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Monday, August 06, 2007

Free Falling

This is my first official day of being unemployed, and it is very strange. I can't believe that after this week, I'm not going back to my office. I can't believe that my money is now limited...and there's not yet anything in sight.

But I still don't regret my decision because I was so miserable, and I knew the consequences facing me had I stayed.

Today I recieved a phone call from one of my posted resumes. She didn't give me a lot of information at first, just wanted to discuss an opening in their "health care unit." I was not familiar with the company name, so I asked her what the position was? She hesitated for a moment, and then told me, "Collections."

I told her I was not interested because I was seeking to return to Social Services/Government, and away from anything to do with Insurance or Finance. And then I thanked her for her interest and for calling.

When I hung up the phone, I wondered if I'd done the wrong thing; after all, beggars can't be choosers...or can we?

But I've had friends who worked in Collections. They pay peanuts, the stress is ridiculous because if they don't make a certain quota, they get canned. One of my prior customers worked for a Collections agency, and was on a dialer, so literally chained to her desk and to her phone. I will not work under those circumstances; I'd sooner go back to what I was doing!

At this point, I still have a certain amount of hope, so I'm not willing to jump just because a recruiter for one of the worst jobs in the world is "impressed" by my resume.

I've known a few people who worked as telemarketers or in collections, and believe me, they are miserable. They hate their jobs, but they are desperate, and most are looking to go elsewhere. They don't take those jobs because it is their dream to tick people off; they take those jobs because at the time they accept it, they have no other choice.

So far, I still have choices, if not any options...yet. Today I planned to submit a cover letter to a particular Social Services/Mental Health position, but upon reading the job description again, I realized that the hours eliminate me; evenings and weekends.

Well, one weekend per month, I'm going to school. And I teach RCIA every Wednesday evening...and one Tuesday evening a month is dedicated to parish leadership.

So, all that time belongs to God; it is a committment I've given to God and thus to my parish, and I intend to continue to fulfill that committment. First seek the Kingdom of God...and He will cause the rest to fall into place.

Some might argue I'll have to give up my parish activities, but I truly feel that if I do this, I am not trusting God in action. This entire thing is in God's arena, it is in his hands, and I am just praying to be doing the right things.

I ask you all for your continued prayers; it is scary to be unemployed and know the money will run out, to have no health insurance, a mortgage, a car payment, and other various bills.

And I know I did the right thing because I left with many many references, but not a single one tried to talk me into staying, even a little longer. They knew it was time, as well.

So now I'm in this free-fall, terrified of the landing, but knowing, somewhere, God is still in charge.


Caleb said...

A very brave and honest post.

I recently read the following on another Catholic blog and found it heartening. It was written in response to the bridge tragedy in your city. Perhaps during this time of uncertainty in your life, you will be able to mine some meaning, comfort, and/or strength from these words.

“I believe that the sacred force we commonly term ‘God’ may not always be able to direct or alter our external, physical circumstances. Tragic and terrible things can happen to any one of us – and to those we love. Yet I also believe that if we open ourselves to God’s presence – in the depths of our own being, in those around us, in creation, and in the relationships we build with others – we can be transformed within; we can access and embody the strength and compassion to somehow get through the times of tragedy and heartache. I also believe that it’s not the outward events – good or bad – of our life that define us, but how we choose to respond to such events.”

It seems to me that you’re responding in a loving and trustful way. I think only good can come from such a response.

May you know God’s presence and guidance in your life.


Melanie B said...

You definitely did the right thing. If you left your job in insurance because you couldn't stand it any more, then to go from that to collections would be like jumping from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. You need a real change, not to just swap one set of unlivable circumstances for another equally unlivable. Trust in God; he will see you through. Though it may be a very rough ride in the meantime. His ways are not ours and his path is not always a very comfortable one. But you really knew all that already. You just want some moral support because you're in a really scary place right now. I know I've been there.

We are praying for you every day.

