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Christian Thought Processes: Feeling Insuffucient


Lerk
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A few years ago I was a contract employee, by choice, making a pretty good income, but doing a horrible job of saving, and often having to borrow to pay my taxes. Then, the Obama administration used the IRS to push employers who used contract workers to convert those people into employees. I wasn't happy about it, and was afraid I would take a huge pay cut.

 

Well, I had to make some adjustments, but the pay cut turned out to be not all that much, and two years on I'm much better off. When I received the surprisingly good pay and benefits offer, what did I do? I believed that I didn't actually deserve what I got, and gave my imaginary friend in the sky the credit.

 

There's a woman on a blog that I particpate in, mostly non-institutional Church of Christ members, who has suffered a life of depression. Never married. A brilliant woman. Her first degree was in physics. Later she earned a law degree. But she has often been unemployed and for some years her employment was to be the caregiver for her mother. A while back her mother had to go into a nursing home, and this woman worked a seasonal job over Christmas. In the mean time, she got really interested in emergency services. She was writing some very good fan fiction based on the old Emergency! television show. She started visiting fire stations, and started working towards CERT certification. She has now applied for a job as a 911 operator and passed a couple of levels of testing.

 

Her mother passed away a week or so ago and having returned from the out of town funeral, her posts show that she's slipping. She missed some CERT training due to her absence, and her grief right now is, understandibly, such that she's not yet ready to get back into life.

 

I commented on one of her posts as follows:

 

"You have just recently started a new arrangement for your life. You've done that because you were preparing for this time, this time when you will be moving on with life. People continue to say "have a nice day" because their lives haven't stopped, and unbeknownst to them, it's a reminder to you that your life hasn't stopped either, even if you wish it would for a while.

 

I can't claim to know what it's like, having only lost my father-in-law, whom I loved dearly, but who was not my own parent. But I have seen people who feel suddenly alone, and I know that they move on, because the sun continues to come up each morning even though they think it shouldn't. You were prepared. You are prepared. Surely you'll slow down for a few weeks, but please do what you have to do so that your preparation isn't for naught."

 

In her reply to me, she thanked me for the comment and then said I was right about something "god" did!

 

"Thank you. I've spent a lot of time this past year grieving over my mother moving into a nursing home, because I knew (subconsciously at least) that it marked the beginning of the end. When I started getting myself together a bit more a few months ago, I didn't realize I was being prepared for this turn of events, but I think you are right that God was pushing me in the direction of having something to care about and do when Mom moved on. When my dad died, I dealt with it by going to law school (yeah, I know). I think I'll try something a little less ... radical this time around."

 

Woah! She prepared on her own! She saw it coming, she knew it was time to begin moving forward, and she started moving -- all. By. Her. Self!

 

Well, I didn't let that stand. As far as she knows, I'm still a believer, and maybe that will help me remain credible in her mind when I emphasize that she did this all by herself, and she's perfectly capable, and self-prepared, for living her own life.

 

My reply was:

"Regarding your earlier reply: Don't sell yourself short. You knew things were changing, and you made the decision to prepare yourself! There was nothing passive about it. You took an interest in something and saw the opportunity to move in that direction."

 

I have to say that I still to this day have a hard time accepting that I've earned what I have. And our church isn't one that teaches that the god is a micromanager. But it does teach that all of the good things in life come from the god, so we automatically think it isn't due to our own hard work or ability. This made me realize that I'm not free yet of the religion... I still have some distance to go.

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We have similar work situations. I am also contract, and last year finally had the strength to sever ties with the wretched agency I was at. The clients loved and respected me so much that they ditched the agency and followed me. I charge 25% less but still make 50% more. I did that. I did their work day and night and weekends, and bailed them out and delivered. They knew the agency was a bunch of worthless fucks making money off of my sacrifices.

 

Last summer shortly after I went out on my own, a huge project came through from one of these clients. It was enough that we paid cash for an in-ground pool in our back yard. Yeah, baby! Seriously big project, in an unrealistically short time period. Someone told me that I was "blessed" with that. Bullshit. For ten years, I bailed this client out at 4 pm on Fridays, worked nights and weekends, pulled all-nighters to make deadlines, drove out of my way at crazy hours to deliver materials, never made mistakes, never complained. When this client was strapped with this giant project on a tight timeline, he naturally came to me. I did my time, I earned that opportunity. For 5 weeks I worked day and night. I slept from midnight to 4 am, and worked all the other hours. Coffee, cigarettes, chocolate. On my birthday, the fourth of July, Saturdays and Sundays, and a canceled vacation. My daughter and husband recognized the opportunity, and supported my efforts. They took care of other things. We worked and sacrificed together. In the end I was exhausted and needed some detox and some massage therapy. LOL.

 

I suppose Christians could say God gifted me with ability, perseverance, patience, connections and opportunities, or whatever. But I have come to realize that everything I have is because I worked my butt off, took huge chances, and followed through. I am grateful every day -- not sure to whom I should be grateful... the universe? God? karma? I am still working on that. Whatever it is, I was still the one who suffered for my success, and now I am content and joyful to lounge around in the pool with my husband and daughter, and enjoy the sun and cool water and laughter and joy.

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MIsterTwo: The indoctrination is really hard to get rid of, isn't it? It's like trying to get tar out of a barrel: some of it sticks to the sides and refuses to wash off. But use the right solvents and it will finally wash off. Same with Xtiainity; keep educating yourself and coming here and it will some day wash completely off.  But it is frustrating.   bill

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