Tuesday, November 01, 2005

“If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” Luke 9:5 (Also referenced in Matthew 10:14 and Mark 6:11).

There has been an awful lot going on in my life recently, and because of the drastic decision that it seems I am about to make, I guess I should fill everyone in a little bit more on how much all of this has been really affecting me.

Truth be told, for the last 3-4 weeks, I have been having panic attacks again. I have again started having to carry my Xanax around with me (something that I have not needed for almost a year). Most of you know the drama that was in my life over a year ago with hospitals, etc….. and many people constantly attacked me that all that was going on was only my way of getting attention. I guess in many ways, I see why it appeared that way – especially since no one seemed to be able to put a solid diagnosis on me. In December, that changed when I was diagnosed with ADHD. Things smoothed out and I was being treated properly… everything was in order…. Suicidal thoughts had disappeared, I was functioning very well in everything that I did…. We finally found the problem and fixed it. As a result of the attacks that I had on a personal nature, I have been afraid to really let people see anything that might be going wrong with me…. In the last month or so, this has even included my doctor because I wanted to avoid any treatment that would become visible and open me up for personal attacks again. As a result, I let people in on the fact that there were problems, but I hid how much they were really affecting me. Sunday, this changed … and not by my will.

Let me take a break from that and say this now. The things that I have been facing are becoming an absolute testimony to the fact that I am being treated properly and that God has provided the needed information to keep me stable in times of trouble. Even tho I am physiologically being affected by the things that are going on, there are things that have drastically changed from the last time I hit a situation this stressful… in fact, I don’t think I have been in something this stressful before. The primary thing is that I am in no way having suicidal thoughts…. And this is something to praise God about! In fact, I keep looking to the future when God frees me from all of this and I look at how I am becoming a stronger person because of the trials I am facing.

Back to Sunday. After church I had to go to the data center…. On my way there I saw a very disturbing email that was copied to our entire local company. The email at face value was a follow up to a customer…. However, this was on an issue that I had already responded to and that had a response time of about 20 mins which is actually a really good response time for off-peak hours. The email painted the picture that I am not capable of doing my job. I took care of the things needed at the data center and met back with my friends from church and went to lunch. The inevitable happened and I had a panic attack that as much as I tried to hide, became evident. This launched a much needed conversation.

God has always said that He will provide our needs (Luke 12:22-25). When God does anything, it seems to always be brought on by faith… It is one of the most important things in our lives when walking with Christ. God also said that faith without actions is practically worthless. You can say how you believe something but in your heart, you really don’t. The same way it can be said that you love someone yet you don’t show the love that you need…. And in the same way, you can be told you are a valuable employee but if you aren’t compensated for that, it can’t be believed that you are (James 2:17). Sometimes the step of faith is easy…. Sometimes it is very drastic. But no matter the strength and wisdom needed (which God will provide – James 1:5).

When you have a job, you need to be loyal to that company and serve it as if you were serving God. This is a requirement of His (Colossians 3:17). This has truly been my goal in every job that I have had… and it increases as I go on in my life. Sure, I make mistakes…. But it’s a matter of where your heart is. There are, however, a lot of other things that must be taken into consideration. Philippians 3:7 tells us to think of the things that are good…. Something that is hard to do when you are constantly surrounded by the bad. I have been doing my best to think positively about everything thrown at me, but I am now suffering because the bad in my life is increasing and much of this comes from Carpathia. Why Carpathia…. Because it honestly is sucking every ounce of life that I have. There is no time for me to rest. I am relied on way too heavily, especially considering that my salary does not meet my needs. I sometimes work an extra 10-30 hours a week if you include all of the stuff I do from home. And as for a day off, even tho they are built in to my schedule, they never really are days off. This leads to another scriptural commandment: resting. God showed us this example in Genesis 2:2-3 and then commanded us in Deuteronomy 5:12. There is some speculation on this commandment but the one thing that is agreed on is that everyone must take a day of rest. Granted, it is right to do good on the Sabbath such as rescuing the little sheep on Sunday (Luke 6:9). The issue is that if you do not take time to rest, ever, you become run down and can not be effective in anything. I am faced with this very heavily. I do not have time to rest because I am always in a position where I need to be concerned about what is going on at work. I’m constantly called upon and issues that need addressed are carried over to me for when I resturn and stacked up upon me. This simply is not how God wants us to live our lives.

