Thursday, October 16, 2008

Poor Old Job

Job 8:11-13

Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water?
While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass.
Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.

SO PERISHES THE HOPE OF THE GODLESS. Remember what I was saying about hope?

Job 9:14 & 15

"How then can I dispute with him? How can I find words to argue with him?
Though I were innocent, I could not answer him; I could only plead with my Judge for mercy.

Job 9:27-35

If I say, 'I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile,'
I still dread all my sufferings, for I know you will not hold me innocent.
Since I am already found guilty, why should I struggle in vain?
Even if I washed myself with soap and my hands with washing soda,
you would plunge me into a slime pit so that even my clothes would detest me.
"He is not a man like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court.
If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both,
someone to remove God's rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more.
Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.


Punishment

I find myself being punished more severly now. Everything is going wrong. Especially at the store. The downturn & I mean hard downturn came Saturday. My store only did a paltry sad amount. Never heard of. A lemonade stand probably did more business. Then came Sunday. Ah, yes Sunday. My grandest day of rebellion against God, for which I was ashamed but could not stop myself.

As I had to leave the church parking lot (long story, see previous posts) not 10 seconds after I pulled into it & had my little breakdown. Then as I got to the driveway I had a meltdown. I think I am due. So I declared to the household that I was giving up on being good. What has it ever gotton me but misery I declared. Maybe I will be evil now I said. Knowing of course that I could not be evil but I couldn't stop myself. I was furious. I can't even get to freakin church without a drive through Hell. So I ranted & ranted with tears streaming down my face. I declared my stance that I would not go back to church. I was tired of living in misery. I was tired of being left out of everything & being made fun of .... for what. God seems to not even hear me anymore. I was tired of begging Him for mercy & Him not answering.

Well.... if I though sales were bad before..... I didn't know nuttin. Is this my punishment? I am even having a buy one get one half off sale for pete's sake. Signs all over the front of the store. One person bought 2 things for a total of $9. Only one other person even came in. Are you kidding me? I sold nothing yesterday & this is the worst week of traffic I have had EVER. Buy One Get One Half Off... I should be busy. Way busy.

I have felt guilty for my rant aloud to God. I have felt guilty I did not go back to church Sunday, I didn't go Wednesday either. What the hell am I doing? I am a lost little sheep. So I guess I have to be punished some more now. I guess I deserve it. But I know people who rant or don't live for Him at all, they're okay. I feel like I'm always being punished.

I like the part of Job where he wished he could talk to God. He was so miserable, I can hardly read that book it is so painful. I can't even begin to imagine his losses & his physical pain. His torment.... what had he done? Nothing. What have I done... nothing. God did not answer his cries. He doesn't answer me either. What is a girl to do?

The weird thing is that I know God is real. I really really do. But something inside me keeps saying that He isn't real. That he couldn't be real... it keeps showing me all the conflicting verses of the Bible. Ones that promise things if you do things... but then shows contradictions. Especially the one where God says He will have mercy on whom He chooses. I am fighting that off & don't know where it is coming from. I know Satan & his fallen angels are real too but I shudder to think I have one on my tail whispering in my ear. EWWWWW... gross. Go away. I wouldn't EVEN want to know what it looks like. Yuck.

Back to the verses. The first one. Such is the destiny of those who forget God. So perishes the hope of the godless. I can't believe how this keeps coming back to me. Remember what I was saying about Fear. Fear being defined by the absense of Hope. Am I supposed to keep my hope? Duh. I know the correct answer. This is probably so easy & I can't focus enough to get it. Duh. Is God talking to me or not? Man... why can't he just email me or speak clearly? Hope Hope Hope. I didn't realize until last night that I keep saying "There's no hope" & "I can't live anymore". I didn't realize it but I say these things a lot. My life is pretty miserable. Yada yada. I have mentioned the baby who whines constantly right? Oh & now he likes to pour glasses over onto the floor if he can & he absolutley loves & lives to drink from his sippy cup & then spew out the juice ALL OVER US!!! ALL over my furniture & my windows. Fun. Hope just keeps coming up. How long can one hope & hope only to be disappointed every day that it doesn't come. Or a small mercy comes but now one big enough to take it away. Frustrated!

I said something to a good Christian friend today... about being stressed that my candidate may not win. Her reply was not to worry about anything. God is in control & none of this surprises Him. It was so simple. But it kind of tick me off too. I hate that canned answer. So okay... I shouldn't worry about anything. I can just lose my store, be sued, not worry about hubby getting enough work & lose my house, file bankruptcy & not worry at all because God is not surprised by it. Only a person with no problems could say that without laughing. Which of course she has none to speak of. Well off, doesn't have to work, kids are older, doting hubby, etc. Oh how I wish I could be that free to trust that way again.

I don't know what made me come back today. No clue. Stupid blog.

I just had the third person for the day come in. I close in an hour. Thank heavens she bought something. A giraffe stapler & tape dispenser. A grand day of less than $25. Isn't punishment fun? Is this punishment? People must be blind to the store. How can they not see Buy One Get One Half off.... then when I told the lady who just left about the sale she said she didn't see the posters. I also have 10 8x10 signs all throughout the store at eye level saying buy one get one... Then when she got to the register & I mentioned that I was taking half off one of the items, she's all like oh yeah I forgot you said that. Okay.... how does a woman not recal buy one get one....? She must be... they all must be blinded to it.

2 comments:

Tasha said...

