So I found out yesterday that my job in academia will be nonexistent in the fall, due to lowered enrollment. Which means no benefits, and less money- they can still give me two classes, which equals part time. This is only slightly cataclysmic, and I say that with great irony. As the immigration paperwork is yet to be processed (thanks, US Government), my fab hubby R cannot work legally, which means we are down to one part-time income, and two kids…
This is, I am sure, the scenario of many an unemployed person around this sinking nation, and I know I am not alone in the struggle to support a family. But I have to admit (like many of my other admissions), that sometimes I really wish I had the “working husband, stay at home mom” situation. There are women, I am sure, who will never be in the situation of either buying food or paying rent (but not both), but at this point in our walk, it falls to me to figure out what to do. I cannot help but wallow in the injustice of it all, at least for a few minutes, anyway.
My parents raised four of us on a missionary salary, which was constantly falling short. I remember the days of holes in my shoes and the inability of my parents to call back to the US because a phone call was more than they got in a month. I saw a spot on the news the other day about professionals in California living in their cars because of foreclosures and gas prices- these people sleep in the back of their cars, curled up with their golden retrievers and their Newsweek. I have to admit that these images have been pressing on my mind more and more lately.
Now, I know we won’t be homeless- if worst comes to (absolute, apocalyptic) worst we can live with my parents- but the nervous anxiety is earthshaking. Every fiber of my human persona is wanting to crawl under a rock and hide from the monsters of uncertainty, or to scream at the top of my lungs in a public place. But something stops me- other than the fear of public humiliation. It’s the thought of Jehovah Jireh, one of the Old Testament names for God and the title of a song we used to sing in Sunday School. The words are fairly simple and speak of the fact that “His grace is sufficient for me”. Jireh means provider, and it is the persona of God that I call to in my most anxious moments. I look back over my crazy history and see how, much like those faithless Isrealites, I have a tendency to cry to the heavens at the smallest inconvenience (or plague, or famine, or wandering in the wilderness, as the case may be). But something has always come through. Always.
Yeah, some would say it’s coincidence, or a product of my amazing resume skills, or simply the outcome of a job search done well. Is it a coincidence that this is the name for God used by Abraham on Mt. Moriah, and Moriah is my daughter’s middle name? I prefer in these times of “coincidence” to breathe silent thanks to Jehovah Jireh, my provider, whose grace has always been sufficient for me. Even with holes in my shoes.
So…freaking out? Yeah. Worried? Yeah. Not sure where August’s rent is coming from? Yeah. But, is His grace big enough to both hide me like the rock I want to crawl under, and at the same time lift me up to face each new Job-like challenge?