Changing Times

Most people who know me well would probably say I’m a creature of habit. I’m a routine-oriented person and have probably been that way as long as I can remember. The past year or so has changed that for me, in a variety of ways…

Going back over what’s happened since mid-2010…the company I worked for on and off for nearly nine years finally shut their doors as the result of being sold. I finished my graduate degree in library science and entered the job market, one with less than favorable prospects for new grads, as shrinking budgets and library closures have resulted in a very competitive market for full-time positions. I was put in the position of having to sell and promote myself to others, which is something I dread. John Piper had some helpful advice on this topic which really benefited me throughout that process. I was fortunate though to get called for interviews in different parts of the country and was able to explore new areas that might be places for my wife and I to settle into. In the end, none of these amounted to anything as 2010 came to a close. Being turned down for jobs was not new to me, and I thanked God for the opportunities to even speak with others about my qualifications. I did eventually find part-time work as a librarian last fall and have continued in that role to the present.

The latter part of 2010 brought a much greater upheaval to my world though, as my dad passed away after a short battle with lung cancer. I think my mom and other family members had a much better grasp of the situation as my dad was being treated and I probably had my head in the sand a bit thinking that my dad would eventually come out just fine. I think that’s also why it hit me much harder when he died. The nine months that have passed have helped to ease the pain a bit, and God has comforted me throughout this time as only He can. I’m grateful to family and friends who’ve also helped throughout this time, like my dear friend Pastor Bill. My friend Marianne, a fellow blogger, reminded me that my time with my dad was on loan from God. And God has reminded me of that as well, which has brought me some peace in that regard. I still miss him dearly though…

So 2011 is less than half over and the change continues. My wife and I are expecting our first child this fall! It is a great joy to think about being a dad, but it brings about other ideas as well. The struggles I feel each day to be a husband worthy of what God has called me to has really been heightened by the prospect of being a parent as well! I honestly don’t know where folks turn to if they don’t have the Rock of Christ to stand on. Jesus’ reminder in Matthew 6:11 to ask our Father to “give us this day our daily bread” has really taken on new meaning for me. His grace is sufficient and He gives what is necessary to tackle our fears and anxieties each day. In my impatience I want them all tackled right now! But we are to ask for our daily bread, not our rest of year bread. Another amazing testament to the power of God’s Word…the same Scripture read dozens of times in Matthew 6 brings about new meaning and strength as God puts another situation into our lives.

The other change of note is that after a year of job searching, I recently accepted an offer for a full-time librarian position at a Christian college in the Midwest, starting in July. I’ve never lived anywhere but the Northeast so this will be a major change as well. I am really looking forward to it though and can’t wait to get started. The next few months will certainly be a challenge, as I am setting out on my own until my wife and our baby join me after the little one’s arrival in November, God willing. My wife wanted her comfort level to be as high (routine ?) as possible until then with her job intact, doctors, family, etc. Although I would much rather have us all together from the get-go, this probably makes the most sense. I’ll be making plenty of return trips until then and scouting out the area to see where we all settle into. My ideal library position from the beginning was to work at a seminary or a Christian college. I’m thankful to God that He has provided this opportunity for myself and my family. Paul reminds us in Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” I will remember that as I begin this new position.

So change abounds…change that is exciting and nerve-wracking some days. What is a comfort as these changes continue though is the Rock that we stand on: “For I the Lord do not change…” (Malachi 3:6). I will stand on this Rock in the days, weeks and months ahead and look forward to what He has in store!

4 thoughts on “Changing Times

  1. Marianne Lordi

    Hi Joe, I am so thrilled about your baby on the way!! Such a blessing from God. I can’t wait! I also have been praying daily for your job situation. I am so happy to hear that you now have a good position. I just believe that God is going to use you in a mighty way there. God knows the future that he has for you and your wife and by his own word, he has planned it for good.

    I will continue to pray for you and your Midwest move and for your wife and child. You are a blessing to so many, Joe. God is going to now bless you!

  2. Josef Sefton

    Joe, I see things exactly as Martha and Marianne do.
    You truly have a wonderful new adventure to look forward to. It’s a great also that your new situation offers the opportunity to stretch you.
    May God continue to richly bless you and your wife as you rejoice in being fully committed to trust in, Jesus. God’s King of righteousness, in the days, weeks and months ahead.

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