Ever Bigger Leaps of Faith
Tuesday, April 19, 2011Tweet
In case you've forgotten, for Lent this year I decided to stop nagging Mike. This was a big leap of faith for me since Mike, of his own admission, has a hard time following through on things, although he's been working on that in small ways for a long time. But I knew that I couldn't learn to really trust God until I could first trust the person I spend most of my time with.
It's been difficult, for sure. I've bit my tongue probably a hundred times in the last month every time I saw in our entryway the prayer shawl Mike promised to give to a coworker about 5 months ago. But that in itself was good for me, given that one of my happiness commandments is "Hold your tongue." Every single time I reminded myself: He knows it's there. He knows he still needs to give it to her. Your telling him again won't make a difference.
Where there has been a difference is -- well, practically everything else. I've never seen Mike this on top of things. He runs errands unasked. He thinks ahead and makes plans. He actually brought home a container of papers from his childhood and sat down and started going through it himself. This never happens -- he can't tackle a single pile on his desk without my sitting there next to him helping him decide where things go. (He said he pictured me sitting next to him while he was going through the container.) He found his diploma from grad school, decided he wanted a frame for it that matched the one his undergrad diploma is in, looked it up online, then put on his tennis shoes and went out to Target at 10 o'clock at night to buy the matching one. Probably the most shocking one was when we got an invite to a friend's wedding we couldn't attend, and I filled out the reply card and then made an offhand comment that we should still make sure to get them a wedding present. The next day he forwarded me the e-mail receipt -- he'd found their wedding registry online and ordered their gift.
I said originally that I was only going to "request" and not "remind," but honestly I've done little requesting the past month, he's so on top of things.
Of course, there is a downside to this. I would find a downside, wouldn't I?
Trust means relinquishing control. Mike doing things means I don't get to say when or how they get done, and as the person who manages our schedules and our budget, this can be a little nerve-wracking. On the one hand, I'm thrilled that Mike isn't even hesitating to go out and buy supplies for projects that previously would have probably been put off for months. But those purchases do add up, and we've ended up about $200 over in our "everything else" budget category. I'm OK with that -- obviously I'm not about to start complaining about my newly proactive husband, plus we got a $200 check for Easter from my generous grandmother -- but looking long-term requires even more trust than I anticipated when I made this resolution initially.
Especially since Mike quit his job today.
Do I sound crazy if I say I'm proud of him for this? Change is really, really hard for him, especially when it comes to employment, and he's never quit a job before. I've always thought he would stay at one place forever if he had the choice.
Even though he was working with nice people and enjoying the work he was doing, he finally saw that he wasn't going to get the opportunities there that he thought he would. His restaurant management's been running him in circles for way too long. He asked to be a shift supervisor a year ago, and they told him he needed to be a server trainer first. So he became a server trainer. Then they put off making him a shift supervisor even longer. Finally, his assistant manager quit, he applied for the position, and they told him he couldn't become assistant manager without being a shift supervisor first, which is what he's been trying to do for the past year.
He finally figured that if he wasn't going to get to be more than a server, he might as well be a server in our town rather than driving 45 minutes each way every day, what with gas prices over $4/gallon. Actually, what he told me was that after reading my post from Sunday, he asked, "God, may I please have a new job?"
And God said, "First quit the job you have."
So he did.
And my newly proactive husband has already put in several applications to local restaurants and got a call today to interview on Thursday.
It's a risk, and it requires a lot of trust -- in God, and in him -- but that's why this whole thing started, right? I guess God wasn't messing around when He told me that giving up nagging Mike would help me learn to trust Him more.
Every time I start wondering when Mike will get another job or calculating whether we'll need our savings to tide us over, I simply think, "Which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span?"