Monday, November 22, 2010

Huddling

I went for a walk yesterday over chilled, spongy hills. Grasses, the color of Thanksgiving, leaned in the foggy wind. They seemed alive, somehow, marching in from the four corners of the hills to huddle together, a congregation united.

As it turns out, another job - one I'd been hoping for, actually - materialized before I'd ever lost the one that's kept me stressed since January. I finalized the deal on Friday. I'm in the oil and gas brokerage business; in short, I find land and mineral (oil and gas) owners for domestic oil companies and help smooth out the legalities so the two can ink an agreement to drill. It requires endless travel, endless complications. I dislike it in the way a child dislikes the home he wants to run away from: you want to leave, but where would you go?

I'm off to Kansas after Thanksgiving. Instead of grumbling that I'll be in a hotel, miles away from home during the holidays, I'll be thankful: I have a job. God is good no matter where I am.

I was thinking today of all the folks who are out of work, who aren't finding jobs despite long, ego-beating searches. And I was thinking that I want to hear their stories. I'm not the compassionate God - I can't shoulder your burden - but maybe if we all huddle together... if we trudge up the hills from the four corners and congregate together... together we can help lighten loads.

So here's the deal: if you or someone you know is really struggling financially, I want to hear about it. We want to listen, to encourage, to pray. Everyone, please pitch in. This is my front porch, and we'll all rock and share and have a good cry and come away, lighter than before. Comment here, anonymously if you'd like. Tell your story; share your burdens. And in two weeks, we'll meet back here and read through the stories and figure out a way to stand together and brave the wind.

Blessings- Brin

22 comments:

Adrienne said...

Thanking the Lord for the way He provides. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend. We have much to be thankful for - we are blessed!
~Adrienne~

Chrysanthemama said...

I'm so thankful that He is providing you with a job!

Vee said...

What a generous offer, Brin. My hope is that there'll be those who will take you up on it because I have always believed that burdens shared are burdens divided. I'm so glad that you were able to find a job so quickly. It sounds like a promising thing that domestic oil companies are looking for acquisitions. I'd like to pray that the economy improves enough that people are able to spend money on home improvements in my community. That's what my husband does for work and the job opportunities have been few and far between.

Alena said...

Congrats on the new job! I am so happy for you that God worked this out; I've been praying hard since your last post.

My story: My husband and I married in 2007 - we are now approaching our fourth anniversary - and we have experienced non-stop financial and health adversity. God has always made a way for us, for which I am eternally grateful, but lately the stress has been getting to me. We have spent the last two years living with grandparents in Wyoming, helping them out, and grateful for a warm place to sleep; now we are trying to pull together the resources to move to northern Illinois to be closer to family, and where there are better and more opportunities. In a few minutes, I am heading downtown to talk to an old employer about going back to work for her, and I have mixed feelings about it. I have severe post-traumatic stress disorder, and a little over a year ago, I ran (literally) from that place, after suffering a nervous breakdown (a coworker was harrassing me, and I finally snapped). Now I have to go back, so that we can afford to move. Meanwhile, my husband has a very bad knee, that is only getting worse; yesterday, he came home and had to crawl up the stairs to our room because the knee wouldn't support his weight. His grandpa recently moved into a home because of his poor health, but last night we found out he may be coming back - neither of us feel this is safe for him, and I am terribly worried because I know my husband won't save his knee when it comes to his grandpa. And around all of this, we are being sued (again) by a debt collection company because they won't work within our means and want $200 a month "or else"!

As I write this, I realize my primary feeling is numbness, and a deep abiding sorrow. God has pulled us through worse, and He will pull us through this, I am sure. But of course that never makes it easy.

Thank you for asking, Brinn...it's good to have a friend.

Alena said...

Congrats on the new job! I am so happy for you that God worked this out; I've been praying hard since your last post.

