Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Faith In the Desert

The end of my first year in Az crept up so fast. Life as an immigrant for me is no Disneyland that's for sure.
I remember it well 2009, i came to U.S with two suitcases, one was filled with a few belongings and bulky winter coats mother brought me from thrift store as farewell gift. The other suitcase was stuffed with wedding gown and my hand carry for laptop and legal documents to get into U.S for a reason, to marry the man I loved for five years.

After our wedding, we moved to France for a year and a half where I suffered home sickness and adjustments. As soon as we came back to U.S, my first year in az was yet another story.

Being a housewife was as fun as playing house. I had fun learning the art of 'nesting'. Sooner or later, the fun has started to fading away. I started feeling bad.

I had no source of income for my freedom. I hated the feeling like a a little girl asking my husband for my wants. I had to justify the logic of why i needed a pretty flower vase. You know how men thinks.

I love being a housewife but when I started socializing with my husband's university colleagues, it created a pressure. It became pressuring when i was asked what do i do? Even their wives had something to say about their current masters degree. I had nothing more to share than i made a Christmas tree of dryer sheets.We don't have children yet or I am not in school, so I didn't have a reason to stay home and do nothing. With a hurt pride I looked and applied for jobs. I was eager but nothing was available.

In desperation, i blurted out 'i would do anything', then our pastor heard me. Our church didn't naturally hire employees but the they were very kind to make exemption and opened a temporary one for me, just until I could get on my feet.

I worked 8 hours a week. I was getting a good amount an hour. I was so excited to get my first paycheck and got myself a good sewing machine, rest are for arts and crafts to keep my blogging going. I even started buying and selling. I was enjoying the fruit of my labor (spending my own money) for the first time in three years.

The work was fine but there were times i wanted to give up specially when work required working under the scorching heat of the summer sun, and dealing with dead snakes and scorpions around. Something a city girl would not want to deal with. There was a hint of confusion and pity whenever i scrub the toilets or cleaning someone else's mess.

This is what I always see at work.
This is the landscape i see at my work. Everytime i look at it i would ask God "your creations are majestic. You are rich and powerful. The whole universe is yours. Why is your child just a cleaner?"
I felt my faith went dry. Dry as desert soil. Uncultivable.

Another silent question aroused deeply, “was I seeking to please God or was I seeking for my own glory? Pride has prevailed. I had a fulfilling job in Philippines, but here i was doing something that my mother would pay someone to do it for me.

I kept my work hidden from my family and hid it from condescending eyes. I was afraid what others are going to say especially my old friends and old co-workers. When asked how I was doing with my job, I would just say, it was going great. Some may call it lying, but I like call it being polite.

I suddenly felt disgusted about my ungratefulness of what has given to me. My ungratefulness was more discusting than scrubbing soiled toilets.

I felt rebuked by heaven through my husband. He left me a question “Do you care what others think or what God would think?”

I asked for forgiveness and asked to create in a a grateful heart. Prayer is more than just a wish list. Like what Oswald Chambers put it, prayer changes our perspective in seeing the situation in a godly way.

I found myself enjoying what I was doing while singing praises with songs as I mop the floors and wiped the glass doors. Suddenly, I have a reason to be joyful again and realized the great benefits this job has.

This is my therapy
Somehow theres something therapeutic in raking. I have created stories while raking the pebbles on the front lawn which by the way became my favorite chore as gazing at the beauty of mountains. Mountains made me forgot that I was tired from doing the physical work. My discouragements went away whenever people complimented how clean the church. Everybody was thanking me for the great job i was doing and how they were blessed with my service. Then I felt so important. I felt needed. My payed job has become my devotion. My work at the church has become my comfort zone.

After a few days, I received a job interview. I went for the interview and was hired at the same day. This is a such a great opportunity to gain some work experience. Although my husband is a great provider, I still have to prepare myself if just in case he would lose the ability to provide.

My heart is oozing with praise that's why i am pouring out my heart in words.

Though I got the job i was hoping for but the real blessing here was God stayed with me during the times of hurt and nothingness.