May 15th, 2003


State of the World

I have a new Stephen Minister - it's his first time as a caregiver, which was kind of a good thing, as he's not gotten to the point of doing any shortcuts, and he's focussed on the purpose of the ministry.

We discussed my frustration over two years of unemployment, over six months of dealing with the stress and fear as my wife was treated for cancer (successfully, but there were some hard moments). We discussed my spiritual state.

It's pretty darn poor right now. I have no regular prayer life, and since my faith is one that relies on the belief that God cares enough about me that he stepped into his own creation and died in order to cure the brokenness that happened to that creation... prayer should be frequent.
My relationship with Penny has been strained in bad ways too, as our friendship and affection has remained high, but the deeper intimacies of who we are and what we feel and think have been somewhat suspended because of her healing.

I realized that there HAS been some answer to our prayers though, even as I felt like I wasn't being answered - I wasn't really listening well.
I asked for work while Penny was being treated. I even took a seasonal job to help cover costs, though it paid about what unemployment gave. I found that the answer was "don't worry about real work right now. You need to be here helping Penny. It's more important."

After the radiation treatments were over and she was somewhat recovered, I was approached by a friend who had some part-time contract work that I have been able to work on ... it looks as if it might last into the summer and maybe longer, and though I really wish it were permanent, it is good enough for now, because Penny's still recovering, and unable to work or even to stand long enough to make food for herself, sometimes.
So, the answer was there - this is enough, for now, even though it isn't enough long-term.

In the past, I always saw God providing me with what I needed. In college, when the loan officer who had to approve my loan app one day before going on a 2-month leave of absence forgot her key and had to go back to her desk, so just HAPPENED to be there when the agent at my bank called her... In 1981 when I was laid off from Badger Meter due to the beginning of the 80s economic slump, two weeks before my wedding, we went to Oregon for our honeymoon, and I got a job offer from Tektronix one day before they cut off hiring completely for a year... In 1987 when I was laid off and was hired by Intel ... everything that's happened, God has provided what was needed. Not necessarily what I _wanted_ mind you, though in the long run it turned out to be that as well.

I'm back to cautiously hopeful now.