Well, this time last week I was experiencing some elation as I finally completed my academic work and earned the Master of Divinity degree (MDiv) after eight long years of work.
Now I am frustrated….here is why
1) We received our lease renewal notice and the rent has been raised to $1110.00 contingent on us signing another year lease. This is frustrating because we do not think that this place is worth $1110.00.
2) Where I work, the entire company is on a common review date (June 1) and we get our pay raises (?) and performance evaluations before June 1. Not sure how generous pay raises will be this year. Last year, they were very small and whatever increase one received was eaten up by taxes and higher costs. Trying to budget for the remainder of this year has been difficult in addition to trying to figure out what we can afford in rent for the coming year.
3) Trying to find a decent, clean, safe place for me and my family to live in is difficult. We do not feel lead to sign any long term leases because we do not want to lock ourselves in here because there could be potential opportunities for full-time vocational ministry that we would not be able to take advantage of if we were committed here long-term. Most places that we have looked at are quite expensive (if I was going to pay that much, I might as well buy a house!) and if one wants to rent for a term shorter than a year (6 or 9 months) then you are taken for another $40-50 a month onto the rent that is already cost-prohibitive.
4) We are also praying about full-time vocational ministry opportunities (pastoral, etc) now that I am finished with my educational pursuits for the time being (I did not get accepted at SBTS and not sure if I will ever be able to pursue a doctorate from a reputable institution)
5) We are trying to decide whether or not to enroll Joseph in K-4 for next year.
We have a lot of things that seem to be converging all at once and we are trying to be spiritual about all of this.
Wishing that we :
knew someone who owned a house or condo and would rent it to us month to month for an affordable, reasonable rate without wanting us to lock ourselves in to the area for a year or more.
knew a church that would want to hire me for full-time ministry, thereby solving the uncertainty that is faced by not knowing what or where I am supposed to go and what I am supposed to do.
knew what our financial situation was going to be so we could make better, more informed decisions.
We know that none of these things are a surprise to God, even though they have rocked our world so to speak. We are trying to respond appropriately and trying to learn what God would have us learn in the midst of these converging events/trials.
I guess it is okay to dream….and then reality sets in.