Last week I was feeling pretty down. I was doubting. I was broken. I took out my phone & recorded a rant of my feelings. Today I decided to type it out. Many people asked what was going on in my head last week. What was I thinking? Read on if you're interested:
(Warning: This equals 4.5 typed pages on Word.)
Let me take some time right now to get real with you. With myself. With God. I’m pretty broken. I’m pretty lost. I’m pretty not sure about the direction my life is going. What God wants from me? I just really don’t know.
As you probably have heard, our work visas, we found out a few weeks ago, will take approximately 2-3 months to process, on average. Could take less. Could also take more time.
When we started applying to go to Zimbabwe, it was December 2013. So more than a year ago. And we thought we would be gone by July 2014. Yeah… that was 9 months ago. Then, when we realized we couldn’t go in July, we thought, “OK, umm maybe, we’d go in October.” Or “Why not stick around for the holidays, so we’ll leave in January, just after the new year.” Well… Funding didn’t come in on time to go to orientation in October, so we had to go to orientation in February so we decided, “Ok, I guess it is not time, yet. We’ll leave in February right after orientation.” Well then my brother & his girlfriend got pregnant & we wanted to see them & they wanted me to be there to help. So we decided. “Ok, We’ll leave at the beginning or March, or maybe the middle of March.” And we decided to pray for a specific leave date of March 15. Today is March 17th; that day has come and gone.
While preparing to go, people always told us that the thing that hold people back from going is funding. Fundraising. Finding people to support you with monthly gifts & one-time gifts so that you can actually get on the plan and go there, pay your bills, buy food, & other general living expenses. So that’s what we thought. WE thought we’d we waiting on funding. Umm no… that’s not the case.
We were fully funded right before the New Year. So “praise the Lord!” we thought, “We are definitely going! God wants us to go. We are aligned with His timing. & This is all really great.”
But my nursing license did not get approved until shortly after orientation in February. Granted, the country of Zimbabwe approved my license back in January, but because of the slow postal service, I was not informed until just a few weeks ago. That nursing license was essential before submitting what is called our “Temporary Employment Permits” or TEP, which we refer to as our “work visas.” I needed my nursing license in order to say, “Oh hey! Yes, Karanda is going to hire me & I am going to work for them because I have this piece of paper, this nursing license, that makes it legal for me to practice nursing in this country.”
So, that needed to be in our hands before applying for the TEP. To be ahead of the game, back in November we mailed the paperwork to the TEAM office in Zimbabwe, waiting to officially submit it when we had all the necessary paperwork. So when the nursing license was approved, the TEP was submitted.
In our minds, we figured that the TEP would not take much time to be processed. & I guess we just didn’t think to ask how much time it would actually take. We thought “The nursing license & the fundraising are the two things that took so long, and both of those things are crossed off our list, so we are going to Zimbabwe real soon. Right?!” Yeah, not the case. We were told that it takes 2-3 months (sometimes less, sometimes more) to processes this TEP. AND we were also told that Zimbabwe could deny this work visa.
We submitted it under my name, as the nurse, because it makes sense to allow a nurse into the country. But we also gathered papers under Kameron’s name, so we could submit that application if the first TEP was not granted. This is something that happens quite a bit, I guess.
So right now we’re like “Ok, so 2-3 months to process this visa. But what if that’s denied? Then we have to submit under Kameron’s name? (The paperwork is already filled out and in the TEAM office in Zimbabwe). Once that’s submitted, 2-3 months later… then what? That’s six months. That’s September. Maybe we can’t leave until September? & What if that gets denied? Then what are we going to do?”
I don’t know. I have no idea.
& what if it gets’s approved as late as September. Great. We leave in September.
When we became fully funded, we thought, “This is it. We were told that’s what holds people back is funding. Well, we’re funded! Awesome! Let’s think about moving out of our apartment. Let’s move into my sister’s house.”
Which we did, back in January. We wanted to focus on packing for Zimbabwe, saying our goodbyes. & not worry about cleaning our apartment and getting rid of our things in the midst of the craziness of leaving the country. So we’ve been living with my sister for almost three whole months now. My sister & her husband with two little kids. We’ve helped as much as we can, but I still think we’re kind of in the way, and we’ve lost a lot of our independence. We feel kind of like children.
We also quit our jobs at the beginning of February. We were going to go to PDO. Then we were going to go to Virginia to see by brothers and help with the new baby. And then we were going to leave on March 15th. That was the plan. We had faith that’s what was going to happen.
But obviously that did not happen.
So we are homeless and we are jobless. And we thought we’d be in Zimbabwe.
