Seeing the Big Picture

In my drawing class, I'm learning a lot.... about myself. I've learned that I want to do everything perfectly, and the first time too. Anything less is frustrating to me. One day in particular two weeks ago, I was was so sick of trying to get the shading just right, I just wanted to quit and go home. I was using charcoal pencils for the first time, and for some reason my eye and hand were not communicating. I was drawing, erasing, and re-drawing, and fuming at myself on the inside.

But it wasn't just the shading that was bothering me, Brian was miserable at work, again. After a year and half of almost constant misery, I had had it with this job. And I'd had it with Brian too. He'd been telling me for months that he would apply for other jobs, but somehow never got around to it. I've written about Brian's work struggles before, here and here and here. I took my frustration out on my paper, scrubbing with the eraser and pushing so hard with my charcoal pencil that the lead snapped off. Finally, class ended.

Class meets twice a week, so after a few days, I was back in the studio, dreading working on that picture. Maybe I'll just scrap it and start over, I thought. I flipped to that page in my sketch book, and gasped. Did little art fairies work on it after I'd put it in my locker? I expected to see a crude, rough, misshapen image, but this actually looked good. Really good. 

As I stood and stared at the page, I got it. I had been standing six inches away from the paper, obsessing over one tiny place, and totally missing everything that was going right. I was missing the big picture.

I had been doing the exact same thing with life. I was so fixated on one problem- Brian's job, and trying to fix it myself, that I was missing the big picture of my life, and our life together, and all that God was doing.

Finally, I accepted what I'd known to be true all along. I can't make Brian's job better, and I can't make him find a new one. I can't control the situation at all. So, I let go. And in that moment, I felt peace flood me, a peace that I'd been missing for a long time.

A few days later, I'd just finished lunch when I heard the garage door opening. I looked out the window, and there was Brian's car, pulling up outside. Why is he home so early?! And then I knew. His first words to me were, "We're free!" His bosses let him go, saying that they didn't think it was a good fit anymore and they didn't think he was happy there.

I think I took it a lot harder than Brian. At first I was sad for him, and then I was angry at the company. Almost all of the employees there aren't happy, but they didn't get fired. Some of them are downright uncooperative, while Brian always worked hard. They recently offered one employee a raise, because they knew he was unhappy there and they wanted him to stay. But Brian, they let go.

I couldn't be angry or even sad for long. It was such a relief to be done, and move on.
Brian has applied to five jobs since then, and given his resume to people we know at church who offered to take it to people at their companies. Yesterday, Brian attended the career fair at ASU, and one company set up an interview with him right away after seeing his resume. Several more seemed interested.

It's an exciting and a little bit scary time for us. We know it was no accident that God led us to Arizona, and we know He'll continue to lead us in the future. It's all part of His big picture.

Now I want to hear from you: What has God been teaching you lately?
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