My story: My husband and I married in 2007 - we are now approaching our fourth anniversary - and we have experienced non-stop financial and health adversity. God has always made a way for us, for which I am eternally grateful, but lately the stress has been getting to me. We have spent the last two years living with grandparents in Wyoming, helping them out, and grateful for a warm place to sleep; now we are trying to pull together the resources to move to northern Illinois to be closer to family, and where there are better and more opportunities. In a few minutes, I am heading downtown to talk to an old employer about going back to work for her, and I have mixed feelings about it. I have severe post-traumatic stress disorder, and a little over a year ago, I ran (literally) from that place, after suffering a nervous breakdown (a coworker was harrassing me, and I finally snapped). Now I have to go back, so that we can afford to move. Meanwhile, my husband has a very bad knee, that is only getting worse; yesterday, he came home and had to crawl up the stairs to our room because the knee wouldn't support his weight. His grandpa recently moved into a home because of his poor health, but last night we found out he may be coming back - neither of us feel this is safe for him, and I am terribly worried because I know my husband won't save his knee when it comes to his grandpa. And around all of this, we are being sued (again) by a debt collection company because they won't work within our means and want $200 a month "or else"!

As I write this, I realize my primary feeling is numbness, and a deep abiding sorrow. God has pulled us through worse, and He will pull us through this, I am sure. But of course that never makes it easy.

Thank you for asking, Brinn...it's good to have a friend.

Kathleen Grace said...

I am so glad that God provided that new job for you Brin! As it happens, my husband was laid off from his work as a project manager for a civil engineering firm two years ago. Since the housing mkt. has crashed there aren't a lot of new homes being built, so no jobs. He has taken a part time job and went back to school full time to improve his credentials and he graduates in a few weeks. Through it all God has provided. Tuition for him, for me, for our daughter in college. Anonymous gift cards and cash through the mail from our church family, it's all fine and its all because of Gods care and provision. We feel so loved and we have always pinched a mean penny so we just pinch harder. That doesn't mean we haven't been able to give and share our resources with other though and we are constantly amazed at God's love and care. Just keep trusting in his love and care Brin, I know he has something special for you.

Hugs
Kathy

kerrie said...

I did a post last week of my walk in the fog.

My husband is in the construction business. And though he is as high up as you can go before owning the Company he was laid off last December. He was then re-hired for less than half his pay in Spring... and laid off again in October. It has been scary at times and stressful but for the most part we have learned to lean(grasp) on to God and trust like never before. I have been a stay-at-home mama for 20 yrs. I homeschooled my kiddos for 15 yrs. Have been looking for part-time work since last year. Though I have a B.A degree I am not getting hired. I've applied for retail positions for minimum wage and don't get hired. Thankfully we do not have any debts except our house payment. Being in our 40's we don't want to lose our home. We bought it to remain for the rest of our years. We know that all things belong to HIM and try to rest in the fact that this home really belongs to HIM and He will let us remain if it is His will. We are choosing to be thankful, hopeful, and cheerful. These are hard times, but we can remain enclosed in the comfort of His embrace(safely hidden in His wounded side)and love one another completely. It is in times like these that we can choose to care for one another or harm. Will we give or will we take? I am believing love will prevail. I believing greed will fall away as we face the truth in that we need one another.

Thank you Brin for caring. I am grateful you still have a job. Maybe you can visit the IHOP in KC while you are in Kansas. ox~ kerrie

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

God is so good! I'm thrilled for you Brin and what a wonderful idea!
I'm writing about a friend/neighbor who just found out by a email that her husband has left her and their 2 kids, no reason given. She's a stay at home mom and has no idea what to do or where to go! I'm trying to help her in any way I can, it's hard. Her whole world, as she knew it changed over night and she has no clue to as why? They will lose the house in 30 days as he has not paid any bills in months, this also coming to light and who knows what else? Please help me pray for Mary! Bless you Brin!

tiffany said...

Wow, this is such an encouraging post, thanks so much for sharing with all of your readers, even the "silent" ones lol
Being out of work and hanging on by an ever-thinning thread, I also hang on to hope that as with most things, right when you're ready to give up something always comes along. Or at least I hope that will be my case, and so many others....
Congratulations on the new job, I wish you all the best!!! And to all of those that are still out there looking, hang on tight, no matter how thin that thread seems...

Feisty said...

I worked in construction (and I'm a girl!) for about 5 years and got laid off Jan 31, 2009. My job had used me up and drained me physically and mentally to the point I was considering crashing my car on the endless commute just to make it stop.