I decided I would apply for PRN positions at the hospital. (PRN is medical lingo for “as needed”). Which means whatever floor I get hired on, they can call me if they need someone to work, or I can pick up extra shifts that have holes if I’m free that day, or I can tell the manager to schedule me every Monday. –I got a call right back saying that the Medical & Oncology floors wanted to hire me. Which is awesome! God is watching out for us.
While applying, I saw a listing for a full-time position on Labor & Delivery, which is my dream job. When I was in nursing school (&even before I was in nursing school) I was like “I want to work on Labor & Delivery. I want to delivery babies.” It’s been almost three years since I graduated nursing school, and I still don’t have L&D experience. About a year and a half ago, I had an interview for L&D. But this was also the same time that we were applying to go to Zimbabwe. I did not get the position because they wanted someone where was going to be around long term. Yeah. A year & a half later, I’m still not in Zimbabwe. I could have had a year & a half of really valuable L&D nursing experience, doing something that is my dream and my end-goal.
So I was like “Oh yeah, whatever, I’ll apply.” Yesterday I get this call from the manager of Labor & Delivery who said “I saw your application, wondering if you have found anything to fill your time or if you are still looking.” I said that I was still very interested, but was waiting for a visa that could take 2-3 months. --- That pretty much ended the conversation. She said that it was “better for both of us” to consider other candidate, because it takes 10 weeks to be trained and oriented to the floor. And to leave right after that would not be good for either of us.
So I started really doubting.
That’s my dream.
What is there telling us that we will be gone in 2-3 months? Because we had faith that we would leave July 2014. Then we had faith that we would leave October 2014. Then we had faith we would leave January 2015. Then we had faith we would leave March 15, 2015. And none of that has happened.
We know that God has a plan for us, and that it’s all in His timing.
God gave us people who pledged $65,000 to get us to Zimbabwe for a year. That is really great. We know that God is fully behind this. But there is nothing that has told us we are going to get there in a certain amount of time. We understand that it’s God’s timing & we have faith in that. Sometimes it’s very discouraging and we’re like “God will never get us there. And I want to go RIGHT NOW because our timing is so great. “ We know that is not true, that God has a plan & His timing is perfect.
But does that mean that I have to give up this dream job of working in L&D because He is going to send us there in 3 months?
What if in 3 months our visa is denied?
We wait 2-3 more months while our visa under Kameron’s name is processed.
That is 6 months were I could be working in L&D…
What happened if that one is denied?
We know that God’s timing is perfect.
But what do we do in the waiting period?
(Whatever, it doesn’t really matter because I called the L&D manager back and told her that I was willing to commit to at least 6 months, just to give us some stability, and to get trained to do a job I love. Manager said she understood that, but didn’t want to hire me unless I was committed to long-term.)
But what the heck?
What is God’s timing & plan?
I have no idea. No idea!
On top of that. We are going to Zimbabwe for a year. That’s what we committed to. But already it’s been a year and a half of preparing to go & stressing out. We’ve put our lives on hold for a year & a half. To go for one year.
But what if that doesn’t happen until 6 months from now?
That’s just a ridiculous amount of time & energy for us to go for just one year & to put our lives on hold.
If we get our visas in 3 months. That’s June. My birthday. I’ll be 26. Whatever – it’s just a number. But I thought I’d start a family by the time I was 25. I thought by now I’d have 1 or two kids. We have zero. If we leave in June and are gone for a year. When we get back I’ll be 27. Then we need to get jobs & benefits before getting pregnant. Then the baby would be born when I’m 28. Whatever, it’s been done before.
I’m just frustrated that our lives have been put on hold for this long.
Then I want to work L&D and maybe become a midwife. What am I going to do? Go to school when I’m 30? With kids, & school loans? & pile more school loans on top? I have no idea. I think all of my life & my ambitions are crashing. I don’t know. I’m lost.
All the well-meaning-ed people say. “It’s all in His hands. He has a plan for you. His timing is perfect.” It’s all true…
But let’s just cut the crap. What does that MEAN? That doesn’t give me comfort right now? Grr..
I know this is all “first world problems.” There are people that are waiting on God’s timing to find food & shelter & to survive. This is not as a big deal as that.
Kameron is right there along side of me. Asking these big questions. Wondering if we should commit to two years instead of one. Wondering if we should cancel.
Don’t get me wrong. We’re not going to cancel. We know that God gave us $65,000. So we’re not going to cancel. We just don’t know what we are doing.
Thanks for letting me rant.
Some encouragement would be great.
Just don’t tell me “God’s timing is perfect.” I know that already. I just don’t know what is His timing? That’s what we need to know.
(I have done some processing since last week & although the same thoughts cross my mind, I have better feelings. I shall share later this week)