Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Grabbing a Handful of Guts

Today, I was setting my traps in a remote part of the county. I usually am pretty good about timing these things, but suddenly realized that I needed to get rid of the coffee I'd been knocking back all morning (translation: had to pee). I'm prepared for things like this though, because, hey, let's be real, they happen. So after I set my trap, I wandered over to the tall weeds at the tree line out of sight from the road. A deer leapt up no more than 10 feet away, and went crashing off in the opposite direction through the underbrush. That was cool. I don't think I've ever been that close to a wild deer before. Well. Not a live one, anyway.
You know, me and God have been going around lately. There's a lot I don't understand, and I am bitter. I love my job. I could stay, but it would mean compromising some principles. I'm one of those tedious people who say, "But it's the principle of the thing," and mean it. But you must understand. This is a big deal for me, because I love this job. There are not a lot of jobs in this area. I know for a fact that I will not love my next job like I love this job. I've decided to just go to the steel mill. It will be hard work, shift work, and it will be inside. But I will be working with men, mostly, and to be perfectly honest, I've always found men much easier to work with than women. I'll take dirty factory work over working at the mail order company again. The steel mill has good benefits. I'll also make more than I would at the mail order company. I'm not leaving only because of the office dynamics. Since the original problem, there are many other signs that it is time to move on. Tim's job has not made payroll three times since he's started. Insurance was briefly cancelled when the company was unable to pay the premium. Now they are having problems buying the steel they need to machine the parts to get money to keep the company afloat. Last week about 1/4 of the work force was laid off. I have a seasonal job with no benefits. If Tim loses his job, we will have no health insurance. But still...I love this job. I really love this job. On my neat list of 'reasons to stay' vs. 'reasons to go', I have just the one reason to stay. It's a biggy though, so I've been feeling bitter.
I took a few moments to sit down and eat my vanilla yogurt and rice cake lunch and to watch the wind blow across the tall grass. I was enjoying my moment, thinking about the sacrifices to come, and questioning, questioning, questioning. Why in the world would God give me a job I adored only to take it away? I can hardly bring myself to interact with my co-workers, feeling that it will make things that much harder to leave. For their part, it seems that I'm already gone. I stand up thinking. "Damn, I'd rather not have ever had this job..." but, I know straightaway that I'm lying. I think of the deer, and the fox I'd seen gamboling across the field first thing in the morning. A few days back, I saw the biggest buck that I've seen in a long time. I thought of the goose that I'd rescued all those months ago. Last week, I helped a rattled trucker who'd blown a tire with a load of steel on. He was out in the middle of no where, and was walking. He was shocked that I'd not only stopped, but given him a ride out, since he couldn't even get anyone to open their door to his knock. But I remembered the time that the stinking automatic locks had locked me out of my truck in a thunder and lightning storm in the middle of nowhere, and I hiked. Some great people helped me out that day, a Canadian doctor and his family. Mr. Goth and the snapping turtle. The kids. All the people that I've met. There have been a lot of adventures. I'm glad that I had the job. I'm glad for all the moments. Some people slog away at dead end jobs for all of their life, never get a chance to experience anything else. So, yeah. I know. I've been lucky. I know that I'm being ungrateful.
I believe in God. I didn't always. I was an atheist for over half my life. Wasn't looking for any answers, because I didn't have any questions. Then God made His presence known to me. There is no sense trying to explain to you what I scarcely understand myself, but one minute I was an atheist, the next minute I was acutely aware of the presence of God. 22 years later, I understand that God is at work here. I don't understand what He is up to though. I know that He wouldn't make it impossible for me to stay if He wasn't nudging me to move on. It is time to step out in faith. It's always a struggle to let go to what you know, to move away from what you are comfortable with. I think about the hardest days of my life, and realize that what I'm dealing with in these days is not nearly as hard as those days were. In the Army, we had a saying. 'When things are rough, you reach down inside, grab a handful of guts, and keep on going.' I realize that I've still got a handful of guts. I will keep on going.


jeanie said...

Oh Deb - great, wonderful, sad, poignant post.

I have loved looking at your world through your words and your joy at being outdoors and the adventures you have had.

I do not presume to judge what god had in mind for you, but I am willing to bet that, as much as you are determined "you won't love as much" the next job, you will still find those gems among the slag pile for us!

Redlefty said...

Your mysterious, lightning-quick transition from atheist to believer is a story I've heard from many other people as well. Fascinating.

Who knows what, or who, is waiting for you at the mill.

Mary Paddock said...

". . . to be perfectly honest, I've always found men much easier to work with than women."
Me too.

Debby, I don't know how the convervation department works, but with extension work there was such a thing as transferring between counties. Is working out of a different office out of the question?

Anonymous said...

I hope everything turns out well for you and yours.


Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,

Scotty said...

And today, I learned 2 new somethings about you.


Debby said...

Oh, Jeanie, doubtless stories are waiting at the steel mill. Stories are everywhere. No one has offered me another job, and I wouldn't expect them too. The response now is to fault find with me. Yesterday my boss made a deal that my truck needed cleaned before I left. I've always done a thorough job, The traps, sample bottles, pesticides, sprayers, dippers, etc. would have been moved, stored away, and the truck cleaned out, even without the instructions. Yes, Redlefty. I always wondered why. All these years later, I think that He did this for my children. Yes, DavidM., I'm marching on. Oh, Scotty. Do not tell me that today you learned that I peed...

Scotty said...

Breathe easy, Debby, that was not one of the things I was thinking of...

Though I can't help but chuckle at the thought that you thought that this was what I was thinking.


PaintedPromise said...

you've got more than a handful of guts - you go girl!!!