I had money saved up, and spent months recovering, and then about a year looking for work. I got a job about 3 months ago. I praise God for it, but I also ask Him to move me somewhere else - I'm working at half my previous pay, bored to death, no advancement and bosses that lie and play mind games. But to get a paycheck is a gift.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have been incredibly blessed since our marriage in 2004 - we have four children and we own our home, have no debt and quite a nice amount in savings. At the beginning of this year, we had no savings and $5,000 in debt (thank you, Dave Ramsey and The Total Money Makeover!). We see God's provision through the length of our marriage and know He is present with us.

The hard thing is watching others close to us suffering financially and not being able to help. It's one thing to give a gift when you can, it's another to completely hold someone up financially.

My younger sister had a child at seventeen, was diagnosed with Graves disease (thyroid) two years after that and married the following year. She has enormous medical debt and she and her husband seem to be living paycheck to paycheck even though they make decent money, work like crazy and have low rent. The main problem seems to be siblings/parents who drain their finances every time they seem to get ahead. My sister was also a victim of identity theft and cannot open a bank account because of what someone did with her social security number. Now they have found out that their son has Aspergers, which may require even more money to deal with.

I know my sister dreams of having another child (their son is five) and owning her own home, but it just seems that she cannot get ahead of her debt and SSN issues.

Please pray for Mike and Jenny!!

Anonymous said...

I am not married, not even close. I don't have a boyfriend. I am not in school. I am 20 years old and am working at two very dead end jobs.

God has gave and taken away. Sometimes while I am at work, I feel an incredible feeling of stress sweep over me. I should be in school, I don't want to be making min. wage for the rest of my life. But - I just don't feel brave enough or smart enough to dive into school. And what if I don't want to go to school? Then what? Am I going to be struggling with money for the rest of my life because I was never smart enough to go to school?

I know God has a plan, but - I just pray he gives me direction and guidance while I figure this out. Because He and I both know I can't work around the clock for so little for much longer. :(

Anonymous said...

I've been single and struggling for 10 yrs now and I'm so exhausted emotionally, physically, spiritually...that I've retreated into a shell where I simply isolate myself and hope not to feel anything at all..

Then today I was outside and I suddenly said out loud "I really don't belong here anymore and I can't stand what this world has become..it truly grieves my spirit and I have nothing left to give " and as I looked up at the sky after saying this...there above me were two gigantic trails from airplanes ..perfectly forming a cross..coincidence? I don't think so....I think it was a reminder..He is here...no matter what..He's still here ...and it's not about me or my life..but about His....

Anonymous said...

Generous? You just want to see the hurt and pain other people are in - and gloat about it - shame!!!!!

If god is so all-fired good why doesn't he stop this foolishness from happening to people? Don't tell me that gibberish about god only giving you what you can bear. What kind of father torments his children to their breaking limit just so he can say - nah nah nah - I did this to you and now you must tell everyone how good I am. That is harassment and abuse - and in humans it is illegal - no thank you - I don't need that sort of garbage in my life.

You can keep your creepy god.

And don't tell me to beware about speaking this way about a vengeful, mean god - I have believed this my whole life and my life is good.

Is god good - or vengeful and jealous - you can't be both. I'm just glad I'm out of that horrid rat-race called religion that I was raised in - and saw first hand how mean your god is.

Anonymous said...

I knew you wouldn't post my previous comment - just the ones showing how awful and mean your god is - reducing people to their lowest level and then laughing at them as they lose their houses and their families - all the while the stupid idiots still cling to the phrase - I know god has a purpose - what a bunch of donkies (my apologies to the smarter animal, donkies). If a heavenly father treated me like that I'd be madder than H***. What a bunch of morons for not seeing that this is no where near truth - just blubbering and whining and expecting others and "god" to fix stuff that they messed up. And maybe a little sympathy and some free money along the way - buncha beggars. True religion is going out and doing something - not standing around begging a non-existant god to give us what we want.

Anonymous said...