Adoro te Devote said...

caleb ~ It's true that tragic things can happen at any time, but it is the lot of we, the fallen humanity, that this happens to us. We can only find meaning in the tragedy by asking these questions, which God expects us to ask. Last semester I took a class on the Writings of John Paull II and in Salvifici doloros, he addresses exactly this. We cannot understand suffering apart from the Cross of Jesus Christ; we cannot understand who we are apart from the Sacrifice of Christ.

I would not compare my own circumstances to that of the bridge collapse, although this catastrophe does weigh heavily upon me just as it does most people here in the Mpls.-St. Paul area. But it is suffering of a sort, just the same.

The link you posted, I would not consider to be Catholic, for the author rejects what the Church teaches in favor of his own form of theology. A Catholic is someone who believes what the Catholic Church teaches and does their best to follow it...even as we fall short. (Um...I often fall short. But I'm trying...every day, I'm trying, and I believe. Lord, help my unbelief!)

But that's not to say he doesn't have a point. The language he uses about "this force we call God" is quite New-Agey, and because I experienced that type of sliding belief system, the wording makes me queasy. But bad theology aside, he's right; what he's saying is that we must pull together for the sake of others. We aren't all going to agree, but we have to recognize each other as children of God; we are all siblings in that context, and what hurts one hurts us all. We are united in our grief for those who have been lost, those who have died, those who are injured, and those who are mourning. Indeed we look upon this with a common bond of caring and concern for our fellow citizens.

As far as my job situation; I am trying to be loving and trusting, but it is difficult, I am struggling, but it's part of the human condition. None of us can ever grow without being faced with adversity. Sometimes we choose our adversity; sometimes it comes upon us, and all we can do is look to the Cross, offer our own sufferings and trials, and trust God.

It may be God's will that I lose everything I have. It was never mine to begin with, and that's what I have to remember. All we have is a gift; this very blog is God's not mine. He will take all back if He sees fit. It's hard to accept that, but then's even harder to work to maintin something under the illusion that I have all the control.

Wow. Am I rambling or what!?

Melanie ~ That's exactly it! And thank you for your prayers....I need prayers. I need God in a big way, whether I am successful or unemployed, I need Him!

Adoro te Devote said...

Caleb ~ If you don't mind...I've been meaning to ask this question for some time but haven't done so, so you're a convenient "target."

How you do parse links into combox text? I can do simple HTML like bold and italics, but if I post a link it's the entire link, not what you did.

Can you explain to someone as html-illiterate as myself?

Hidden One said...


I'm in a similar boat myself - I've been looking for a job all summer - actually, Lord-willing, I may just get a reasonable one tomorrow working for a guy who seems to be a very good manager with at least one good employee in not-great part of town... oh well, its down the street from a basilica. Now, if only it had perpetual Adoration... but yeah, I've had a really lousy summer for most of it, tis finally perking up, I just had a really amazing day, and if I get a job tomorrow, I'll be able to have a real month of summer *vacation*. But rambling is for my own blog and comboxes, so I'll stop now.

Always Praying,
Hidden One.

Adoro te Devote said...

Hidden One ~ Ramble all you want! You're in my prayers, too. You know...if the Basilica is open during the day, you still have adoration available. St. Joan of Arc used to pop into the local church and say "hello" to Jesus all the time. And I've had some of my most profound moments in front of the Tabernacle.

Last week when I put my dog down, I went to my parish thinking to go to the Adoration chapel, but found myself walking towards Jesus in the tabernacle, found myself there, and truely felt his presence. Even as I felt the absence of my dog, Jesus' true presence completely enveloped me, and he was literally WARM. There are no words for this. If there is no Adoration Chapel, you're fine with a Tabernacle. He's just as present.

I once asked a priest about the fact that Jesus almost seemed more present in the tabernacle than in the monstrance; He didn't really have an answer other than to say he's present in both placed and our perception is based on our own disposition.