God told us that He would give us whatever it is that we ask for. (Matthew 21:22, Mark 11:24, John 11:22, John 14:13, John 15:7, etc, etc). I fully believe that God will provide an answer to my prayers in that I find a way that I can provide for myself and that I can be more effective in His Kingdom. Recently, I have been feeling the call that I need to take a step of faith. Many opportunities have come up for me and they have promptly disappeared. If there is one thing that God has always worked on me with, it is my faith, and I now begin feeling that this is another test of faith that I must pass. A few weeks ago, I really believed that I needed to give my two weeks notice…. But because of my fear of what others would say, and my fear of not knowing how I would make it, I didn’t act upon this. It’s irresponsible to leave a job when you don’t have another job lined up, right? At least, that’s the way the world sees it… and in all honesty, I think this may be a general rule of thumb. But in so many cases, God is above the “rule of thumb.” Sometimes we need to ignore what is “logical” in this world and take a step into the un-worldly view and make an action of faith. This certainly has been true in my life…. And in many of those cases, I have been attacked multiple times because I was not acting responsibly. Though that may be true in the world’s eyes, in God’s eyes, He has been, and still is, working on making me the person He wants me to be.

Ephesians 6:5-9 paints the picture of how a working relationship should occur. While it is true that we must be loyal to our jobs it also very true that the employer must be fair in his treatment of the employees. Colossians 4:1 tells employers that they need to provide for their employees and they need to be right and fair. There are also many other references to the working relationship in the Bible. And there are references that we need to endure that which our employers give us. Whether it is fair or not. This is true but we also have a responsibility to be effective and when that is not possible (to be effective for the Lord), it is time to “shake the dust off our feet” (Luke 9:5). It is crucial to always serve whole heartedly when you are under the direction of your employer which is what is said in 1 Peter 2 but this is while you are under their direction. It does not say that you must stay…. It is indicating that while you are that employers servant, you need to honor them whether or not they are fair.

So where does this leave me? In Hebrews 11. Through history, the greatest things of God happened when someone took a huge step of faith in Christ.

On Sunday, I talked to some very strong Christian friends and I expressed the feeling of taking this step of faith but yet told them that I didn’t feel comfortable because of the fact that it seems almost irresponsible. The response I got was “Bob, look at what you are going through and how much you are hindered and not able to live – it is more responsible for you to stay at Carpathia” …. And there is a lot of truth to that. I talked to another very strong Christian who is also in the technical industry and also knows a lot of the occurrences going on at Carpathia and I was flat out told that I can not stay at Carpathia. It’s killing me little by little….. and I guess that is something that I’ve wanted to hide because of how much I really enjoy my job…. As far as what I do, that is. But it is becoming more and more evident that the longer I am here, the more damage that will be done to me.

Is it time to take a step of faith? I’m almost certain! I need to rely on God in this case and I need to take that step that says “Ok God, I now have absolutely nothing and I need you 100% to provide for me” … and in the prayers that I have been making and will continue, God will provide…. It is what He does!

Tuesday at 3pm, there is a company wide meeting at Carpathia. My plan is to spend some time in prayer before this meeting and go in early with my 2 weeks notice typed up and signed. Am I scared? Definitely…. But that fear is not of God (Romans 8:15). What am I more afraid of? Well, I’m afraid of what might happen if I don’t follow through with this.

I know there is going to be a lot of criticism from many people and probably from a lot of the people I am sending this to. But my faith is in God and not in man. I will, of course, love to hear everything that every single one of you have to say. Maybe in my prayer tomorrow I will be led in a different direction…. And maybe the words of one of you will point me to exactly what I need to do. I don’t know how God is going to provide but I know that He will…. In some way.

Please keep me in your prayers…. More than ever right now. There is no doubt that God led me to Northern Virginia for a reason…. There is no doubt that I am to be here…. And there is no doubt that Carpathia was the tool God used to bring me here…. But its more and more evident that Carpathia is not the tool to keep me here (at least not in it’s current state). I have worked as diligently as I can regarding all of this. I have talked to various people about this situation…. And I have argued with myself multiple times regarding what I need to do. I have made excuses as to why it might be a good idea to stay at Carpathia…. And although those may be the case, the bad far outweighs the good and gets worse every day that goes by. God has promised to give me rest and to make me more effective in His Kingdom…. But these are not things that come just magically… sometimes it takes a great step of faith on our parts to do this. That is where I truly believe I am now at. I need to take this step… and I need a lot of prayer and support because I am hard core stepping into an unknown.

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