The principal pulled me aside to inform me that once again, I’ll probably be replaced because I’m not “highly qualified.” They’ve already found someone to replace me. We’re just waiting for the test results to come in — which I believe I bombed. It’s always humbling to find yourself so easily replaced. In today’s market, I bet everyone feels that wolf at the door — capable, jobless people breathing down your neck waiting to step in if you don’t quite cut it. 

The pastor today preached about God having a plan. Someone, stood up and gave a testimony about how he’s going to South Korea because a job opened up. He said it was a “God-thing.” For me, nothing moves me. It feels like my starving heart is in a tight, protective knot — there is a hard shell, a seed covering, a casing, and it waits for the right conditions to hit before blooming. As rains of encouragement fell on me, my hard heart stayed shut, saying, “It’s too early. If you open up now, the frost will get you.” Wait. Wait. Wait.

So my heart rests in the dormant state. Do I believe that Spring will come? It always does. But I’m not getting my hopes up anytime soon. Winter has just begun. It’s fury must be spent before awaking. Why lift my little green shoots now? They will only be crushed under the snows to come. I do not look forward to them. A short sale. Another modification. A possible foreclosure. Bills mounting, pressing. Working, working, to no avail. mouths to feed. Children to run. Gas tanks to fill. Calls. Decisions to make without clarity. Dilemmas without solutions. Slumps. Slippery slopes. Finger holds. Gripping the sides. Adventures turn into terrors. If our lives were an epic — this would be Mirkwood — dripping, dark, and the fire won’t start. Moreover, there’s goblins ahead.

I look back at my past blog posts. I remember “It’s not dark yet, but it’s gettin’ there.” That was before Italy and homeschooling and blogging regularly. That was before a job I didn’t want but knew I needed. That was before the house was behind again. That was before Paul was angry all the time, before the bitterness of unkind comments and judgments, before the reality of our dank economic condition hit us full in the face. We had less money in the bank. We had less chance of making any. But we had hope. And, is it Stevenson? A hopeful journey is better than arriving.  Now … it’s dark.