So go to wherever you can; Jesus is often lonely in these churches without Adoration. Go there; God will reward you.

Caleb said...

Hi Adora,

Inside of the following two symbols < > I pasted “a href=” plus the url of the page I shared in my previous comment:

a href=

Then after writing “another Catholic blog”, I closed the link by putting /a inside of < >

I hope that’s clear.

As for that particular blog I highlighted not being Catholic enough for you or anyone else, I guess that’s not really important to me.

I sense that the writer of that blog is making an honest attempt to make sense of God in his life – his life as a Catholic gay man. I guess it’s true that it’s leading him outside the orthodox parameters of the Church, but somehow I don’t think he is outside of God’s love and guidance. But then I don’t equate the Catholic Church with the fullness of God.

Also, my experience of Catholics has been that many disagree with their Church about one thing or another, yet still consider themselves Catholic. And it seems to me that most Catholics – gay or straight – have issues with the Church’s understanding of sex. Look at how many Catholic married couples use contraception.

All of which kinda tells me that maybe the Church needs to rethink some of this stuff. No offense, but a certain part of the Church can come across as rather arrogant and indifferent to real people and their struggles.

That’s just my humble opinion as someone outside looking in.


UltraCrepidarian said...

I'm praying for you about your job, and everything.


Adoro te Devote said...

Caleb ~ I understand what you are saying...I used to be one of those people. But the reality is this: I was hit with the Truth, and the Truth, especially with regard to sexuality, is eternal. It doesn't change. The Church doesn't need to be "updated." Do you realize what would happen if the Church changed her position like most of the other Christian Churches did?

Let me tell you a story...because that's what I do best. I grew up Catholic, but then I gave into the culture and I gave into my boyfriend. My best friend had been sleeping around, doing a lot of self destructive things, and I tried to tell her that it was all beneath her; she deserved better. But she enjoyed her sexual experimentation.

And then I had my experience, and naturally, went ot my best friend, looking for support, looking for a hug, looking for understanding. I was now a member of "the club." I wasn't a "prude" anymore. I'd been "updated."

And do you know what she said to me?

She said, "Now you can't say anything to me because you're exactly the same."

I'd never before realized that she saw me as "above" all the stuff she was involved with. She actually HAD seen me as a sort of "moral authority" in her life, even though that's not what I was trying to be. And once I fell, she beat me down even further.

And that's exactly what would happen if the Church changed her position. The truth doesn't change...the job of hte Church is to elevate us to the level of God, to bring us to God, to save our souls. It is NOT the job of the Church to indulge us in our immorality and to be lax on the Truth out of convenience to us.

We have no right to try to change the Truth; for it cannot be changed.

I do understand what you are saying, but believe me, speaking as a woman who has already tried to justify my actions...I was brought home by the unchanging nature of reality.

And I'm a lot healthier for it. It's not that I don't struggle, it's not that I'm a Saint...anything but! But I can tell you that all those things that plague my friends no longer plague me because in living a life of chastity, I have been freed.

I want that for everyone...but we all need to come to that conclusion on our own. That's why groups such as Courage and Encourage are so wonderful, for they seek to help those with same sex attraction come into an understanding of chastity, and thus find God in the midst of this cross. I did not suffer SSA...thank God. But that's not to say I don't suffer my own issues. I'm no different.

But if one is to claim to be Catholic, then one must accept and try to follow the teachings of the Catholic religion. It would not do for me to, say, profess to be Baptist and yet hold that the Lord is Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist, and then go to a Baptist meeting and seek to undermine what they teach there.

What Bayley and his ilk are doing is no different. They are not Catholic. That they believe in God and seek God and are my brothers and sisters...not doubt. But Catholic? No.

If you are interestd, go to and look for "Didache". This is a document which was the first catechism; these are the teachings of the apostles, and it carries heavy reference to scripture. The morality of the Didache has not changed...the very teachings there are still present today in the Catholic Church. It has not changed.

