Fall has always been a difficult time of the year. I love the beauty as the trees change their colors and the temperatures are quite comfortable, but Fall is a difficult time of the year for those who are prone to depression. As the days grow shorter many people start experiencing feelings of discouragement, depression, and despair. Sickness also seems quite prevalent during the fall. This has been the situation for many in my family.
Losing a job is never easy, but is can be even more devastating when your job is in ministry. After all, the church functions like a support system. You can go to your church family for prayers and encouragement. But when you are employed by the church, it is amazing how quickly people can pull away from you without even understanding what’s taken place. Nobody is accusing me of wrong doing. My only offense, if any, is questioning a traditional interpretation of Scripture. It’s amazing how quickly a person can go from being respected to being rejected without so much as a hearing. I once felt significant, but now I just feel alone.
The last couple weeks have been very busy for me. I went up north to see my mother because we’ve had that planned for a while now. When we returned, Paula started getting sick, and my daughter started having some reactions to a medication. So I’ve been in Searcy helping with the granddaughter, and Paula has been home desperately trying to breathe.
The job search has been continuing the whole time. Now days everything is done over the internet. It doesn’t matter if you are applying for a church position or a company position, you apply on-line. Since I refuse to move farther aways from daughter, that really limits the jobs available with a church. Job hunting is a very discouraging process. You can spend the day filling out applications without ever knowing much about the position you’re applying for or how much it pays.
I was able to find a trucking company that is willing to take a chance on me. I kept my CDL, but very few companies will hire a driver who hasn’t driven a big truck in over 2 1/2 years for obvious reasons. Every trucking company who hires a driver is required to give a driving test, so I’m a bit fearful that the first time I’ll be getting behind the wheel of a semi in 2 1/2 years will be to take a driving test. If I can’t pass the test, I will be remaining jobless. If I do pass, I get to roam the countries highways for a couple weeks before I get to be able to see my wife for a few days. The road is a lonely place filled with lonely people. I’m well acquainted with the lifestyle. I’ve been on the road a lot since I was a teenager. But I will take loneliness over joblessness and remain grateful for it.
So, I begin a new chapter in my life’s story. I have no idea where all this is leading. I’ve tried to serve God to the best of my ability, and will continue trying; but it is obvious a door has been shut here in Mena. I’m not sure where the new path is leading. I just know that it looks really dark, deserted, and scary. Rich Mullins in the song “Hold Me Jesus,” communicates so well how I feel right now.
Well, sometimes my life
Just don’t make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small
So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace
And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It’s so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart
Surrender don’t come natural to me
I’d rather fight You for something
I don’t really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I’ve beat my head against so many walls
Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees