7/17/11

Dear God, please stop punching me

I'll preface this entry by saying that I know God has a plan for all of us, that his wisdom is greater than mine, and whatever happens in my life will turn out OK as long as I trust in God.

See, even this horribly cheesy praise and worship song says so!



That being said, sometimes he does things and I have to stop and say, "I know you're trying to do a good thing here God, but I just don't see it." And it's true. Half of the time in your life things don't go well, you don't specifically yell at God for screwing up your life, you just shake your head and tell him you just don't understand what he's trying to do. At least that's how it is for me.

This week I had one of those conversations. As faithful readers know, my wife and I are having a baby. Which is outstanding, don't get me wrong, but we got pregnant a lot sooner than we both expected. My plan was to at least be able to save up a little money, pay off a credit card, then try getting pregnant. I'm not stupid, I realize that unless I win a million dollars, I'm never going to feel 100 percent financially stable.

That said, when we found out we were pregnant, I was mostly fine with it. "I don't know why you decided to allow us to get pregnant so soon God, but I trust your judgement."

OK, so financially this meant that we had to save a little more. Maybe I'd work some overtime at work (which I do when offered, for the maximum amount of time I'm given). Drop our DirecTV package down to the basics (and say goodbye to the Do-It-Yourself Network). I'm going to save every bit of money I get. That should help.

Right? Right?! Oh no, it's never that simple my friends.

On Monday, I went out to my car (1976 Beetle) to go to work. It didn't start. The engine didn't even try turning over. All the lights came on, but no vroom vroom that cars are famous for. Even after cleaning the battery terminals, still no go. So I had it towed to the garage, where I presently await what could be a $100+ repair job.

Then, at the end of the week, I get a letter from the state of Arkansas. Instead of the $85 refund, they did some checking and stated that I now owe $340 instead. Something about a missing W-2, even though I included EVERYTHING when I mailed it to them (because the state of Arkansas is too stupid to allow you to efile).

Assuming that they don't change their minds about that, there's $340 we could have put toward paying off debt that goes toward our government so that one of my senators can put gas in his fancy car (wanna save the country big bucks? Make all senators and representatives buy their own gas out of their own pocket).

And then there was a "promise" of a job a few weeks ago that could have easily doubled my yearly salary. I had some very solid ideas when I went into that job interview, but for some crazy reason (rabies I'm assuming), they decided to go a different direction and hire another person. God bless that person, and I hope he does everything in his power to make his place of employment better, but let's be honest, he's nowhere near as talented as me.

Those are my issues, and I don't apologize if they come across as petty or whiny. I'm tasked by God to raise two children (I REALLY want twins!), which I'm assuming means that God wants me to be somewhat financially sound, and he allows this to happen. I know that raising children will mean all sorts of financial surprises, and if this is the way to get me prepared for that, then I accept it.

Acceptance, however, doesn't mean liking it. And I hate it. I really hate that I can't spend money on something good. I hate that I have a job (which I don't hate, for the record) that doesn't even pay $25,000 a year despite a four year degree from a horrible institution Arkansas State University.

I suppose I'll look back in a few years and tell God, "Thanks for showing me the way, even though I couldn't see it at the time."

Until then, I have no clue what God is doing. I wish he'd tell me though. There's no downside to that.

I'll leave you with a song that sums up how I feel right now. Dead Man by Jars of Clay

2 comments:

Dan Sealana July 25, 2011 at 5:21 AM  

Dustin,

I had to laugh a few days ago when my car was breaking down on the road, knowing that I couldn't afford the $800 in repairs that I had been putting off and whatever further damage my car suffered due to my procrastination.

So now my car sits in the driveway, where it will stay until I save about $1000 to tow it to the repair shop, which may prove difficult since I don't have a job and now don't even have the "reliable transportation" that even crappy jobs ask about on applications.

The funny thing is, I had been contemplating reducing how much I use my car to save gas money and be a little more "green." I guess the issue has been forced.

So now I'm jobless, car-less and forced to try to make some cash desperately searching for paid freelancing writing gigs online (all the while hoping that my housemates don't flake on paying the internet bill).

It's not an ideal situation, but I know that I'm not doing to die. I'm not going to starve. Angela and I have very supportive friends and family. We'll never be homeless. What is my financial situation making me miss out on anyway? More stuff? When did STUFF make my happy anyway?

Have peace about your financial situation, brother. It doesn't mean being complacent about money. Just make sure you put it in the proper perspective.

Peace,
Dan

Angela Santana July 25, 2011 at 10:44 PM  

This is not going to turn into a 'my life is harder than yours' comment or contest. But I hope it will give you comfort to hear Dan and my perspective on money. We're really in a tight spot. We always complained that people shouldn't wait to get married for financial reasons. And well, God is really making us put our money (or lack thereof) where our mouth is! We got engaged, and all of a sudden, Dan was jobless. Yes, we are pretty dirt poor...I've got a great four year degree that I use to serve the Church 30 hours a week in a nonprofit ministry job. I don't even make $15,000 a year. And yet, we're getting married.

We wonder why God is letting this happen to us. It's probably because we asked for it. We said we wanted to model the Holy Family. Guess we forgot how poor and dependent on God's providence they were. (We should have said some Christian emperor/empress couple or something...)

In the end, we are learning the hard way that it honestly gets us nowhere to see the negatives. As Padre Pio said, "Worry does nothing." We're allowed to cry and even feel stress - even Jesus did. But we have to pick ourselves up like He did and keep on going. A privilege of being Christian is following in the footsteps of Jesus: suffering, but not in vain. We follow His footsteps to redemption and eternal salvation.

"In this world, you will have trouble. But take courage: I have conquered the world." (Jn 16:33)

P.S. I like to think, 'If my kids were alive right now, watching the way I handle this situation, how would I want them to see me living?'

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    About This Blog

    A blog for the masses, if by masses you mean myself and family members who probably read this out of pity.

    I'm dustin Faber, the 16-bit Catholic. This blog is an amusing, sometimes thought-provoking look at my life and the world around me. Poetry, cooking recipes, gaming, faith, things that make me go awww, things that make me go grrr, and my obsession with a good glass of root beer can be found here.

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