Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Weakness is to Strength as Summer is to Unemployed

Hello again

Okay, so it’s been a while, a long, long while. I apologize for that.

Anyway here’s a quick recap of the past three months or so since my last post.

May—I graduated from SMU without a job off or even any sort of job prospects, and because I didn’t have a job my only option was to move back home. Ah Corpus Christi, such a fun city… (Anyone who has visited Corpus will know that I am being my usual sarcastic self right there) Living at home with my mom was nice, and it had its perks, free rent, home cooked meals, and cable television. Over the past two months I watch lots and lots of cable television. I got myself engulfed in Deadliest Catch, every original show on the History Channel (including a show about Alaskan Taxidermists called “Mounted in Alaska”), plenty of crime shows and lately I’ve been hooked on the 24 hour marathons of Jersey Shore. (I’m not too proud of that last one. I filled out so many applications that my email inbox would be full each day with confirmation emails and rejection emails. Eventually, May spilled into June, and the summer of unemployment dragged on

June – I received a tip that a geotech contractor was hiring civil engineers to be site inspectors, and after calling the company up, they invited me to come up to Denton for an interview. In preparing for the interview all signs seemed to point to this being the perfect job for me, but as I departed Dallas to head back to Corpus following the interview, I couldn’t shake the gut feeling that this wasn’t the job for me. A week later I received phone calls from two different Dallas firms asking me to interview with them!

I was excited, because both of these jobs seemed pretty good. One was a job working on a waste water team designing pumps and pipe specifications. The people there were great; I even had the surprisingly awkward experience of being interviewed by a friend. The downside was that I really didn’t want to work in water that much, but a job was a job, and in this market I wasn’t about to turn them away. The other company was a geotech firm and I would be a field engineer taking soil samples from the site and bringing them into the lab for tests. The job sounded fun and several of my classes had unknowingly prepared me for this job, but the pay was nowhere near what I was expecting. I left expecting to hear back soon, but I’d be waiting a while and so June turned into July.

July – Not much to say, except for I was impatiently waiting to hear from both companies. After checking in with them multiple times, they were always in the “decision” phase, but could never tell me an answer nor give me some sort of a time table. All the while I sat around feeling like a fool and a failure because here I was a college graduate with no job, and therefore no foreseeable future. Finally over a month after the interview, the geotech firm made me an offer, and so now it’s August and I am making preparations to move back to Dallas and begin work. Hooray!

Now that you’re all caught up, I can get to the real reason while I decided to come back to my blog. I had initial thought I could be serving in Costa Rica, but God had other plans for me. Now I guess he wants me back in the Metroplex, which is fine by me.

Anywho, it’s time to get to the meat and potatoes of the post I guess. This summer has been extremely hard for me. I have spent the time away from my entire support system, and while we have facebook and cell phones, there’s no replacement for a face to face conversation and a good old fashioned hug. It really hurt that my dad couldn’t be at my graduation. I hope that he is proud of me, but standing around seeing everyone with their families just made the pain resonate to a deeper level. Then the fact that I know he loves me and is proud of me just drove me into a deeper depression while I struggled to find a job. (It sucks when your occupation is infrastructure, and the government decides to cut spending on new infrastructure)

It hit me just about an hour ago while I was re-reading a section of Craig Groeschel’s book, Weird, some of you may know his other book, The Christian Atheist. In this portion he was talking about a promise from God that we needed to claim. The scripture that he cited knock me back.

“’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Those of you who know me well know that one of my biggest struggles is my lack of self-confidence. It is my weakness, and the fear that coincides with it cripples me. I have an immense fear of rejection, and that’s not specifically related to dating. I was scared out of my mind during my interviews, because I feared that I wouldn’t get the job. If I were thinking about doing something with an unknown outcome or just something risky; I wouldn’t do it, because I’d rather not do anything than risk failure, because doing nothing is safe, it’s known. Also, my weakness causes me to fear that I am inadequate and can never measure up to society’s standards. (Sitting here I am afraid that you hate this blog and have already gone back to mindlessly facebook stalking someone)

That fear is present within me, because I am putting too much stock in the world. I fear people’s opinions instead of fearing and revering God. I am too safe and quiet, and instead need to step out in faith and trust that regardless of the situation God’s going to take care of me. (I just laughed a little bit typing that, because if you know what’s happened to me you know that God has gotten me through some ridiculous stuff, but still I struggle with trust)

It’s only in our weakness that God’s strength and power is made perfect. There are plenty of things I don’t know, I admit it. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is the one thing I know for certain; God is with me. To quote Groeschel, “He’s with you too, even right now as you read these words. He’s for you and wants to help you be the person he created you to be. He is the one for all of us.”

