I am alone, save for faint clock ticking, steady computer hum, rhythmic turn of the hamster wheel, sleep-inducing heater roar.
Children now asleep, husband at work.
What is God saying in the quiet of the night, after a never-sit-down day of pageant rehearsal and church singing, grocery shopping, laundry, birthday cake making, birthday present wrapping, picture taking, candle blowing, memory making?
My body was busy performing tasks, while my mind was busy fretting about tomorrow.
So I hear God saying this: Do the immediate needful thing, leaving the rest (the tomorrows) to me. Praise me as you pray and work, giving thanks for the moment.
A relative wrote recently, sympathizing that it must be hard to have husband working so many hours. Letter went on to say that after the computer classes, things will get easier when he gets a better job.
Although I read that note several days ago, the words still echo. She doesn't know that husband's confidence is low, that it's perpetually low, that he's too busy to find a help-desk internship, that all the help desk jobs require at least one to five years experience, or a computer degree. When the classes finish in February, husband will finally have at least ten hours a week to study for more certifications; he currently has two certifications in hand.
But certifications aren't the same as a computer degree, and I daresay, most employers in the workforce won't be impressed by husband's BA in theology, or his many years of work caring for the brain-injured in PA, preceded and followed by custodial work.
As far as the certifications go, well, anyone can buy a computer book at a bookstore, study it diligently, and then take a computer certification exam. Computer nerd types can pass these readily, without help or classes.
Husband worries--but is not without hope--that no one will hire him, that his lack of experience, his age, and the fact that he's no computer nerd, will turn off interviewers.
Fathers give sons confidence. Mothers or wives can boost it, but fathers bestow it. That never happened for husband--it was never bestowed by his father, who didn't appreciate what his son could do, but berated him for what he couldn't.
Confidence also comes from accomplishment, but accomplishment comes easier for those starting with confidence.
I'm begging God to give husband a chance. To give him a big break, such as an interview where God speaks the bold, insightful, confident answers, through husband. Erase the impact of the sins of the father, Dear Lord. Bestow what the earthly father didn't....what he couldn't.
To not look beyond today is hard. Yet we know God is faithful, bestowing sufficient grace for our circumstances. He can choose to better our circumstances, or not. It's impossible to predict.
What to write back to the relative? Nothing. I wrote nothing in response. Her comments were only a small part of the note, anyway.
It's best to say nothing about our husbands except for the glowing things--especially to relatives. They remember the negatives always, long after the spouting-off wife has forgotten her unwise comments.
This is where the anonymity of the Internet, when writing under fictitious names, comes in handy for me as I process what I feel, process what God is force-teaching me.
I believe in my husband. He is bright and capable, personable, earning good grades. Yet the low confidence is so pervasive, so ingrained, that it frightens me. How will he hide it in a professional interview? And why hasn't God healed, erased, restored, bestowed?
And what will this do to our boys, this pervasive low confidence of their father's? How do we stop it from poisoning the next generation?
The world is competitive. The strongest win, move to the next level, conquer. We are to be in the world, but not of it.
Confidence is needed, either way.
God, I'm begging you. Erase, heal, bestow.
And yes, I hear your message to me today: Do the next needful thing, do it with gladness and thanksgiving, leaving the tomorrows to me.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (The translation of the word "prosper" here does not necessarily refer to earthly riches. I don't remember the exact translation (and husband isn't here to enlighten me), but I feel certain it refers to spiritual prosperity.)