I was so busy for about a week, and enjoying life so much, that as I would drive frantically from one obligation to the next I would draft blog posts in my head about what a beautiful life I was living.
Dominique and I would arrive at our dark, quiet, cold kitchen at 5 a.m. and by 6:30 it would be 85 degrees in there with a pile of dishes to do and so many amazing smells. As the sun rose on our quaint town I would load up the 12-passenger van with sheets of cream-filled danoise and danishes, lemon curd tarts, scones, and the most amazing baguettes I’d ever eaten and drive 10 blocks down to the restaurant as the town was waking up. Then it was back to work to make the next day’s dough, wash the dishes, learn more, chat more about life and growing up and everything under the sun, and stop for a snack of a baguette that didn’t turn out so pretty.
I never thought two humans could bond so quickly, but Dominique and I just worked together. And then by the end of the week I was so tired and in so much pain that I was barely functional, but I was satisfied, and I was excited at the prospect of learning everything this amazing woman could teach me about flour and egg yolks and the proper temperature of butter…and life. Within a few weeks I would be taking days myself so she could sleep in.
Then there was my other job. There were aspects I learned to dislike from the very beginning, but it, too, was immensely satisfying, I think because of the service aspect. I love working the till, making customers laugh, finding out how much I could befriend them in the time it took to steam the milk for their lattes.
Then I got sick with a violent cold that lasted only two days. When I woke on Monday morning at 4:00, bright eyed and ready for another week of foot pain, there was a text from Dominique. “Don’t come in this morning. The restaurant is not open. Call me.”
There’s a long, sad, frustrating, infuriating story here that still hasn’t finished unfolding. The way it all started is that the chef and the baker felt know option but to simply quit. They couldn’t do what they were doing anymore. At this point I’m not sure I won’t go back and work for the owners of that business once again, as a waitress. I just don’t know. In the meantime, I’ve secured a nannying job 10 hours a week and made contact with a daycare provider in town who is happy to have me as a sub. How the rest will unfold, I don’t know, since even the coffee shop job has taken a serious hit. Apparently my manager read between the lines and thought she was going to lose me to the bakery job so hired replacements and can give me only two shifts a week.
I don’t really know what to say to all this except “We wait for thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.” And then there were Psalms 55 and 56, arriving in our daily readings just in time.
Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me;
my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many attack me proudly.
When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?
You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
This I know, that God is for me.
My cold, hard heart is struggling to hang onto the promises of God and the confidence of a child with a perfect Father. I’m confused–in turmoil. Surprising as it seems, I’ve felt myself grieving loss because of the end of my time with Dominique. I’ve felt angry and bitter and completely distrusting of all employers everywhere. I’ve felt thankful that God took away a work schedule and lifestyle that was very bad for my body.
I just don’t know what to say. Of course, there’s Paul, slightly out of context and no doubt slightly mis-quoted: “What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who spared not his only Son, shall he not with him also graciously give us all things?”
I’m sticking with that for now, looking for work, enjoying rest, and praying with the tiny little mustard seed of faith I feebly claim that God will give me grace to be faithful to Him and prove Himself faithful to us.
For now I’m off to live the life of a true adult: grocery shopping with birthday money!