Warning: I feel like purging.
How much more, God? How strong do you think I am? I'd love to say I'm flattered that you've given me so much to handle because I know you won't give me more than I can stand. But the truth is, today I wish I could escape all of this!
In addition to all that is happening in my marriage and in George's life outside of our marriage, our financial burden is very heavy. George and I came to Virginia in search of a new beginning. George said to me before we moved that he hoped this would be a fresh start for us. I had spent 5 years building a successful real estate business that, until last year, I was unwilling to sacrifice. George spent 7 years with Castle Rock FD building up his resume and positioning himself for advancement. He also built a successful fire training business on the side. I had no reason to leave Colorado except that George was not satisfied with his job there. He wanted to be back East in a busier department.
So when a conversation started between George and the deputy chief of the Rockingham County FD about a captain position, we started seriously considering a move to Virginia. It was a major plus that George's mom lives on the coast of Virginia...a 4 hour drive vs. a 4 hour plane ride. The training captain position was to be implemented in July of 2007 but the catch was that an outside hiree would have to come into the department as an entry-level firefighter for 6 months and could then be promoted. We worked the numbers and decided that we could use the proceeds from the sale of our home to pay off our cars and have funds left over to get us through those 6 months. We knew it would be tight and that we'd need to live like paupers for awhile, but it was a sacrifice we were willing to make. So George accepted the position of firefighter, starting December 4th.
First, our house was not selling. I told George I felt we might need to help someone get into our house. Along came a family who fell in love with our house but would not be in a position to purchase until the end of May. They could, however, give a very large security deposit and pay a hefty amount of rent. We prayed about it and went for it. The couple signed a lease and a contract to purchase the property.
Second, I needed a steady source of income. I spoke with a Realtor about anyone she might know in the area who could possibly use a Buyer's Agent. She said she might actually need that kind of help and so we started a conversation about my working with her. She was very positive and did some background research on me and then seemed to be convinced I was just what she was looking for. I couldn't believe it was so easy!
Third, we needed a cheap place to live. We were about to rent a town home half the size of our house in Colorado when I decided to check the paper one more time. There in black and white was an ad for a farmhouse on 3 acres with 5 bedrooms and 2 baths (3000 sf!) for LESS than the town home. We snatched it up.
We were so excited about our future!!
Unfortunately nothing has turned out as we hoped. The captain position was not approved for this year's budget...probably not for next year's either. My job with this Realtor turned out to be very little as she had described it with a lot of tension. The people who are living in our house cannot purchase it and have cancelled their contract. Additionally, they have caused a lot of cosmetic damage to the house, making it impossible for us to try to find another buyer while they are living there. I took a job waiting tables at night at a fine dining restaurant in town. George's schedule does not allow him to work very much overtime, another source of income we were counting on. We cannot make ends meet. I am gathering whatever I can to auction on eBay or sell on craigslist. I go from feeling hopeful and strong to feeling like I am drowning. Knowing that separation is around the corner is scary. If we cannot afford our expenses now, what will happen when there are 2 rents to pay? Not to mention attorney fees. Oh, and I went in today to sign my exit paperwork with this Realtor and the brokerage is charging me $4300 in office fees. Wonderful.
I KNOW I will get through this. Not knowing HOW is so hard, though! I am a fighter and a worker and will work my tail off for as long as I have to. The constant question that goes through my mind, though, is "God, should we move back to Colorado?". Have we been in the wilderness long enough or should we stay in exile? A great friend of mine called me a few weeks ago to let me know that as she had been praying for me over the previous week, she kept hearing God speak to her that we were in exile. I had made the decision to physically separate myself from George and was considering moving back to Colorado with Jackson. My friend was calling to warn me about leaving Virginia. I told her I wasn't making any plans, rather I was just taking life one day at a time and constantly listening for God's direction. George will go wherever we go.
On a happier note, ha-ha!, George's aunt, who is the only Christ follower in his family, has been encouraging us with stories of marriages that hit close to home. She is warning him of the harmful effects of divorce...to both the adults and the children. And pleading with him to stay in the fight FOR our marriage. Today she offered to pay for us to attend Retrouvaille, a weekend for marriages on the brink of divorce. George called me after he read her email and asked me where "this thing" is. I told him there is one being done in Northern VA at the end of July. He asked for the website and seemed positive about it. After reading about it and seeing that it is especially helpful for couples who have experienced things as damaging as we have, I am once again filled with hope.
I thank God in advance for leading you to pray in the just the right way for us. One thing George and I have never done is work together toward godly stewardship. We need to do that now...but even if George isn't on board, I'd love prayer for perseverance and wisdom and favor!! I want to hear God say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!".