Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Theological Distress

I admitted to my parents on the way to the airport I’m a bit depressed.  Depressed was the word I used, but it wasn’t quite correct.  Theologically distressed is a better description for my condition.  As I recently explained to my second hottest guy friend in an e-mail, subject title:
the life I almost had…
pics attached... of the epic nyc apartment i almost had... there's actually another bedroom too, on the other side... but yeah... super bummed on many levels that it didn't work out with this job... (75K, plus housing, and plenty of down time to write)

granted, i believe in divine interceptions, but it's tricky when you think God is guiding you one way, only for him to throw out the groundwork you thought HE was laying... i didn't have to be the top finalist for this position.  God could have shut the doors well before i was flown out for a trial run through.  (although, i feel the same way about things with _____.  he and i didn't have to meet up; him remembering me was plenty.)  in my life, it often seems God is a bit of a tease.

When my second hottest guy friend and I met up for drinks on Friday, he acknowledged, “You HAVE been through a lot.  Yet you’ve managed to stay pretty positive through it all.”  And I have been, for the most part, but the last blow hit me REALLY hard, moving me from positivity to theological distress.  If only my second hottest guy friend knew my inner thoughts, but I try to avoid being a downer when time is short.

But the guy who taught me how to surf over a decade ago pulled my theological hurt out of me as he drove me back “home” late, last night.  He brought up New York’s recent hurricane and said, “Sometime I’d like to hear more what it was like to go through Sandy.”  I decided then was as good as time as any, so I shared with him my story.

And then Bryan mentioned something about the book of Job.  That’s when I admitted to him, I wish the book of Job didn’t end the way it did.  Because the book makes it sound like a redemptive ending is available in the here and now, rather than just in heaven.  I told Bryan I’d like to think God has my back, but this past year, especially, I feel like he has left me hanging.  I explained, I thought God was redeeming the numerous losses I’ve encountered with the job I nearly landed last month.  I told him I'm trying to be thankful - and that I'm grateful my health is better, my parents are letting me stay with them, and, in finally being well enough to look for work, I'm able to collect unemployment.

When my parents and I arrived at Detroit’s airport nearly 2 weeks ago, my Dad came with me inside.  After weighing my suitcase, I told my Dad with tears in my eyes.  “Dad, it really bothers me that the guy from down the shore is happier than me.”  (The guy from down the shore isn’t a Christian.)  My dad replied, “Paul also went through his times of suffering.”  We hugged good bye, and as we exchanged I love you’s my tears quickened.  As my Dad turned to walk away, I noticed tears had also welled up in his own eyes. 

As I waited in line to go through security, I considered how miserable it must be as a parent to see your son or daughter hurting and have no way to fix it.  I was a mess; I shouldn’t be traveling.  Yet I knew I needed to get out of Michigan – I needed sunshine, ocean, mountains, good times, good friends, and good teaching.  If I was a cell phone, my battery was near dead; my spirit needed to be recharged before I really did fall into some sort of depression.

When I got to my gate, I noticed a flat screen on the wall turned to a news interview.  The caption at the bottom stated, “Sandy Victim: Nothing More to Lose”

Nothing more to lose.

Nothing more to lose.

Nothing more to lose.

I ran away from my gate, trying to get away from the haunting words on the screen – yet they stayed with me, reminding me, of everything I’ve already lost. 

Nothing more to lose.

I've already lost my job.

I've already lost my home.

I lost my health.

I lost the 2 months of writing “promised” to me in New York

I lost nearly all my possession in the hurricane

I found a place tucked away, where I could cry without being disturbed. 

That was 12 days ago.  But Sunday night, here in LA, I went to bed feeling recharged and alive.  Sunday night was one of the best nights I've had in a long while.

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