Disappointment and Control

Right now, I’m struggling through what used to be my annual, but now is now my monthly, disappointment with my options and frustration in my current situation.

It’s not a secret. My boss knows and understands. I’ve been in my pharma job for four years now, and I am grateful for the pay, benefits and time off–but even more grateful for my friends there. But this work is killing me, because it is not me. It’s put me through school, but now I am ready to move on to what I’ve been preparing for these seven years.

I’m living with my in-laws (long story), hopefully temporarily. They are wonderful, but I think all four of us agree that the situation is less than ideal. I came home from work today, and Claudia, sensing that something was wrong, asked me, “Especially difficult day at work?” I responded that I wish it had been an exceptional day, rather than an ordinary one. At least I could hope that tomorrow might be better. And, I suppose it could be–but probably not. “Same thing we do every night, Pinky….”

I donated blood at work today. [Insert corny analogy between my job and bloodletting.] I felt a little light-headed afterward, as I occasionally do, so I lay down for a few extra minutes in the blood bus. It is pathetic how happy I was about those seven fewer minutes I spent at my desk.

Recently, Corrie and I made some big decisions. We chose not to move to Dallas in order to pursue training for service with Wycliffe Bible Translators. We both feel that, though Wycliffe’s mission is worthy and important, God has called me to teach, and so I will proceed with doctoral work. (I have secured an advisor at Stellenbosch University and a topic, and I’m working on a dissertation proposal.) But this decision means that I will probably have to stick it out in my current job for as long as I work on my doctorate. With a baby on the way and a wife to support, I don’t have too much flexibility.

Everything seems like it’s out of my control. I know that I have plenty of things for which to be thankful to God, but sometimes I really wish that I were in the driver’s seat. Then at least I could have some sense of self-determination. But I suppose man’s desire for self-determination in Eden is what started all our problems…

Who has spoken and it came to pass
unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?

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About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, exiled to the land of Phillies fans…an Old Testament professor and former liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth…eldest sibling to three, brother-in-law to Josh and Hannah…uncle to Marshall.
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5 Responses to Disappointment and Control

  1. Dean says:

    Good post heeb. I will email you more thoughts, but I figured that I will post on here so you can see that there is one other person who reads this.

  2. Heather says:

    Enjoyed your post. I’m with Wycliffe and will be moving to Cape Town. Send me an email. I’d like to share something with you about Wycliffe and Stellenbosch University.

  3. Benj says:

    If it’s any consolation, this is exactly the place Sarah and I are in right now. I have worked at KPMG for four years now. I didn’t get into any doctoral programs that have a stipend to support a family. I have a baby on the way. I know exactly what it feels like to not hate your job, to enjoy work, to not be mad at the boss or upset or depressed, but to just have this weird sensation of a hole in your vocation. Like you’re always on the brink of a cliff waiting to fall over into something you really love and can throw your whole energy into—but it’s just not happening. I pray God breaks through for both of our vocations and our families.

    • thinkhardthinkwell says:

      @Thomas: Empathy helps. Thanks for your prayers–keep pounding away. We also need to remember that we are still quite young, so we have to pay our dues before reaching those ideal vocational situations.

      Everyday Liturgy looks great, BTW. Keep up the good work.

  4. Ben T. says:

    I love you, Benj.

    Let’s do lunch soon.

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