Wednesday, March 2, 2011

On Hold

I must confess that I have been struggling with my joy this week.  

I was simply trying to tie up some loose ends with my benefits at my old job ... the one I lost in January.  In my case, I was trying to get reimbursed $70 from my Flexible Spending Account.  Seventy dollars is a lot of money to me...hard-earned money that was taken out of my paycheck and that I was not given an opportunity to use.  

One one of my least favorite tasks is calling companies to deal problems of these sorts.  I am sure you have all been there: you dial the phone number, you use the number key pad to type in your information, and you wait on hold...and wait.   Sometimes, you actually get to speak to a human on the phone.  Sometimes, I try pushing various buttons to try to get to a person as fast as possible ... but don't tell anyone my secret!  If you are lucky enough to get to a "customer service" representative, you go through all of your information AGAIN, just to find out they can't help you, so you get transferred to someone else, and then another...of course you are on hold in between each transfer...listening to the same music that you have memorized by this point.  After an hour or two of your precious time, there is no resolution to your plight.  In my case, I am told I have to call my HR department at my previous place of employment.  I went back and forth several times between the two places, with no resolution.  I feel that I have been unjustly stripped from my $70 with no way to retrieve it!  How can they do this?  Isn't this stealing?  Where does this money go?  I held it in while I was on the phone.  But inside, my stomach is churning.  I am frustrated.  Angry.  I want to scream and cry.  Honestly, I did cry!  

Perhaps this story seems ridiculous to you, but for me, this situation brought back a flood of emotions from losing my job.  My job loss, or termination, was a wrongful termination.  Did I do everything perfectly?  No.  But, ultimately ... it was unjust.  This was a hard thing for me to swallow.  There were/are so many questions.  Why did this happen to me?  What is wrong with me?  Why would someone treat me this way?  How will I get through this?  I have been searching and praying the last two months to use this time to fulfill the Lord's plan for my life, but it isn't easy.  The Lord gives and takes away.  He has a plan that is higher than ours; that we do not understand.  We aren't required to understand the "whats" and "why," we just have to trust in the Lord.  The Bible tells us that the Lord is faithful and just ... He will take care of everything in the end.  

Even David struggled with this concept.  This is refreshing to know that David, a man after God's own heart, also wondered and questioned why the things seem unfair on this earth.  Ultimately, he reminds us to follow the Lord and find our joy in Him.  My dad pointed me to this psalm the week I lost my job, and I am thankful that I am reminded of it this week. 

Do not fret because of those who are evil 

   or be envious of those who do wrong; 
for like the grass they will soon wither, 
   like green plants they will soon die away.

 Trust in the LORD and do good; 

   dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 
Take delight in the LORD, 
   and he will give you the desires of your heart.

 Commit your way to the LORD; 

   trust in him and he will do this: 
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, 
   your vindication like the noonday sun.

Psalm 37:1-6

Two months ago, I lost my job.  This week I lost $70.  It's not like the money is mine anyway ... it all belongs to the Lord.  He will provide.  Each day, I am continuing to be shaped and molded by the Lord through.  I am not in control.  What can I do by worrying about these things or by trying to hang on to them?  Nothing.  

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, 
what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your 
heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Matthew 6:25-27

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