I LOVE YOU, JENNIFER TOMLINSON WALKER. But more importantly than that, I want you to know something else. GOD LOVES YOU MORE.

Tasha Simons said...

Jenny,

There's so much I want to tell you that I'm at a loss for words. More than anything, I wish I could just give you a big hug and help you feel God's love envelope you during this difficult time. Last night, i couldn't sleep as I was just thinking about you. I've never read anyone's blog before unless you count Anderson Cooper. I read CNN each day for the most part so I inevitably end up reading Larry King Live or Anderson Cooper as we don't have cable and it keeps me up on what's happening in the world. Today, I have computer training and I will ask Suzy about blogs, what they are, how to subscribe to them, etc. I've spent much time reading your blog and trying to catch up on your life. I'm so glad you've kept a blog. I'll call it a faith journal as that is what it has been for you. It sounds like it has been a safe place for you to share your heart, speak freely, and write raw and uncensored. You go girl! God can handle your honesty, transparency and genuine thoughts and feelings. The Psalms are filled with those who pour out their thoughts and feelings. You joined the Psalmist in writing out poetry to God and bearing your soul to him. I think that's awesome. It's my hope he will show up in your life in some unexpected way and you'll feel his peace and presence. It's my prayer he will meet you where you are at. Continue to seek him and you will find him as he does reveal himself to us when we seek him with all our hearts as you have. Jenny, you have had many losses throughout your life. You have wisely identified that you are grieving a loss. You've named several losses in this blog. You've talked about the loss of your first marriage, the loss of your home to Hurricane Andrew, the loss concerning your daughter, the loss concerning your church, the loss concerning your freedom when your parents moved in and/or when you briefly moved in with your in-laws, the loss concerning your financial freedom, the loss of your figure, and the loss of various relationships or friendships throughout your life. You are grieving many losses and I'm sorry for that. Where is God when it hurts? Is he good? Why me? He's there, Jenn, and he can handle the questions. I've found that at times he calls me to live the questions, and in that, he gives me answers. Maybe he answers differently than I expected, but if you continue to ask him, I believe he will meet you where you are at. Sometimes, remembering how he has proved faithful in times past helps us have faith now. Can you think of ways he has helped you deal with these losses in the past? Can you think of ways he's been faithful when life hurts? This will help you as you continue to face lifes challenges. Jenny, you have chosen to live a BRAVE life. In life, we have a choice to live BRAVE OR SAFE. When you chose to open this business in faith, you chose to live a BRAVE life. Sure, it would have been safer to stay at Publix earning 65k, but at what price? It wasn't working for you.... you took a risk and it involved a leap of faith on your part. God has stretched you and challenged you in ways you couldn't imagine. You've matured and grown in your faith as a result. I'm sure it hasn't been easy or fun, but I sure admire your choice to take the brave route and live out your dream. How much better to risk and find it didn't work out than to never have the experience of owing your store. You have a lot to be proud of regardless of the outcome. You can hold your head high regardless and take pride in the choice you've made. Life is about process not outcome. It's about the journey, not the destination. You really could have had one kid (safe), but you have 4 (brave). You really could have lived with just your husband and kids (safe) but you took a risk and built a house to include your parents with handicap access and all for them (brave). We continually face a choice and what I see is a woman of courage. You have courage, Jenn. You are not some meek, mild woman...you are a woman of faith and courage and I respect and admire that. Now, let's talk about the body image issue just a bit. My hope for you is that you love and accept your body as it is in this moment.... not as it will be when you lose weight but as it is today. Think about the miracle of how it functions and how your legs get you from where you are to where you want to be. Find a way to affirm yourself as you are now. That's so critical. When you put yourself down and say negative things about your body, your telling God that what he made is not adequate. You are created it the image of God. You reflect God's glory. You're not junk. You are the daughter of a king. Christ died for you, Jenn. If there was only one person on earth and it was you, Jesus would have been nailed to that cross and willingly died. Accept your worth in Christ and please don't weigh your self-esteem. I think weekly weigh ins are helpful and accountability is helpful but rejecting yourself hurts you. We live in a fat phobic culture and I hate that. God's ways are not the world's ways. You have full acceptance in Christ. Don't look to the world to tell you who you are. Look to Jesus. Now, I want you to focus on your self-talk and challenge your thoughts when you put yourself down. If you challenge each negative comment inside, it will be easier to challenge ones by size 3 in your gym class. Now here are some practical tips from my weight loss experience. 1. Write everything you eat down including the portion size to increase awareness. 2. Start your day with a fruit or vegetable so you focus on nutrition and not taste throughout the day. 3. Eat when you first wake up as it gets your metablism going. 4. Ideally, walk when you first wake up even if it's 10 minutes for the same reason. 5. Sugarbusters is a book at the library that helped me lose weight. It's the diabetic diet and my doctor recommended it though I am not diabetic. In a nutshell, sugar makes you crave more sugar which leads to weight gain...that's a total oversimplification but if you eat foods low in glycemic index, it helps with weight loss. That's enough of my tips for now. I wish you the best in healthy eating and in reaching your weight loss goals. You have been thin and fit all your life until these recent years and you can use that to motivate you to get there again. That's what I did. I knew what it felt like to be in shape and used that to help me know I could be there again. I think it's great you are using your blog for support and motivation to eat healthy and make good choices. Well, I'm with you, friend. Hang in there! God bless you, Jennifer. Tasha