A lot of struggles recently. One right after the other. But before I get into that, new blog posts: one of my first trips with others in Morocco, to Shalalat d'Ouzoud, the Olive Waterfalls, is now posted, along with my trip to exotic Mauritania.
Just some of the struggles relate to work. Or the lack of it. I found out from the Pacific Science Center that they were looking for someone with more Elementary experience. Later that same day the Friends school in Brummana, Lebanon wrote back less than 48 hours after I sent in application materials, to say that they wouldn't be hiring me because it was unlikely that I would be able to get a work permit, as I couldn't do a job that a Lebanese person can do. (Evidently it is fairly easy to find English-speaking Lebanese Biology teachers, and one needs a Masters and more than 5 years experience teaching to be likely to therefore get a permit, if they are not Lebanese.) Oh, and some temp agencies hadn't been searching for work for me for the last two months because they hadn't gotten my references straightened out. But they forgot to tell me about that when I called in every week. And I'm left trying to figure out how I'll pay the rent.
It's times like this I need to look back on the promises I received before. I increasingly find that that is the key to the Kingdom of God- not believing He exists (too easy), not having the right morals, not giving away all my possessions- but trusting that He is out for us, all of us, and is on our side. Sometimes it seems like that's all I've got. Reading up on Jonah before a monthly Quaker Bible Study I'm struck anew at his fear- fear not of the Ninevites, but fear that God would show mercy to his enemies. For all that we lambast Jonah for doing the wrong thing, that guy had faith. He knew with such certainty that God was merciful and good that he ran as far away as possible so that God wouldn't show mercy to the people Jonah hated.
His story inspired me to get more work done on the primary goal I'm feeling called to, and I'm now waiting to hear back from professors at various schools to see if they fit with my goals. U BC is off the list, as they don't seem to fit with my research interests. U PR might be off too, as there's the question of if they teach in English enough. But I got a new lead from a professor at U Guam that looks promising- U of Warwick in Britain, which has some professors working in the Red Sea on intertidal ecology in marine reserves. And U Guam is very inviting; the director there said he thinks it very probable that I would benefit from their program.
And then I got a letter from Highline Medical, one of the two $3,000 bills I have from the kidney stones. Highline was processing how much they were going to require me to pay of the bill. To add to everything else, they told me that I would be required to pay all of zero dollars of the bill.
Yeah, that's right! Now what kind of God do we serve?!