Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Not My Will, But Thine

Greetings! This blog is based on whatever the Lord Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, directs me to write. That means, I may begin with a topic I have thought about, but then Jesus may re-direct me to something completely different. As we believers know, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9 [NKJV]) So, here we go.

My Lord and Savior saved me when I lived in Lansing, Michigan, back in the early 90s. I had successfully graduated with honors from the University of Michigan, and then went to Michigan State University for grad school. While I had grown up in the church, I had kind of put Jesus on the back burner through my school years. So, after all the "me-me-me-ness," the Lord pulled me back, and for that I am eternally grateful. He literally saved me from my dumb mistakes, countless times, and I will never forget that. I will forever praise Him, without apology, and without shame. Hallelujah!

I began my career wanting to make commercials. I didn't know how, but when I was a little girl growing up in blue-collar Detroit, I knew someday I could make the "dumb little boys" buy toys that did NOT actually fly. LOL! I saw the Faygo man on the big white cruise ship sing Faaaaaaaaygooooo...I watched the Vlasic Pickles stork crunch those pickles so loudly, and for some reason, I thought that was just too cool. But, what I also knew was that the KoolAid Man NEVER came to the 'hood, and I wanted to ask him why not? So, someday, I was going to meet him and personally invite him to burst threw the walls of my living room and deliver that cheap, sweet red drink my friends and I drank so often. Did he not like the darker colored, working class neighborhoods? Hmmm...we'd have to investigate that one.

Anyway, I went to grad school at MSU, which had a fine advertising reputation back in the day. I learned a lot, and fought with the MSU graduate administration to get internships so I could learn what the real advertising world was doing, and how advertising had changed since the Jolly Green Giant and Tony the Tiger. Advertising had indeed changed and become much more fast-paced, digital, 3D, you name it. Advertising turned out to be extremely fun, hard work...but it was also a cruel, cutting industry. Corporate people just didn't care about one another as I'd hoped. Everyone was out for themselves. So, if an ad agency lost an account, say with one of the Big 3, an entire staff who'd worked on that account for 10 years could be cut, just like that.

In my last semester of grad school, I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Ned Hubbell. He was one of the most memorable, brilliant, and pleasant professors who'd leave an unforgettable mark on my life. He pulled me into public relations, telling me, "Pam, you're more than a writer, you're a problem solver. You're wasting your time on 30-second and 60-second spots. It's time you learned more about PR." So, I became one of his TAs, and I learned all I could in my final semester. After that, Ned introduced me to one of Lansing's premier PR practitioners in the city. I worked for her company for about a year, maybe two. It was one of the hardest, most fast-paced positions I'd ever had, and I loved it. But, it stressed me to no end.

I was then offered another position as a marketing specialist for a local non-profit. I had to tell my PR boss I was leaving. She literally yelled at me and slammed her door. She was angry and frustrated that I'd leave her...I'd won three crystal Pace awards for the PR firm during my time there, and it was a wonderful experience, but it was time for me to go. The new job offered a much more livable salary, plus health benefits. The next day, my boss apologized and sincerely wished me well. I thanked her for all she'd taught me, and I will truly never forget her.

At the non-profit, the atmosphere was completely different. It didn't feel corporate; it felt much more relaxed, but impassioned. It was a disability rights organization where attorneys and advocates fought for people with disabilities, ensuring they received the accomodations they needed to do their jobs, receive their education, or whatever. I loved it, loved it, loved it. I began that job on a Monday, and strangely enough, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis the following Monday. God had placed me in the right job at precisely the right time. From my non-profit, I learned all I needed to know about the Americans with Disabilities Act, and insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. At that time, I learned that Blue Cross Blue Shield was the only insurance carrier in Michigan that provided health care to people with pre-existing conditions. So, whenever I was to get another job, I had to have BCBS. Needless to say, that's one of the most expensive insurance plans available, but I couldn't complain, that's all there was for me, so that's all I could get.

Fast forward almost 18 years later, and I'm now laid off from the staffing company where I worked for almost ten years; my beautiful husband has been laid off for more than two years; we've lost our beautiful home to foreclosure; I've had to drop out of seminary because we have no money for tuition; and I'm struggling to get MS health care coverage under Medicaid; but God!!! God has kept us, and has provided for us, and has directed us on our new paths. The main thing I've learned is that when it seems you hit "rock bottom," that's when God does His best work. That's what it means to count it all joy. We have no choice but to COMPLETELY trust in God, and hand it all over to Him. He loves us that much, and though we don't deserve His mercy and grace, He's continuously there for us. He provided us a place to live, a handicap-accessible place, at that; our marriage is stronger and more love-filled than ever; and I simply couldn't be happier. The "stuff" we used to have really doesn't matter. What does matter is we are to focus on God's will, and try to help others who are worse off than we are. Acknowledge that He's our Lord and Savior, accept and expect His blessings, and give Him all the glory!!!

So, I pray I can become the prolific, published, Christian author I've longed to be for many years. Through my writing, I want to show others the way to God. Through fiction, I want to "open the doors of the church," so people can experience God's love in their lives. I'm starting with this blog. I'll feature chapters of my first Christian novel, Sober Judgment; as well as a book for suddenly unemployed/out-of-work souls who are still making it and relying on God; and finally a book that gathers the memories of those who during their college years protested for an established, national MLK Day, as well as Nelson Mandela's release from prison - those of us in our mid-30s through mid-40s who fought as hard as we could on our college campuses and city streets. Those were the days, and I'd like to get that all down in a book. Whew! Three books on the list...but, I'm excited to do God's work, and all the research that'll be involved, the people I'll get to meet, and the places where I'll get to travel.

Come back tomorrow to read more commentary on hot topics, a prayer list to which you are more than welcome to add your own prayers, and the first chapters of Sober Judgment: The Nina Chronicles. I'm going to keep this blog going and see what becomes of it. I pray for God's holy hand in it all. In Jesus' name, Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Lord. I love these words,and I love this woman.