Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You Should Be Embarrassed

It was a a year ago, that I dropped out of school that is.

My mom told  me if I left school, I would regret it. That she would not lend her support no matter how many convincing words I shared. I figured she would come around eventually and she has. But it still lingers beneath just about every conversation, I hear the doubt. I feel the building momentum of the moment she still believes will come--the one where she can say the coveted "I told you so."

I'm back in school, just several months from graduation actually. But it's not the conventional type--it's not the noteworthy college name every mom dreams of. And it will never be enough.

Last year, when I actually went through with it, I think I shocked her a bit. She cut off her financial support in her attempt to control and I knew there was no turning back. I needed a job. In one week, in fact. A real one though, one that could put me through college.

I remember it so vivid. It was a Friday and I still hadn't found a single lead. Come Monday, I had rent to pay (at an apartment I wasn't even living in nonetheless) and I simply didn't have the money. Oh mom and grandma were a double act all right, a dream team just loving the way I was failing. It's funny that they don't talk to each other out of decade old spite, yet their words echo scars deep, taking up pages long in my voicemail box.

The family I was living with, the ones that God used to walk me into freedom this year, he called to tell me around four I needed to go meet his friend who had a company. He said he might have a job for me. I'd been doing some part time labor and I raced out the door to make it across town in time. Not long after I found myself sitting across from this man and he spoke quickly and I answered simply. He said that he trusted K (the dad of family that had taken me in) very much, that his recommendation meant a lot. I left with a full time job, one that I would start that Monday in fact.

I left with something they might be proud of.

Little did I know this job would also come with another adopted family, fellow believers that encouraged me daily and covered me in prayer. I haven't always loved my job as it often seems menial if that, but I come to work everyday because I love the community, the people. I wrote about it a while ago over here.

Last week, I lost this job, quite unexpectedly.

I knew the season was winding down and five o' clock sure has dragged from lunch on the past few weeks, but I didn't see it ending this way or in this time. In fact, I am slightly freaking out.

Tomorrow the job search begins and there is talk of a move being thrown around too. I am tear-filled tonight as it is that time of the month atop the realization that I have no alarm to set, no Monday morning emails to get to. It is a rather uncomfortable place to be.

And one year ago it was there His hand hath provided--this job, this family, this safe place to come to work everyday as my nights and weekends were spent wrestling my sin and shame and learning to trust and submit. No one knew what was happening outside of the office and no one knew the way God ordained my position within this company for this season of time--but oh He did.

My grandma left me a message today and told me that I should be embarrassed by what my life has become. She went on for the full four minutes (before it cut her off) to explain how she makes up heroic stories to tell her friends about me because she could never tell them the truth. That I am a disappointment. The truth that I am a college drop out, screw up, and will never amount to much (not in the world's eyes). Now we can add unemployed to the list as well. Oh, she will love the new material.

I haven't gotten up the guts to tell mom or granny yet. Because I hear the accusations in the quiet of the night and I know their noise will prove too much to bear just yet.

You see the Truth is, God provided a year ago--this job. At the time I didn't see Him doing anything. In fact, I felt He had left me to my mess. But He hadn't--He just had to strip me of the distractions of the temporal life before He could cast vision for the eternal. If I had school and my mother's provision and an apartment with limited accountability there would be no reason for me to search for anything greater because those things seemed satisfactory.

I think sometimes God has to pull out these basic things from beneath us before we will credit Him at all worthy of something more because so often we find contentment elsewhere.

I am not embarrassed by God's work in my life this year. And while it might not play out this way for all of us, if that required Him stripping me of a college degree (for a time), trusting Him to provide a job, and moving me into a family of eleven where privacy is no longer a concept--well then I'm not embarrassed by any of that either.

And so, if He was faithful in those seemingly embarrassing things, then I simply cannot continue to shame myself into failure once more at the loss of this job.

It just means He is calling me to to trust in the eternal plan He has authored and perfected, far more then the temporal that my family speaks of. 


  1. Love you!! This is so beautiful! Praying for you friend! Let me know if I can do anything! I'm so proud of your faithfulness!

  2. Hi Courtney,

    Visiting from SDG...your trust in God despite your circumstances is encouraging...and your words makes me think of this quote:

    God "is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we will prefer everything else to Him, and come to Him because there is 'nothing better' now to be had."-C.S. Lewis,The Problem of Pain.

    Praying today that God will continue to provide for you and show you how He loves you...Not the exact same story as yours but God provided a job for me and a way for me to pay for college many years ago. Shalom.

  3. I think of your mom and grandma and wonder myself exactly where tough love stops and meanness starts. It's not easy as parents when we are disappointed and angry. But if you can look for God in your situation, whatever it is, at move forward at the same time, doing what you can do while He does what He will do out of love for you, well, sounds like you are on the right road.