give me the gift of repentance and spent some time letting the Holy Spirit bring to my mind my sins.  I asked God to forgive me, thanked Him, and then asked Him to empower me to not fall into these any more.

Interestingly enough, repentance of wrong doing on my part in all of this, makes it easier to forgive my employer.

Have you ever had a situation where you had difficulty forgiving?  What did God teach you through it?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stressed and exhausted

This is a vent post. One of those it's better to write it out then sit here with heartburn from all the thoughts and feelings.

I'm letting my job really get to me and I don't know how, can't seem to, stop it.  I wake up just about every night with thoughts of stuff that needs to get done at work or things that could go wrong and I'm awake thinking about a new plan to fix a problem. John says he can tell that I'm having nightmares a lot too because he hears me cry out in my sleep.   I have this fantasy of just going to bed and sleeping until I want to get up; maybe like for 2 days straight.

It feels like every day that I go in to work it's just one problem after another after another coming my way.  Sometimes I choose the wrong problem to work on fixing and then some problem that I didn't fix blows up in my face.  This happens about twice a week.  Each time the customer, ICE, is mad at me.  Then my boss the warden is mad at me.  Hopefully this new woman who they are bringing in to be over me will help.  There's been more on my plate then any one person can do and I'm tired.

If I'm honest I feel resentful because she'll come in not exhausted (I've been at this for a year now; a year of loss of sleep and working an enormous number of hours).  She's also coming in and making 25% more money.  But the truth is that God is in control of my life and I need to practice contentment.

I feel guilty for feeling the way I do.  I feel like if I were a better Christian, better able to trust God, that I would be like Paul when he was in prison and just be praising God through all this hard stuff.  Instead I'm frustrated and exhausted, and here complaining.  My only consolation is that it's better to write and complain, so that I can hopefully be more positive around others.

I keep applying for other jobs but the economy is bad here and the job market is depressed.  For every job there are many, many, applicants.  So I stay where I'm at and try to do the best I can, yet I can see that I burned out.  I go to the Kaiser doctor on Tuesday and am hoping he'll write me an off work order for a few days; I've got lots of unused PTO time on the books.  Maybe if a doctor writes me off I'll really get the time off.  When I tried to take vacation days in June I still had to handle things while on vacation and they made me end it a day early and come back in on a Friday and then work the entire weekend. I made them credit back those 2 weekend days to me since I didn't really get a vacation.  I think the business manager did me a solid and just credited it all back to me because he knows I didn't totally get off.  But I did have some fun times with John.

Poor John.  I'm such a dud lately.  Wish I had a turn off switch and could just turn work off.   It would be easier to do if I wasn't on the phone so much with work when I'm not at work.  There are constant calls and crisis and situations.  I think it would help if I could get away from it all for a few days, totally away, and get a bunch of sleep and then start to enjoy other things in life again and become physically refreshed.  I feel like I need about 4 days just to sleep and detox and then about another 4 to start to have a life again and to think about all the other things that have nothing to do with work (it's like I've started not knowing what to do with myself outside of work since I'm just so exhausted).  Then a couple more days for a time of seeking God and spiritual renewal.  Then I could go back to work with a new perspective.  So, I'm praying that the Kaiser doctor will write me off work for 10 days.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The oxymoron of "sin management"

When I read the third chapter in The Cure this morning it struck a deep chord in my heart.

Picture from
The main theme of the chapter is that sometimes we don't really see God for who He is because we're looking at Him through our shame instead of through the truth of His grace and love.  When we're looking at God through our shame we live in a world of good intentions, a world where we work hard and, in a sense, try to engage in sin management.  When we see God for who He is, we accept His love and grace, live in that love and grace and trust Him to mature us into the new creation He has made in us.

Gotta tell you; I can barely explain the love and grace way.  I've got the shame way down pat.

I know about disciplines, and working hard to focus, trying so hard to please and "get it right".  I know the despair that comes from feeling like I never measure up.  If I totally pull my covers; the truth is that I feel rather numb when it comes to knowing in my deepest being that I'm a new creation and that He will complete His work in me (Philippians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 5:15-18 ), that He will cause me to mature in His time.  I will say that for my current job - it is totally getting me in touch with my feelings of inadequacy!

As I'm writing this I'm reminded of one of my favorite scriptures from Matthew 5:3; I adore the way Peterson paraphrases it in The Message:

You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

These current trying situations at work leave me just wishing God would help me get another job. I don't see any other way out. But He's not opening any doors and, as much as I hate to admit it, even though I want to leave my current job, I don't feel a release in my heart. Gotta admit to feeling a bit lost and a lot tired.

I'm not finished thinking on these concepts of seeing God through my shame vrs through His grace and love and work in me.
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