To sum it all up, this summer has been one of the worst and best times of my life. I have discovered my weakness, struggled with it on my own, and now I am ready for God to use it and me to glorify him.

“They are weak but He is strong. Yes Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.”

Thursday, April 21, 2011


So, I understand it’s been a while. I’m sorry, but I distinctly remember not making any sort of promises.

Anywho, a lot has been going on, so I’ve been a little busy. During the senior interview for one28 I was asked to find a song that identifies with my four years of college. I went first so I didn’t get the memo that we were giving funny answers like “Friday” and “Whip my hair.” I ended up giving a serious response.

The past couple weeks have been crazy. Sing Song, Anchor Splash, Island Party, BYX retreat, Senior level Engineering courses, and all this is on top of my never ending job search. It was amazing that I made it through all that. I lost a lot of sleep, but I got everything done.

My reward was taking that irrational road trip that everyone takes in college. I drove with one of my littles, Jeremy, to Austin to see Rise Against in concert. Words cannot express how awesome it was. So totally worth it. Unfortunately, after we got back at 2am, I still had homework to do and a test to study for so I didn’t go to sleep. In the midst of my scholastic efforts I found the time to entertain my artistic side and do a little car window graffiti. I had been so busy I hadn’t found time to ask a girl to formal, so I had to get a little creative, and write it on her car while she was in class.  She said yes!

That’s enough about recent life, now for the point of this blog. The song I picked was an epic song by Rise Against. It’s called “Survive,” and for everyone’s benefit I have listed the lyrics to the chorus below.

 Life for you has been less than kind,
So take a number stand in line.
We’ve all been sorry, all been hurt,
But how we survive, is what makes us who we are.

It is a great representation of my four years here at SMU. In the past four years, I have faced many disappointments and dealt with a lot of emotional stress. The death of my father, the heartache of my first break up, and the disappointment of failing a class were all major lows on my roller coaster of a life. Now I know that not everyone has dealt with everything I have. I’m not trying to brag about my situation, or look for sympathy. The beauty of life is that we all face our own trials, and only God can help us get through them.

God doesn’t place us in situations that are beyond our means, he knows our strengths and weaknesses probably even better than ourselves. After I lost my father to melanoma, I thought my world was crushed. With some help from friends I managed to pick up the pieces of my life. A year later a friend of mine lost her father. I tried my best to be there for her, and just use the experience that God had graced me with to help her cope. Since then I have kind of found my calling in helping those who are grieving cope. It’s the best way my mind can justify why God saw fit to take my father from me.

I also use any of my other life experiences as platforms to help others. That is our calling as Christians living life. You may not have dealt with death, or heartache, but you have faced some sort of issues. Whatever they are, God has used them to teach you and equip you so that you may one day glorify Him through situations with other people.

Our lives are roadmaps of our choices during difficult situations, and like the lyrics of “Survive” say, “Its how we survive, that makes us who we are.”


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Osh, Kosh, and Other Things That Rhyme With Josh

So now that I’m done with class for the day, I guess I need to actually put up a legitimate post, eh?

Well here you go, and it’s even tax free! How about them apples, or oranges, whatever your taste may be? Enough food for thought. Get it? I know, I’m hilarious. Seriously though, let’s get down to business, and since there are no Huns in the area to defeat…  I guess I’ll take this opportunity to reflect a little. It’s like milk, “it does the body good.”

It wasn’t by accident that today I finished reading the book of Joshua. For those of you that don’t already know, I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that one day I will inherit everlasting life with him. Interestingly enough, he died for yours, too. If that’s news to you, come find me, and we’ll chat about it, because how I came to know my Savior is a whole other story.

Back to Joshua…

So I’m a 22 year old guy standing on the edge of the next chapter of my life. Seven weeks from now, on May 14th I will walk across that stage and receive a very expensive piece of paper. What happens after that is totally unknown. The only thing I know for sure is that I will go wherever God directs me.

I am exhausting every option I can and basically the options are as follows: Get a job somewhere doing civil engineering, serve in Costa Rica with eMi, or go home to Corpus.

