A friend (and blog reader) pointed out to me the fact that I sometimes forget to post updates on some of the things that have been going on in my life. And she’s right. Lately I’ve been caught up in talking about my latest thoughts about christianity or about Bob and I’ve neglected talking about things like my job situation and my stolen laptop and my application to Mars Hill Graduate School and what’s going on with my band.
Sorry about that.
And so, one by one:
- My job
I lost my job back in October of last year. Back then I thought that I’d be back to work in a couple months at most. I thought this because for one thing, I’m a kick-ass worker with a work history and references to prove it and secondly, I was willing to do almost anything since I was planning on going back to school in the Fall. But here it is, April, and I’m still sending out resume after resume (six this week alone) and getting next to no call backs.
This is the longest I’ve been unemployed since college and to be honest, I’m going a bit loopy. It’s getting harder and harder to not get discouraged – to not think that the lack of response from employers is a reflection of me and my abilities. But I’m trying and I’m continuing to plug away.
Financially, there are only three things keeping me afloat.
a. Unemployment Insurance helps a lot. But I only get a fraction of what I was making at my last job. If that was my only source of income I’d probably be out on the street by now.
b. Because of some restructuring at my church, I’ve been hired on as their Audio Visual Tech Lead which means I take care of scheduling the volunteers who run sound and PowerPoint during service and I fix things when they break. There are other elements involved with this position but that’s the bulk of the week to week work. It’s not a lot of hours and it’s not a lot of pay but like UI, it really helps.
c. To be honest, the only thing really keeping me off the street is the support I’ve been getting from my parents. Without their help I’d be super screwed. And I have to admit that it’s a bit embarrassing to be counting on my folks at my age…but I’m insanely grateful at the same time.
It’s clearer to me than ever before how easy it is to end up homeless. Especially with the way things are financially right now.
It’s not hard at all.
- Stolen laptop
So this one is pretty cool.
My pastor felt bad about the way my laptop got stolen, especially since it was taken while I was trying to help get a Quest Global Presence meeting up and running. So he said that he was going to have the church pay for half of what it would cost for me to get a new MacBook!
Needless to say, I was stunned, floored, just blown away.
Apart from the immediate, concrete aspect of being able to be mobile again with my computing, there’s a far deeper healing that I’m sensing. See, to be honest, I realize that I’ve come to see the church as a place that takes and takes from me. I mean, I know that they are there to support me if I ask, but asking doesn’t come easy to me whereas giving does. And so the church takes what I give and waits for me to ask but I don’t ask and so I don’t get and while it may be unfair of me, I get to the point where I see the church as a place that takes without giving back.
Let me be clear here. I’m not talking about the church I go to now. Even before this generous offer to help me with my MacBook, I’ve always had the sense that my service was appreciated and there have always been people making sure that I wasn’t taking on too much, guarding me against burnout. So when I talk about seeing the church as a place that takes without giving back, I mean some of the churches I had served at in the past. Not all of them, but some of them.
The fact that my pastor’s offer to help me get another laptop came unsolicited really blows me away. I’ve said on numerous occasions that I love my church but, in a way that’s hard to explain, this act has done some deep work of repair in me. It’s got me realizing and rethinking some really bad ideas I have about church.
- Mars Hill Graduate School
I got in!
I posted a status update on my Facebook page announcing my acceptance but for those who missed it or aren’t on Facebook, yes, I’ve been accepted.
I’m super excited and I wish life had a fast forward button because I start late August but wish I didn’t have to wait that long.
There are lots of reasons why I’m almost giddy with anticipation. For one thing, it’ll be great to be in school while this financial tsunami blows through. But I’m far more stoked about the school itself.
It’s a small school, probably under 300 students. It’s probably best know for its president, Dan Allender. But I’d never heard of him until I started researching the school. I found out about the school through friends at church who were going there and one of the things that intrigued me from their stories about the place was how the study of theology is taken seriously but it is taken seriously so that it can be more effectively used in a people’s lives to bring about healing. That is to say, studying theology isn’t an end in and of itself. It’s a means to develop a better counselor. And that’s an important distinction.
We’ll see if my excitement and expectations are warranted once I begin classes. But for now, I’m just glad that my life is finally headed towards something like a career, grad school being the first step towards that career.
- My band
Not really sure what’s going on on this front.
Earlier this year we started working with a producer named Brandon Bee. He’s helping us write and produce a new song. I recorded my tracks back in January and I haven’t heard anything from either of my bandmates about what’s been happening since then. I know Brandon is a busy guy with his own band and he’s touring to support an album he recently released. I’m basically going with the assumption that Brandon is out on tour and that the remaining tracks are being recorded on the days when he’s back in town…which judging by the gig calendar on his MySpace Page, might not be for a while.
So that, in a nutshell is what’s basically going on in my life – at least the things that are front and center on my mind.
There are lots of other things I’m hoping to write about soon so stay tuned.
As always, thanks for reading.