We find ourselves in a season now where it seems like everything that matters to us is turning out completely other than we have hoped. It feels like just about everything is going completely wrong (translation: completely other than we had hoped), like every effort we make falls apart and crumbles into dust at our feet.
I had dared to hope that after we had faced the worst possible thing I could imagine (that being Ewan's death), there would be an upswing -- that we would see things go our way, that we'd find good things happening for us. And while life hasn't been all bad, it hasn't been all great either. For example:
We had high hopes that James would be interviewed for a local job that seemed ideal for him, one for which he was qualified, and had a referral on the inside -- but he didn't even get a chance for an interview. His resume was reviewed, but ultimately passed over.
Without a full-time job, James has gotten back into trading options. We have seen great trades go wrong because of a normally very reliable and fast computer freezing up or shutting down altogether, and trades that would have had a significant return not even get filled by the broker. While on the whole, we've seen a net gain since trading options again, it's been a disappointing return on the whole -- not enough to maintain our expenses.
Many of you know that we have interests in oil wells from when James was living and working in Kansas. In spite of the way the price of oil has shot through the roof lately, our return on that investment has not risen in proportion. The cost of living is going up for us here, but the amounts of these checks are going down.
We've gotten mail about disputed hospital bills (with no specific information about what is being disputed) sent in the name of our deceased son. Seeing Ewan's name printed on a piece of mail is like getting punched in the gut.
Not even a full day after I found myself being incredibly thankful that at least I still had a good job, I learned the company I work for got sold to another larger company. Nothing is changing in the immediate future, but my employment with this company beyond the next year or so is uncertain.
Currently, we're being asked to renew our lease when we are not even certain if the events over the next few months will require moving out of state. If we stay, we pay an increased amount we really cannot afford. If we move, then we have to deal with everything that moving entails: finding a new place, paying all the upfront fees, finding the time and energy to do it.
We recently found out that there is a bill about to go before Congress that may have the potential to hinder not James's chances of getting a job for which he recently interviewed -- but perhaps for keeping such a job if he did get it -- and this being one of our only employment options for him at this point.
It seems that everything we have dared to hope for lately has taken a turn in the opposite direction of our hope. It feels like we are living out our own version of the Book of Job, like after we were dealt the violent blow of Ewan's death, that we are still getting knocked down over and over again after we dare to let hope rise up again. I don't want to complain (believe me, I dislike whining as much as the next person), but I have to be honest: all of this really, really sucks.
I'm not stressed (after all this, I've gotten to a point where I seem to be unable to stress out about much of anything) and I'm not at the point where I'm giving up or losing hope. In spite of all the evidence, I still believe that God is good and taking care of us. But I am tired. My head is sore and my heart is weary. I'm frustrated and exhausted and sometimes, I feel as though I'm about to lose my mind.
I'm open to the possibility that all of this will lead us to a better place. We have done all we can do, and the circumstances we're contending with are broader circumstances that are entirely out of our control.
All I can do right now is put one foot in front of the other, breathe in and out, and do what I can do -- but there are days where even that seems to be more than I can deal with in any given moment. I need grace, grace, and more grace: to get up in the morning, to go to bed at night, and then to wake up and do it all again the next day.