Get a Job – Go to work for a civil firm. If I could swing it, go to work for a transportation firm and work in construction. (Hence the title of this blog) It is tough, the economy doesn’t give me much hope that I will find a job straight out of school. I’ve applied everywhere, and I’ve used up any and all connections, too. I trust that God will take care of me. I will be graduating with an immense mountain of debt. Don’t get me wrong, I love SMU, but it was expensive. After losing my scholarships freshman year, God somehow found a way to keep me here. Regardless I have to get a job and start paying off that debt.

eMi  - A friend of mine, Christy, introduced me to a wonderful service opportunity, eMi (Engineering Ministries International) It consists of volunteering to serve with an engineering firm in one of several offices located throughout the world. Serving from August to December, and I would be helping to engineer a world of hope. It would be real world experience and I would be serving God. I would so love to do this, but it would involve raising a lot of money, and figuring out the job situation. Needless to say it would be a huge leap of faith for me.

Corpus – Oh Corpus, the home of Whataburger, and awful city beaches. I don’t want to go back, because I have grown to love Dallas. I refer to Dallas as my home more than Corpus Christi. There’s very little for me back there. Really besides my mom and a few friends, everyone else has left. However, 8 weeks from now, if I don’t have a plan in place, I’m headed home until something works out. God might want me to go back to lovely Corpus for some reason. Time will tell.

So yeah, I have a lot to decide…

Now for the reason why I cited the book of Joshua earlier. Everybody knows of Moses, he led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the forty years in the desert. The past few months as I have been reading through Exodus and Numbers I have felt spiritually dry. Nothing seemed to go my way, ever. I was broke, alone, and exhausted from trying to search after things to fill that God shaped whole in my heart. I didn’t realize I was doing this, because I thought I had filled that spot with none other than the God of the universe. It was a sucker-punch when I realized how wrong I was. I pursued what I thought my life should be. I looked for my future wife, I applied to job after job, and I tried to make sure that the people I was leaving behind at SMU would not forget me. Today, I am still single, have no job offers, let alone interviews, and I’ve discovered that I wasn’t properly investing in the people around me. So yeah, I was wandering through a wasteland of my life, and I really didn’t know where to turn.

Slowly but surely, God seemed to use the people in my life to help me to finally realize that I needed to listen to my own advice. I always tell people to trust in God, and he’ll take care of you. It was about for me to finally practice what I so often preached. I am not fully there but I am proud to say that I am making progress. Step by painful step I have been confronting my issues head on and bringing my demons to light. Sometimes I stumble, but God saw fit to bless me with amazing people to help pick me back up and share my burden.
Now to bring it on home, I feel like I have found the way out of the desert, and honestly I knew it all along. The way out is Christ, and living for him. I have been far too concerned with the things of this world. Where am I going to live? When will another family member fall ill? What about all that money I owe the government for student loans? Why doesn’t she want to date me? Why am I not happy?

Joshua was Moses’ successor, he was young and inexperienced and he knew it! But right out of the gate God’s word tells us exactly what we need to hear.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

God will always be with me, there’s nothing I can do to get away from him. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, either angels or demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So I can’t do anything to get away from God’s love.

God will always be with me…

That is such an empowering statement!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

If all of this is true, then why on earth am I so afraid of the future, so afraid of not getting a job, so very afraid of being alone? Well, I am human and therefore sinful.  The good news is, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for my sins. I have nothing to fear, because the maker of heaven and earth is with me always.

I don’t know about you, I don’t know if you even have stuck with me this long, but I do know one thing that the end of the Book of Joshua states.

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

So a lot of my life is unwritten in the eyes of man, so we’ll just have to see where God takes me. I love him, and deep down I know the truth that is Proverbs 3:5-6 that if I trust in him and lean not on my own understanding and in all my ways submit to him, he will make my paths straight. It's time for me to step out in faith, with courage and strength, and trust in God for everything in life.

I hope this makes sense.

Numbers 6:24-26

Catch you later!


I Should be in Class but....


I have been thinking about starting one of these for a while. With the fact that I'm embarking on a new part of my life, I feel what better time to start a blog than now!? I'm not making any promises as far as content and how frequently I post, but I will do my best. Hopefully you find what I have to say, or what I am doing interesting, or else you wouldn't be here! Right now I'm just a guy who's about to graduate college with no idea what's next. We'll just have to see what God has in store for me.

I apologize for how short this first post is, but isn't every blog's first post just a welcome and what not? Seriously though, I have to run to class, Foundation Engineering. Fun stuff...    I know.

See ya!