“Just in cases” any of you don’t know, I’m currently in my 5th semester of interning at The Austin Stone in their KidStuff program. In January, we switched from stipends to fund raising, and as you may know through my past updates, i fell far short of meeting my goals. In hard (ish) numbers, I’d only raised about $2500 of the $8k I needed to effectively pay for my life through May 15 (the end of the contract).
This means that I got my “last” paycheck on Feb 15th, and it was only about half of my normal $500 paycheck. (that’s about what I take home after taxes, admin, and ins) It feels weird telling the whole interwebs what I get paid, but many of you pay me so, here it all is. “Dolla dolla bills, y’all.” (I feel almost certain that phrase doesn’t mean what I think it means.)
In any case, this all came to my attention a few days after the start of March. I started praying about what I could possibly do, wondering why God had so clearly led me to a place of fund raising and not taken care of it. Did I need to work more other jobs (exhausting, detrimental to the quality of what I produce, and hard on my time with my family), was this God closing the internship door, had I taken crazy pills in a glass box of emotion?
In far more of a last-ditch effort than a reliance on the sovereign Lord, I mailed support letters to a few of the people who had asked since January, blogged a bit, and waited.
In the three weeks since then, God has shown me over and over again that when he led me down this path, I followed him. And while my feet did not drag and my eyes were not down, neither did I dance toward him and his plan, neither did I recklessly abandon myself to his goodness, neither did my eyes shine with visions of His goodness.
I imagine a bridal chamber with a beloved who smiles politely and submits. No passion, no vigor, no love, just “obedience.” And it disgusts me to realize that this is how I treat the lover of my soul.
Blessedly, we do not serve a God of reciprocity. And despite my shameful behavior, he did amazing things. He caused hearts to move, and I have received huge support. One of my very favorite families, who live beautifully happy and very frugally, surprised me by contributing their ENTIRE TAX REFUND- almost $800!! Then there was the friend whose letter got sent back to me, who got tired of waiting for another and finally just brought $200 to my desk at work. The three amazing friends who send, every month, $100, $50, and $15. Add to that the seperate checks I got today for $600 and $354 (i can’t wait to ask the story behind such a fun amount) and some more surprises and yep, in three weeks God has brought in almost as much as he brought in the entire four months before that! (I sent out letters in late October).
So now where am I? Well, I certainly have a paycheck for the next month! Thank you for all of your prayers and concern. But what next?
Ah…. I don’t know. J, my boss, and I have been praying about what to do next. While we’d both love for me to promote up to a level one intern (full time hours, a higher pay bracket toward which I can fund raise), we question what that would entail, if it’s the best way to honor God and, to be painfully honest, if it’s possibly to raise enough to keep me from 80 hour work weeks. There is also the possibility of grad school. Texas State has decided to let me be patient a while longer as they make a decision regarding my admission. ;)
So feel free to join me in praying that I will, guided by the church leadership, faithfully and EXCITEDLY pursue the path that God will make clear, keeping bright the lamp unto my feet. And I’ll keep you updated. Hopefully with pictures.