Sunday, January 17, 2010

Changes Part 1 -- The Setup

(Editor’s Note: When I originally typed this up, it came out to be 13 pages long. As such, I've gone back and broken this up into multiple posts which I will post over the next couple of days.)

Time and again, I'm amazed at the changes God can make in our lives--changes that we never would have dreamed of or contemplated just a year ago. Not all the changes are obviously big--moving, marriage, babies—often it's the little changes, particularly in thoughts and attitudes, that fascinate and amaze me.

Back in October, I parted ways with my full time job at AT&T, and there was much rejoicing throughout the land.

What Sam made between his two regular jobs and the extra gigs he'd picked up would be enough to cover our regular bills, and even if for some reason his gigs dried up, we had enough money put back that we could still pay the rent for 2-3 months. And, by the end of the week, I had a job lined up with a local vet clinic to work as their receptionist, starting the following Wednesday. It seemed that getting away from my previous job was the best idea ever.

That's when Things Started Happening(tm).

First of all, Sam had a gig/audition lined up off in Midwest City with someone he'd met at the school. On his way there, the van died at an intersection with all of his musical equipment in the back end. What's more, his phone did not receive service in the area at that time, so he had no way of contacting the person he was supposed to be playing for. Three hours later he was able to tow the van home and let me and the guy he was auditioning for know what was going on.

As a result of this, Sam never played for that guy again (Sam was unable to contact him until the gig was halfway over), and most of what we had put back into savings went to paying to get the van running again.

The following weekend, Sam, Sherri, and I went to my parents, since we hadn't seen much of them since the reception. We had a good relaxing time (yay for fall break!), and much fun was had by all. However, just before we headed back to the city, I received an email from the clinic I was starting at the following Wednesday, saying "Thank you for your interest in the receptionist position. It has now been filled."

Not a happy Holly.

After church that Sunday, Sam and I met his parents for lunch to catch up on life and to see new pictures of Ruthie. They had come home early from KC due to the fact that Susan had caught H1N1. We commiserated over that, enjoyed the food and pictures, and then went on our merry way home.

By Monday afternoon we were absolutely miserable. We both had H1N1. The next week is a blur to the both of us--neither of us recall any absolute details, except that three days into it Sam became coherent enough to drag us to the doctor, only to be told we had H1N1 and to stay home with plenty of fluids, try to rest, and take this super-duper prescription cough syrup since it was too late to give us Tama-flu.

When the next Monday rolled by, we were at least able to get up and move around, and Sam started going back to school even though he hadn't fully recovered. To be honest, the cough didn't go away for him until the end of November and he didn't recover his energy until Christmas break.

The following two weeks were very rough for me. I spent all day every day trying to find a job. I quickly learned that the big companies don't even ask you to come by any more--they just want you to go to their website and fill out the applications online. I also learned that while my resume was for perfect theatre, it was horrible for getting a job in the "real world." Why? I have a college degree and I've worked for over seven companies in the past five years (because theaters, by and large, are seasonal creatures). Most of these places took one look at my resume and decided I was "over-qualified" or unstable. I managed a couple of interviews, but in the end they didn't pan out.

To put it bluntly I was headed to a bad place mentally. Two weeks of spending all day, every day, combing the internet for job opportunities, filling out the same applications over and over (because most companies use one of three different online forms, any more), and facing rejection over and over again... yeah, it was rough.

Also, at this time the highest paying extra gig Sam had on a semi-regular basis dried up, and we were suddenly looking at trying to get by on basically a third of our "normal" income with most of savings wiped out by car/illness.

I'm not telling you this to throw a pity party or be like "Look at how bad we had it!" Rather, I'm explaining it to you so that you can understand where we were so that God could begin to make His changes in us. As Sam puts it, "Context, dear. Not whining--context!!"

And without this context, God could not setup His changes in us.

There are three stages in the work of God: impossible, difficult, done."

--James Hudson Taylor

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