Jesus promised that the Gate of Hell would not prevail, and indeed, in spite of our bad Popes, in spite of bad times and abuses of power in the Church, no bad Pope has EVER changed the teachings on Faith and Morals...for over 2,000 years!

Look to other religions...up until, I think, the 1930's, EVERY SINGLE CHRISTIAN RELIGION was AGAINST the usage of contraception. EVERY ONE!

Then, one by one, each denomination took a vote and decided that truth was fluid.

Do you realize that many of these same religions are now turning back towards life and are beginning to preach AGAINST the use of contraception?

Do you realize who contracaption impacts the most? Women. It infects our bodies, there is a definite link to breast cancer and other cancers, it has caused miscarriages, and basically has given men license to use us as objects.

No, thank you. I will follow the teachings of the Church because I'm sick of being an object. I'm sick of a man assuming that I'm going to put out, that man demanding that I should be on the pill. Condoms don't stop anything; they are a fallacy, and all they introduce is a barrier between true union of couples who should be "one flesh".

Read JPII's "Love and Responsibility", and after that, Theology of the Body.

I'll be honest; I haven't gotten through either, but I lived it and I will profess to my dying day that contraception is harmful not just to the individual, but to society.

Pleaase rethink your position; I am a woman harmed by what you profess, and I will suffer the scars to my dying day. I will not post all I have suffered so I will not go into any further detail. Instead, I ask you, as a fellow human being, a brother in Christ, to please listen to my words, hear my pain, and realize that what you believe about contraception is comprised of lies. Please learn more see the truth, and see the harm caused.

I will never be the same. Damn feminism; it's done nothing but make us slaves to the whims of men.

This, from a former feminist.

And I realized that before my conversion.

Caleb said...


Thanks for sharing your story with such honesty. It gives me a much greater understanding of where you're coming from and why a faith tradition like the Roman Catholic Church is so important to you.

You'll be in my prayers as you continue your job search.


Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

Adoro.... I think you were very right to say no to the Collections job. That poor recruiter probably has to follow up every single avenue as nobody stays in the jobs she is recruiting for. Her stress level must be high too.
All the best, and hope something part-time comes up soon to cover basic costs, and give you time for study!

Ray from MN said...



The Wild Reed blog belongs to Michael Bayly, the organizer and promoter of the Pentecost Sunday Rainbow demonstrations by homosexuals at the St Paul Cathedral. He is the executive director of a Minneapolis organization called "Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities."

His blog contains a photo of one of the most obscene and sacrilegious sculptures imagineable of Our Lord, entitled "Corpus Christi" It also contains nude pictures of men and is in no way trying to be "making an honest attempt to make sense of God in his life."

He is trying to justify his perverted and hedonistic life to others to provide for himself some merit and reason for living.

He writes well and knows all the correct words, but in his use of them they have definitions and inclusiveness that real Catholics would not suspect.

Caleb said...

Ray, are we talking about the same blog site?

Hey, I get it that the guy has a different perspective on the whole gay thing, but who are you to say that he’s not trying to make an “honest attempt to make sense of God in his life”?

You know you’re totally supporting my earlier observation that parts of your Church come across as arrogant and insensitive to the struggles of others.

I only visited the Wild Reed a few times, but I’ve yet to come across "obscene sacrilegious sculptures" or "nude pictures of men." I’m not saying these things mightn’t be somewhere on his blog, but they don’t seem to be what the blog is all about. I’ve found some of the writing to be quite interesting and informative, and hardly the product of a “perverted and hedonistic life.” And to be fair, if your going to denounce the guy for such things because of pictures he posts, you should provide the appropriate urls so we can verify your charge and judge for ourselves.

You come across as bad-mouthing this guy because he doesn’t share your views.

And finally, for someone who has such strong feelings about the guy and his site, you seem to know a lot about them. What’s all that about?


Hidden One said...

Warning: material this link pertains to has been found offensive.