Posted by: Angela | December 8, 2006

Hope Deferred and Sinking Ships

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

My husband, it seems, likes to board ships that are about to encounter conditions that sink ships. The boarding never occurs while the conditions are in place. However, I am beginning to think that we are boarding these ships in the eye of the storm, so it merely seems there is no storm but there really is a giant hurricane at all times. I am sure that I am exaggerating but that is certainly how I feel at the moment.

What am I talking about anyhow? My husband’s jobs of course. His jobs have always been the largest source of conflict and stress in our marriage. Usually this was because in some way, I was also involved with the institution for which he worked, be it our university (he was a flight instructor, I was still a student, or he was employed by the churches we also attended). But now, for the first time in awhile, I am not involved and still the storms are touching me. Why now, because I am a mother and dependent upon his income for our family. I don’t have a job to go to that will support us if everything falls apart on his end. So here we are where we have been so many times before. I am more there in that place of anxiety and fear than he is. Because unlike other times of being in this place, he doesn’t want to jump off the ship, he likes this ship, its crew, and its location. I am waiting at the rail, weighing my options.

When you work for churches, parachurch organizations, or non-profits of any sort, there are bound to be ups and downs financially. But I thought and was lead to believe that this particular vessel was in better shape than I now know it is in. I had no idea it was running on such a tight margin and that market pressures would effect it so much.

The net effect of storm conditions (both past and present) is always more work for my husband with the same level of compensation and often more stressful work conditions. In previous jobs, the more stressful conditions have occurred because of bad new leadership or good leadership leaving. I can’t tell you what I really think of the leadership in this case. But I do know he will begin bring more work home, he is being asked to work later each day he is there, and he has to pick up slack for various activities that occur on his days off. I am pretty sure I have seen this before. But like I said, he really likes this ship. Other ships, well, by the time we jump off, he didn’t want to be there either.

But I can’t jump without him. So here I sit, a ball of anxiety. Wondering, where do I want to move to if this all goes crashing down? Thinking, I gave up friends, a house of my own, a beach, another sinking ship, for this ship that doesn’t have friends, a 750 square foot apartment, and snow.

Deferring what little hope I was beginning to accrue, putting any longing I have away for another some day. I just don’t think I can do this anymore. I watched this all my childhood, this isn’t the way my life was supposed to be, I just can’t be sick forever. I just can’t…I am too tired to dream of a new start, I want this one to work. For his sake, if not for mine. Please, God, just once, make it work. I’m too tired to fight.



  1. Hi Mommy…
    I do also have/am going through a lot of what you are. I am also dependent on DH’s income and it scares me…big time. He has worked for the same company for 27 years, but they are based in France. Oh, okay, it’s L’Oreal. DH constantly comes home with stories about the job, the people there, management, conditions and I can’t help but wonder how he still has a job. So, I must thank all the women out there who feel they must color their hair. But seriously, they ask him to work extra days, longer hours, and he goes… Every single Saturday is what they call “mandatory”, which means that they MUST show up, or there will be consequences, unless they are already sick or whatever.

    Next few days, they will have to “vote”, yeah, right. I can’t stand it. They will be implementing a crazy, schedule where they will have to work 12 hr days, but with a 4 day work week? It is supposed to be designed so that they will have every other weekend off, but that means that the majority of the time, their weekends will fall on the weekday. How this is bad for us is that I cannot go to a possible employer for myself and ask them to follow my husband’s schedule, “and oh, by the way, I’ll try to have the monthly schedule for ya before the end of the month.” Picture working every other Monday, every other Tuesday, every other Wed… etc. That is how these new months are looking from the sample schedule DH gave me. Another con is that how this all works out, there will no longer be Overtime pay because they will be working 2 hours longer a week, but on straight time.

    I am not sure how that will work out because they were supposed to get it going, temporarily, as an experiment to see how it worked out. Yeah right. You mean to tell me that the new boss coming in, who wants to “shake it up”, will be content to have this thing decided as an experiment?… then honor a union vote? He will have it his way, come hell or high water. Why don’t these men listen to our womanly wisdom? We DO know better!

    I know that my problem here is probably really smaller than yours as we get paid for OT over here… or for now! Try to live each moment in the present and not look forward. Remember that God DOES provide for our every need… I’ve seen it happen. Sit tight and see where this goes with your DH. If he likes it where he is, then that is a blessing for him. Too many people do not like their jobs and that is tragic.

  2. Oh, I understand your sinking ship. We are in “port” awaiting the next ship and I am praying for one that is not halfway submerged or on the way already… Hang in there. I can completely empathize with your feeling of being too tired, wanting this one to work, etc. I fear that if the next job of my dh’s “sinks” I won’t be able to rise up from it!
    All I can say is it’s a good thing we can rely on God’s strength when ours is zapped. Here’s a truth I am hanging on to; hope it soothes your soul as well:

    Isaiah 40:28-31
    28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

  3. I know this ship – specifically and metaphorically – and I am praying for you right now.

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