Prayers would be appreciated. These last two days have been a whirlwind of troubles. At this point, we've been holding our lives together with string and tape, and it's beginning to show. Our house needs several significant repairs that we are unable to afford. Yesterday, our hot water heater began to make sounds it's never made before. We just got our van taken care of relative to getting its transmission fixed when lo and behold, now our car is making strange and frightening noises. Added to this, it must have been the week for jobs to send out rejection letters to all those who have applied, for we've been hit mercilessly with one letter after another. Our problem is very simple. Our age and salary requirements while lacking recent technical skills for a workplace increasingly impatient with those who lack particular technical skills. And because we lost so much of our nest egg coming into the Catholic Church to begin with, we've been just ahead of the boulder in a host of things. Today marks the one year anniversary when my wife's position, as well as hundreds of others, was cut by a computer program in the corporate offices in New York City. Today, she found out, another round of firings and lay offs was divide out to the offices, including two friends she had who survived last year's round. It must be the modern substitute for the old Christmas bonus.
So, with no money coming in, losing money by the thousands, almost nothing left in savings, a dilapidated home in need of repairs and a car now that is starting to make noise it's easy to see where some could begin to question certain life decisions. Up until now, the vote has been in the majority that becoming Catholic was the right thing to do. In the wake of this, however, I lost an ally as yet another family member has now begun to question the logic and wisdom. It didn't help that I sent a very personal appeal to the diocesan offices and the office for human resources, explaining our position and plight, and seeking some sort of direction or help in getting our life down the right path, only to get a response telling us, in so many words, sorry about our luck.
Of course, I try to explain and remind folks that it isn't like Protestant ministry was without its problems or stresses or difficulties. But the response is 'yes, it was tough, stressful, difficult, time consuming, and all of those thousand things. But it was also fulfilling, purposeful, meaningful, and above else, a steady paycheck with benefits and retirement.' That is tough to overcome. I'm still holding out hope that something - anything - turns around. I've been applying for baggage handlers and mail clerks My work history and income needs, however, continue to be a problem, if for no other reason than they see what I made in the past, and (rightly) figure I will jump at the first chance for something else, especially with our oldest poised to go to a college we are hell and gone from helping with.
So if there are any rich Catholics out there, feel free. But seriously, more than just getting fish from folks, all we really want is a chance to fish ourselves. We'll do the fishing, the gutting, the cleaning. Heck, we'll provide the boat. We just want something to help stabilize our family so that those young ones don't see our conversion to Catholicism as the moment our life went to hell, and so that those outside who were skeptical about the Catholic Church and our conversion to it don't feel vindicated that it is just a giant bureaucracy after all. We so appreciate those loving Christ-filled Catholics who have stepped up to the plate and generously kept us alive thus far, but it can't continue, and likely won't. We really need someone to step up and give my wife, or I, a chance to get started in a career, even if it takes some added education and training in the meantime. Homelessness, after all, is a bad evangelistic witness.