Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Get It

In order to successfully navigate through job loss in a bad economy, what we wanted from Countrywide, our mortgage company, is a forbearance. We know of such a thing because of my sister's circumstances. As part of her divorce settlement she is under a forbearance from her mortgage company, which enables them to both pay $250/mo of their $1400 mortgage payment, until their house sells. At such time they pay the back payments, along with a $50/mo fee. I've finally learned (because of confusion about the government foreclosure prevention program, versus what I was inquiring about) that to take advantage of a forbearance, we have to have some income coming into the house. So, like many currently looking for jobs, we are hoping to obtain AT LEAST temporary or part-time work, so that companies like Countrywide can work with us to minimize the impact of job loss, and the recession, on our way of life.

Don has experience in two fields - building maintenance/cleaning, and direct-care work with the mentally challenged. His degree is in theology, which never amounted to anything financially, because he doesn't have the set of skills necessary to be a pastor. He didn't get good vocational counseling or encouragement from his family (mom died and dad is dysfunctional). His gifts point to Biblical Counseling, but we've found that counseling isn't something churches invest in. Pastors usually do it along side their other duties, whether they are actually equipped for it or not. I suppose that's why Christian marriages are at, or were recently at, a 51% divorce rate?

Whatever Don does with church work will apparently have to be as a lay person, when he has sufficient time to invest, and when we've been established in a church for a good length of time. Although, the idea of missionary work is still on my radar. It isn't on Don's mind, so perhaps I will do it temporarily someday, as an old widow? Who knows?

One of the tasks I've accomplished is looking into temporary health care for the children, for use when our company insurance runs out. I've had the opportunity to become familiar with the Job and Family Services website, and in doing so, I've gathered some idea of how our current welfare system is structured. It appears to me to be a good system as it stands now, having been reformed during the Clinton years, with Newt Gingrich as his partner, among others. It is set up so that families are encouraged and equipped to move out of the system as quickly as possible.

A lot of back and forth dialogue is occurring right now regarding the building up of a welfare, cradle-to-the-grave society, under the new Administration. I have never been one of the mean Republicans who begrudge people their food stamps. Through my employment in an economically-disadvantaged school district (12 years), I've seen clearly that a level playing field doesn't exist. Sean Hannity, a conservative from Fox News, said recently that "there is equal opportunity for all, but equal opportunity doesn't guarantee equal outcome." Although I like Sean and agree with much of what he says, I can't agree about the equal opportunity comment. What about disabled people? What about people raised in dysfunctional homes, resulting in multiple strikes against them? Yes, there are many stories of people overcoming bad circumstances, but that overcoming may, in part, be God's design for some, but not for others. The Bible tells me that God wants hardship for some, to fulfill his own goals.

I'm probably digressing here, but it seems to me that the best model for our country would be a flat tax, since it closely resembles the Biblical model of the ten percent tithe. Not surprisingly, Governor Huckabee, a former pastor, advocates this as well. If everyone gave ten percent, there wouldn't be as much tax cheating. The country would take in more revenue, allowing it to help the poor without breaking the treasury and selling our country to China, who holds most of our debt. It would be best if the government weren't involved in helping the poor; churches would be better at it. Sure, there would be some corruption, but not as much. Few people believe in tithing, however.

My husband has permanent double vision, caused by an eye-muscle surgery done when he was seven years old. He can't do anything requiring depth perception, and wouldn't be accepted by the military, the postal service, etc. As well, he has what I believe is un-diagnosed ADD, causing him to have a lot of difficulty with details and multi-tasking, planning and prioritizing. It is a sore subject; I've only brought it up about three times in our ten year marriage. He doesn't agree with me at all, so I no longer raise the subject.

He has the ability to support a family, but he has to work longer hours to do so, and use his physical body more than anything else. I don't see him as having the same opportunity as those who are completely whole, physically. Each time he has to look for work, it can be discouraging and demoralizing. I see Don as God sees him, but the person across the desk in job interviews doesn't. Leaving good first impressions and having an impressive resume aren't his strong points. Being a wonderful person, husband and father are. He's been my soul mate for ten years, and the bond between us, and our dedication to our family, keeps on growing - thanks to the God-designed roads we've traveled. We both feel closer to one other since receiving the job-loss bombshell.

We are praying, among other things, for ingenuity - a way to support our family that isn't conventional. Like an invention, maybe. Neither of us has a head for business though, so a little divine intervention might be nice right about now.

We live in such a Godless society, don't we? It's easy to be under the impression that we actually control our own destiny.

James 4:13-16 tells us:
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."

I get it God. If I didn't get it before, I surely do now.

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