I don't talk about my faith all that much, at least not on here.
It isn't as if I am ashamed of it. I am a child of God's, His daughter, called by Him before the creation of the world. What do I have to be ashamed of?
I don't talk about it much because everyone nowadays is ready for a debate. You push the wrong buttons and suddenly you've declared war. "Oh, YOU think that?! WELL! Let me tell you why you're wrong!" No one really wants to listen anymore, or just talk. They want to argue, to have a point and the need to prove it. They bristle. I encounter it at work all the time, and I realized when I tell someone I'm a Christian and they get defensive.
So I stopped.
But I did something else instead. I started to live it. In all I do I try and live my faith. And I stand out. My co-workers started to notice. I didn't have to tell them what made me different, a lot of them seemed to just KNOW. And they didn't get defensive...if anything they got curious.
I want to try the same through my writing.
But things have happened and I've felt like sharing.
I don't know if it is everywhere, but I've encountered it. The belief that if you're a Christian life is supposed to be really good. You will get a nice job, your car will always run and be in perfect shape, you'll get a nice sized house, meet someone dashing and caring to take care of you and spend your life with....
There are Biblical examples of how untrue this is, not to mention more modern lives which show the same.
I never really struggled before. I mean I did, a lot. I had a lot of problems and such, but it wasn't ever anything with money. I had my parents to take care of me. I didn't understand the struggle behind not knowing if there would be enough money every month for those lovely things called bills.
And then I moved out on my own.
I prayed about the move, I planned and made sure I'd have enough for everything I would need. Gas for my car, check. Food, check. Bills, check. Rent, check. All that stuff. I would even have a little left over every month and enough to save. The little cabin worked out in impossible ways - I pretty much went from considering it to blinking and getting one. Everything just worked out so well. I got it and the next day I got the job I'd been praying about.
Then things happened. As I've said, I lost the job I needed. I am now working a part time one, and they can't work me full time for insurance reasons and all of that which I don't really understand but which makes sense to someone somewhere. Since then I've been frantically looking for another job. I am the world's fastest application...applier? Filler-outer? I'm really good at it, I've even got a system. I've been filling them out for months, and no one wants me.
I've almost gotten a couple jobs. But last minute something happens - someone more qualified shows up - and they get it instead.
At the end of 2015 I decided I'd begin to pray in earnest for a job...I had before but I thought I would ask, really ask, for one. After all, my request wasn't made for selfish reasons, like wanting more money, but because I really did need one.
So I prayed hard. And suddenly things seemed to finally be working out. I got another job, my car's problem got fixed, everything would work out so nicely! I wouldn't have to borrow money from friend's, that little extra a month for one bill or food.
And then it happened. My rib broke. I could barely move, let alone pick up little kids. I was useless at work, but my boss didn't hold it against me. Her biggest concern was not over working me while I was in so much pain. She had no problem with me sitting on the floor, pretty much useless, only reading stories.
But I was given time off, so much time. It was only out of concern, but I needed the money. Rent. I has it.
Then, when I thought nothing could possibly get worse then working about only eight days out of the month, my car decided to randomly sprout power steering fluid everywhere.
Normally I'd be fine. I've driven without it before. It wouldn't have been a problem before.
But I can't drive a car which fights me at every turn with a rib still not completely healed. And I couldn't afford to get it fixed, so it is sitting very happily in my driveway. I think it was just annoyed with me driving to work at seven thirty in the cold. I'd give up my power steering too to not have to do that.
The day it happened was bad. I was done I decided. I crippled it to Starbucks and parked it.
I'd spent the day babysitting. I was tired, my rib hurt and the steering only made it worse, I knew I wouldn't have enough money for everything due in the next month. So I hid in Starbucks, I ordered a coffee with a Christmas gift card, I stuck in my headphones and listened to Enya, and read while sneaking sly glances at a guy who looked just like a modern Striker - my character from the Blade books. And I tried not to cry in front of total strangers.
Everything I didn't really believe but which had been bombarded on me came back and I started to wonder. What had I done wrong? Had I done something horribly rebellious against God and this was my punishment? A broken car in the head of winter, a broken rib which not only hurt but hindered me from working AND doing things I liked like going on long walks. Surely I had done something terrible to have all of this happen to me.
While I blinked back tears, because I don't really cry in front of anyone let alone strangers and men who look like my characters, I texted a friend of mine. I needed someone to talk to, kind of a shoulder to cry on without the actual crying.
She soon helped me calm down. I slowly drank my wanna be coffee thing and then I began to pray.
I prayed a new prayer. I prayed that I could make it through all of this, being the example God wanted me to be. Learning the lessons I was so obviously supposed to learn. I prayed that I might learn to trust Him when everything, EVERYTHING, was going wrong. When I thought it couldn't get worse and it did.
It's still hard. I still have a month in front of me and only eight days on the paycheck. I still have a broken car in my drive way, happily relaxing under a blanket of snow as it waits out the coldest part of the winter. I still sometimes want to hide under my blanket and cry.
But I am learning. So so much.
I am learning that I can rely on my friends without being scared they will all grow so annoyed with me they won't ever want to speak to me again. I am learning God provides for what is needed, in impossible ways sometimes. And I'm learning to find joy and happiness and not let it all rest on money. I'm not rich, I never will be likely unless Tom Hanks decides to buy the rights to Brothers-in-Arms and make a mini-series, but I still have more fun sliding up and down the snow packed streets in my trackless boots then most people do.
The point I think I'm trying to make is this, God never promises wealth and a new car and a large house. He never said we'd get a million dollars on our doorsteps wrapped with a bow. But what He did promise is so much better. He promised to be with us in every trail and struggle. He promised us a home in Heaven. He promised to provide for our needs, the real ones, sometimes we get needs and wants mixed up but He never does. He promised to be my Father, in the times when everything seems to be going perfectly and in the times when I am stuck in the house with a broken rib.
Don't let the same happen to you which has happened to me. Don't get confused about what it means to be a Christian. Because it does mean suffering and hard times, but it just means we have GOD to help us through them. What could be better?
(This is a little PS. He has also given me some incredible friends and family who helps me out when I need it, who fight my stubborn car home across town when it decides to be a pain, who drives me places so I don't have to trudge about in the below freezing weather to work at six thirty in the morning. I've been very well taken care of.)
I used a Doctor Who quote today. It is one from 12 when he sees a baby. I can relate to him.