Brin you are one amazing human being ! What a lovely child of God you are. Such an encourager. Thank you. What a blessing for you to have this new job !! My daughter is unable to work at a "normal" hour type job because of traumatic stress syndrome and has been refused disability. She does have a doctors letter and a lawyer .......Lord knows. Also, we are about out of savings trying to help her and she will have to rent, sell, leave her home soon and wants to stay with a female friend . She does not feel to come home at this time. We love the Lord and look to Him and Trust that He knows and cares and that is enough. There is alway a light at the end of a trial as your blog has shown over and yes over again. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Indeed , God has blessed.

Kathleen Grace said...

Poor anonymous up there! Her (His?) "life is good" but there is sure a lot of anger, and bitterness and hate in the comments left. Too bad that person
A. doesn't have the guts to put their name on their comment, and
B. has to spew vitriol and meaness when people are sharing honestly and openly. It's ok to disagree, but disagreeing respectfully and kindly is how people of character do it.

Alena said...

To the anonymous commenter who thinks that Brinn has bad motives for the invitation to share our struggles:

I am very sorry that you feel so strongly about this - that God is false and mean. You must have been hurt badly by the people that claimed to follow Him when you were younger, otherwise I doubt you would be so angry about it. Please consider that just because some people use God to justify their poor behavior does not mean that God condones what they do! As many people are fond of pointing out, much harm has been done in the name of God - but that doesn't mean that God was the one doing the atrocities - man is more than capable of such evil on his own. As our legal system has shown, a child molester can say that the child attacked him or that God made him do it, but the fault lies with the criminal, not with the innocent child or with God. Just because bad things are attributed to God does not make it so.

As to Brinn being malicious in her intent, that is absurd! It does the soul good to be able to say "this hurts" and have someone caring listen.

Anonymous poster, please do not continue to sully this beautiful blog with accusations. If you are concerned, ask questions, don't point fingers. If your motivation is not merely to harrass, this should not be an issue. May God show Himself to you and draw you to His side - He loves you, and wants to heal your wounded heart.

Anonymous said...

My husband was downsized out of his job four years ago. He hasn't been able to get another job full time in his career since then (graphic design). We have had to rely on food stamps at times (not now) to feed us and our two boys. I have been a stay-at-home mom for 13 years. My husband now is working part time but it isn't enough.

We really just don't know what to do. We ask ourselves, should we move to another state? Should he go back to school? How would he afford tuition? Since he already has a bachelor's degree, he doesn't qualify for any grants, etc. I would love to be able to work from home but am unable to find the work to do.

One of the hardest parts is that all around us - friends, family, neighbors - everyone seems to be doing well and going on vacations, paying their bills, decorating their homes, etc. while we struggle endlessly. At times we feel bitter towards them even though it certainly is not their fault that they're doing well!

Anyways, that's our story.

Anonymous said...

Brin, you would make an awesome minister or psychologist. You really have a talent for empathy, reaching out to others, and giving people hope.
If the oil business ever tires you out, just thought you ought to know. =)

Kurtzhals said...

Can't help but giggle JUST a little bit at the anger, bitterness, and hatred that "so happy, life is so good" shares with us up there. Kind of cracks me up actually.
My friend is hurting financially with her husband and 2 sweet kids. We help her by hiring her to clean for us (something I don't need but will do so that she can feel useful and make wages). She is an amazing Christian woman and is just a light to everyone she meets.
I pray for her family often, their struggle is constant it seems and it never ceases. But you know what, each day, she thanks God for something different. Somedays it's their beautiful family, health, happiness, friends, food....there is always something to be thankful for.
We don't always understand the hard times but anyone that has given their life to Christ knows that eventually someday it will all make sense. When that day happens it's like a lightbulb goes off and once you've learned that lesson or reached that goal, it was all worth the hurt, pain and struggle.
Glad the job worked out for you, have fun seeing a little more of the states, and seeing how God is using you in others' lives.

Anonymous said...

Oh what an answer to prayer. We are trying to manage on a VERY small amount left over for food each week. Nothing left for luxeries such as clothes (I revamp what I already own). We have debts-partly through our own fault although not all. It seems endless and I do trust that He will provide -even so we would like so much to be debt free.