I feel a duty to stop this evening and write this post, as often times with blogging, perhaps more for myself than you, dear reader.
Stress is a part of life. Some of us tend to seek/desire/want a low stress life, and boy, I have to agree that sounds good to me. All of us have different levels of stress, and different desired levels.
I am told, and I suppose I recognize, that doing what we do as a family brings a much higher level of stress on many levels than the average Joe. Most of the time, it is manageable. Sometimes less "fun" than others, but it feels like it has a purpose, and therefore can be dealt with, in a number of health, and sometimes not healthy, ways.
Today though was the first time I have found myself ready to quit in 17 years.
What? Yes, that is correct. I am ok with the traffic here. I have a handle on our rep as being such a dangerous place to live. I can somehow live in the delicate wrestle of understanding with the ever-present poverty. I can process the complexities of Church/clinic/kids/coffee/groups work.
But red tape, legalese, and inefficiency really got to me today.
I am not quitting by the way. Oh, and I do not always handle the other things I mentioned above quite well either, but today's bout with the government trying to get our new ambulance into the country without paying the roughly $20,000 in taxes they want pushed me over an edge of sorts.
The rules change, get modified in muddy terms, and foisted on me among others. Even with the help I have in our doctor and lawyer, the double speak, confusing language and lack of an explainable path of action is overwhelming. What would someone just trying to start a business here do?
Ultimately though...if I look deep down inside me, and stop and talk to myself, I find that it all pushes me so far because...I cannot control it. I cannot understand it, and most humiliatingly...I do not understand it. I lack the education, the experience, the...well, I guess I don't know what.
What must others think of me knowing this? How I have failed in my job!
What ego. What foolishness. And the soul crushing stress of it all.
So I prayed before today...I asked God to open doors that are closed, to make smooth the rocky mountain roads of paperwork. And then when I find an area foreign to me, not of my skillset (and others as well I have found out...even an accountant we know was unable to help me with the document that pushed me over the edge with over 100 little boxes to fill out with such minutiae that the vocabulary was totally beyond me) I jumped the faith ship and just flailed in the pity pool, ready to sink.
We may not be able to complete the paperwork. We may have to pay the taxes. I am firmly aware of our need for much greater accounting/government reporting representation here and we will be hiring someone to train our staff to handle that in the coming weeks/month. I won't be able to really help with that, even if I wanted to do so.
Sometimes we need a bit of a knock down to remember our place in this world. To remember that God answers all prayers, but that sometimes the answer is no, or not now. To remember that we will never excel in every area, even if we think we should.
I am not sure my reading of Paul's words in light of today is correct or not, but I do not see him writing in 2 Corinthians 12... "9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ...in a strong, confident voice. I hear God's voice in that reassuring, soft and condescending, like a loving parent to a small child who is throwing a fit, knowing that it is hard for the child to understand. I hear Paul crying as he says those words of verse 10...knowing they are true, feeling that love, and wrestling with the feelings of the heart mixed with the knowledge in the head and of the soul.
Or maybe that is just me.