Saturday, February 28, 2009

Give Me A Sign!

Remember the movie "Bruce Almighty" when he is beginning to try and pray and he asks God to give him a sign, and God does by bringing about all kinds of road signs? However Bruce is looking for something significant and almost miraculous. He doesn't see the subtle signs God puts right in front of him.

I think we are a lot like Bruce in that situation, at least I am. I pray with the right intentions and wait patiently (OK sometimes the patient part is a bit difficult) but I try and wait patiently for an answer. Sometimes it comes right away, other times it doesn't come at all. I also think that sometimes God is trying to answer our prayers and we just aren't looking for the answers in the right places.

I mean in the past, I have prayed for solutions to whatever dilemma life is handing me at that time, such as, getting through a bad and difficult divorce, handling a child custody issue involving my ex husband living completely on the other side of the US, marrying a second time, dealing with lay offs and job losses, finding our first home, I am sure you get the idea.

Well lately I have been praying for this job that my husband has had for about six months. When he initially began the job, we were told that travel at first would be quite a bit until the company secured work in California. We were told it would never go past 3 weeks without the company sending him home to be with family. I am sure you can see where this is going.

Well it's now February and he is still traveling about 75-90% of the time. The longest he has been gone has been 5 weeks at a time, in a completely different state that we can't travel to, to be with him, and we have to deal with life without him. Our 10 year old does well sometimes but really hates this job of daddys! It tears both of us up when he has to leave. We have been praying to God to at least let us know if this is our path at this time. Since we live in California the job market is pretty dry here. I have had my application with a temp agency since January of 2007 and no not one phone call.

This new job is hit or miss at best. Sometimes with him being gone for so long, he works continuously long hours, and seven days a week, with no time off. When he does come home, we never know how long he will be here or when his next job is. There have been times where he was promised work only to have nothing available and was told to wait and hopefully something will come up. It's not a job you can rely on to pay your mortgage because when he does work, its OK on the financial side but when he doesn't, we struggle to find ways to make ends meet.

I have prayed for one answer from God, which is simply this. Should we keep trying to work with this job or walk away in faith that you will provide something else? We don't have any back up savings as we have to pay as we have money as we will never know when we will have more. There is no spare anything. I have to admit I was frustrated these last three weeks.

Even though he was working in Bakersfield, only 2 hours away, he was unable to be home most days because of issues with this job that required his immediate presence at the location site during all hours of the day. He works during the evening hours and attempts to sleep during the day. So we don't get a chance to talk much, things are a struggle at home since I am it, both mom and dad, while dad is away. I manage the house, bills, issues, school, church, you name it, it's my new responsibility. When things break in the house, I have to try and fix it. I've gotten quite good at how to fix the sprinklers, and how to turn of water and dig a hole in a hurry!

This wasn't what I envisioned my second marriage to be. This one, is almost becoming like my first one, where my husband chose to be gone all the time and leave me alone, whereas this time, we have to be apart because the job market is so scarce and we need the money. For me, the situation is familiar. I am alone, except for God's guidance which has helped to keep the family intact most days. Nights are the hardest. That's when everyone realizes that dad is missing and isn't coming home. It doesn't make it easy by any means. God makes it bearable, doable, and I realize he strengthens me to make it through each day.

My frustration remains in how long does one deal with this? Is this what God meant for me at this time in my life? Is this something we are supposed to walk away from because it's hurtful to our family and marriage? Or is this what God has in mind for us and if it is, please help us all deal with it.

I am confused because I can't voice this to anyone really because the people I do speak with, tell me to be happy, we at least have a job. That is such an empty response. I hate hearing it anymore. I feel like people don't really understand what's involved. I love having my husband home at least once a day, I can make it longer if I needed to but I never expected this. I find myself not really wanting to talk to hubby when he does call because we never know when he is coming back. The phone calls become hard because they are so short and the times when he does call is so late. I try so hard not to vent my frustrations on him and yet I fail there too. I did pray when I was finding myself at the end of that short rope and I believe that God asked me to simply hang up. Don't say anything more. Wait.

When I finished pulling weeds that day, I came inside to find an email that I usually get daily, a devotional for women, and I had one come up as a new email, that I had received some three days earlier but it came again, new at that moment. It dealt with how us women want God to change our men, and we pray for those changes, when all along, God just wants us to pray for changes within us. That those prayer must begin for us first. It didn't dawn on me until I was in church that night with hubby who managed, gracefully to make it home that night, tired and exhausted from Bakersfield, but wanted to come to church instead of sleep.

When we both opened our Bibles that night for a guest speaker for our usual pastor, when hubby opened his Bible he pulled out a piece of paper for a labor company. He turned to me, and said, I wonder if this is a sign? I explained about my email earlier that day and we both realized that God does speak to us, just sometimes not in the way we would expect.

I am working hard on myself with God during these long days. Still waiting for confirmation on the job issue but will wait as long as God has me to, until that time. Can you please pray for me in this as well, for God to reveal to me and Steve what His plan is regarding this job? If it's not in His will, then pray that God will give us the strength to walk away and find something else that will at least keep him home at night.

Thanks for your prayers and for listening!


Lighthouse Prayer Line said...

Hi Kathleen!

Nice post!

If you get the opportunity, please say a prayer for the prayer requests on our main page. We would be honored if you became a follower also.

God bless you,

Mark Seay

Andrea said...

Dear Kathleen,

GOD knows the desires of your heart. Lay it at HIS feet and leave it there. Once again our posts relate to each other and of course I had NO idea what your post said until after I wrote and posted mine. You and I are definately kindred spirits on our journey with our wonderful Heavenly Father. Much prayers, peace, guidence, and comfort as you seek GODs decisions for your family, andrea

Laurie said...

Hi Kat,
Thank you for your honesty once more. Russell and I have been trying to get to a different place job wise, so to speak. We have done a lot to try and "shift" our lives so that I can be at home and Russell can be the main bread winner. At times, it has looked far from what we wanted and finally, it seems to be more possible. I know it's hard. God definitely wants your family to stay close and I believe to give you all more time together. (whatever that looks like:)
I will pray for you and your husband, asking for guidance and the desires of your heart. Laurie