Visitors - Come on in and say hello!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I'm strugglin', y'all

I think the title pretty much covers it, and I suspect that if I were able to interview each and every one of you, you have something similar happening.

Things are going wrong. All at once, and when you think you've hit the bottom, you've found that when this particular floor collapses, there's yet another, and another.

Yup. That's where I am.

Last night I had another bad dream, woke feeling that odd "terror", the kind that when I was a child growing up in a haunted home (I'm not kidding about that, long story but not interesting), I would wake up and want to pull the covers over my head. As an adult, I have to struggle against that impulse, because even if no one's watching, it just doesn't seem dignified, and I can't always use "cold" as an excuse.

So of course, I pray. And I say "Praise God!" to that.

Last night the dream was more about my mother, and so I began praying the rosary, and fell asleep, woke up thinking about her, continued praying. I've heard that Our Lady finishes rosaries for us when we fall asleep praying one, so I think Mom had several finished for her last night, by none other than the Queen of Heaven.

But that's not the only thing. Work has been very difficult of late, and today not only was I behind from last week's stuff and Monday's extreme clobbering, but old stuff has come back and needs attention YESTERDAY, people are upset and impatient all around, and I confess that I have likewise been impatient. It's catching, so look out!

I felt relieved to come home. Until I opened my gas bill! They said I missed a payment, so of course I went pawing through old checks, went online to see if it cleared, it did, signed up for an online account through the gas company so I could view records since their billing office is long closed...and nothin'. The record provided EXACTLY what is on my bill, while I'm just trying to find out what the last payment was that they recieved, in what amount, and what date. Now I have to wait until tomorrow. I could have shot them an e-mail, but then there would be phone tag.

It's the second bill this month which has doubled due to a missed payment. I know that the other one I legitimately hadn't paid because that was the cable bill and they have a habit of either forgetting to send me a bill for a couple months, or the post office hates me. In any case, I checked my accounts and indeed, I did not pay that bill last month, so I'm on the hook.

But this other one...I need to find out more.

And then there is the issue with having taken a pay cut recently for better hours at work, my mortgage and association fees went up, one dog was due for shots and then an old infection returned which was not apparent for our scheduled appointment, meaning that I had to bring her back. And it's not something that can be ignored..the poor girl is suffering, she's only 3 1/2 years old, and it's a simple UTI....which of course has cost me lots of money to clean up what she couldn't hold. I'm tired of that red and white Miracle enzyme cleaner. I spend more on that lately than I do on groceries. And I can't scold a dog who can't help it.

My other dog's due for shots next month, my car registration tabs are due next month, and due to an error on my taxes last year, I'll be lucky to get anythign back at all in the form of a return, and with the way things have been going, I think there's a really good chance that I'm going to have to pay in.

I'm getting hit HARD financially, folks. So far I'm OK, but I'll admit I'm getting scared.

I'm starting to feel like Job. If a strong wind blows down my house, I start suffering from huge boils, my dogs die and when I start living in a garbage dump wearing old clothes and rubbing ashes on myself, I'm going to have to study that book a little further. And if three friends approach me and tell me to repent, then I'll KNOW I'm a modern Job.

But let's not go there yet.

Because you know what I say to all of this stuff, especially the stuff that scares me? I say "Praise the Lord for he has done great things for me".

And I say, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."

Last year I suffered a great trial also, and it was long-term, all work-related. I think it's going to be worse this year, but I think that I'm starting to see a pattern. Not only is it that Lent is a time of suffering for me, but I think that I'm paying in advance for some great blessing. I read this in Raymond Arroyo's book about Mother Angelica. Whenever God wanted her to do something, he struck her down with something terrible. And then came the miracles.

I'm not Mother Angelica, that's for certain. But I think the same idea applies...God makes us pay in advance, sends us these trials to help strengthen our faith so that we don't get too high and mighty when he blesses us. When we are face down on the dirt, humbled by circumstances of our lives, even a little cloth to wipe our faces is a great blessing.

And so I praise God for whatever he is sending me now, and I ask for faith to continue on this journey. God knows, I likely deserve what's happening to me anyway. It's not as though I wasn't a sinner to begin with.

And now let me you've read this, you've been able to draw comparisons to your own situation...maybe it's financial, like mine, but involving cats and not dogs. Or a job loss, leading to the domino effect of bills piling up. Or clerical errors all over the place. And right now you're nodding your head because you feel as I do, and you understand because like it or not, this is life and it's something we all face...and sometimes it really hits us hard.

I have known for awhile that God's 2 by 4 was about to swing and knock me into the next field. I'm not sure yet if this is still the anticipation, the board whistling through the air, or if I've been smacked already and I'm now flying helplessly through the air, a human projectile.

You know how it is if you've ever been hit by or run into something....that feeling of shock, feeling the impact but not the pain yet because it takes the nerves a moment to respond and sing an opera to you.

The scary thing is that I don't think I've recieved the initial impact yet. I'll have to keep you updated.

In the meantime, I'll just keep praising God. It's all I CAN do.

God bless and keep you, and when God's 2 by 4 swings your way, may your landing be cushioned by great blessings.

No comments: