The World According to Tiff Sniff

Meandering ponderings and wonderings on the state of things.


Forgive me, but today I feel nasty and angry, and this post is going to reflect it. I won't be offended if you skip it.

For two years now I have been struggling with being angry and disappointed with God. It cycles up and down, but I always seem to end up back in this same place. You see, two and a half years ago, as I was finishing up law school, I had a great internship at a company I loved working for, and my boss was assuring me that he was going to make me an offer when I graduated. An offer that, by now, would have me still working for this amazing corporation, doing music law, and moved back to Nashville to work in the company's office here.

Except that, by the time I graduated, the company was about to enter bankruptcy, and everyone in my office, including my boss, was being let go. I spent the last week of my internship helping to pack up the office.

So I decided to come home to work. I know so many people in Nashville, graduated at the top of my class, and have some great experience. Should be pretty easy, right? Well, not so much. I knew I was going to have to work hard to compete with the Vanderbilt and UT grads, but it has been unbelievably hard to even get a foot in the door.

I have interviewed with state and local agencies; I can't get private firms to even interview me. I have not had one job offer in two years, not even a crappy underpaid state position.

I am thousands of dollars in debt and flat broke. I have no other resources or assets, and nowhere to go. The work I'm doing through the juvenile courts is great, and I will get more money from the court, but I don't know when. Whenever they get around to processing my billing forms. Even then, it won't be enough to really help; it will just keep me from getting farther behind.

My grandmother broke her hip last week, and has had to be moved to a nursing home with a rehab clinic. My parents are trying to get a third mortgage on their house to pay for it. I can't ask them for any more help.

I just don't know what else to do.

A lot of people have been where I am, I know. This is what I was thinking about yesterday. I'm at a turning point in my life, and more importantly, in my faith. I can see why someone might choose to walk away from God. It's not that I don't think He's there, I do. But this one area, this thorn in my side, is so painful to me.

I am too blessed in other areas of my life to doubt God's love and care. I have amazing family and friends, I have food to eat and a place to live. I have my own car, even if I don't own it yet. The sky outside today is clear and blue and the day is just perfect. I feel His love everywhere around me. And yet....

My whole life, I was expected to succeed. I was going to be a force to be reckoned with, whatever I ended up doing. I saw my 12th grade English teacher recently, and she was very surprised at how much trouble I'm having; she knew, like we all did, that I was going to make it. I had scholarships to college and to law school. I graduated in the top of my class every time; I was in all of the honors programs. I'm a hard worker, and get along with most everybody. I've even been told by a couple of people that I'm a very good interviewee. So I don't think I'm losing these jobs because of poor personal skills or lack of qualification. I don't think it's all not knowing the right people; the district attorney's good friend wrote me a letter of recommendation when I interviewed with him. I was one of seven people interviewing for four entry-level positions. I didn't get one. I know one of the guys who did; I'm much more qualified than he is. Not to sound arrogant, but it's true. I made better grades and have more experience than he does.

And I really can't explain it. I know there is something larger than me working here. I know God has a reason for it all. But I am hurting and tired and depressed. Counting my other blessings, being grateful for my health and stable family, all of the other platitudes I've tried just aren't helping this anymore. At the end of the day, I am so thankful for what I do have, but that gratitude won't pay my student loans off, or keep Nissan from repossessing my car, should it come to that.

I'm to the point that it's almost unreal. I hear people struggling with looking for a job for a month and want to laugh. I know it's a struggle, no matter how long it takes, but I have reached a point that seems comical. I've looked into getting another job, even a part-time one, but I'm so inexperienced. I keep having daydreams about completely changing my direction - becoming a jewelry designer or writer or psychiatrist - but I have no experience, nor do I have the financial resources to make that sort of switch. I keep thinking about applying at Borders or somewhere just for the piddling money I could make. And because it would keep me busy enough to not think about this other stuff.

In the end, all I have are me and God. I have a law degree, but haven't yet figured out how to make ends meet with it. I am clinging, hanging on to my faith for dear life, but more and more cynical about whether or not He is going to ever open a door for me. I feel like it's up to me, but have no idea what else I can do.

I won't walk away, if you're worrying about it. God has blessed me too much for me to think He isn't there or doesn't care, and He is everything I have now. But just because I am believing in and loving Him doesn't mean I'm not still hurt and angry. Quote Job to me all you want, remind me of the blessings, but you're not going to make me feel better. Feeling great about the rest of my life doesn't make the pain in this part go away. I can focus on the good things a lot, but eventually my bills come and I have to confront it again. The bad days, like today, are often the days I'm at home to work - and realize I don't have much I can bill for. I spend the day catching up on email, cleaning, maybe running errands, and at the end of the day, look back and realize I've wasted a day - I'm no closer to having an income than I was when I got up. I've spent a weekday doing weekend things. It's not a good feeling when it's a regular occurrence.

Sorry again about all of the negativity. I needed to get it out. I'm tired and emotionally drained from getting ready for our England trip; we leave in 15 days. Again, I do have so many great things in my life that most of the time I feel nothing but blessed. But eventually I come back to the fact that no one wants what I have to offer, and that my creditors are getting tired of waiting on me to get my act together. I feel like the ball is going to drop any day, and I'll be looking at legal actions against me. It's not a comforting, God-is-with-me sort of feeling. It's very isolated and scary. Being able to admit this in a quasi-public way is a comfort, and if you're still with me, I thank you for letting me share this with you.

One of the reasons I am as excited about our England trip as I am, besides the work we're going to do and being able to spend some time in one of my favorite places on earth, is the fact that I can put all of this aside for 10 days. Since I won't be able to do anything about it, I won't feel guilty for ignoring it entirely. I crave that sort of peace and relaxation. It's why I spend so much time reading - pure escapism.

And if any of you tell me how worldly and prideful this sounds, I swear I will leap through the Internet and smack you. I've re-read this; I know how it sounds. The fact that this is an earthly concern doesn't make it any less real.

Whew, now that I've gotten all of that out, I'm a little calmer, but not any more optimistic. I don't know what to ask you to do with all of this, other than just keep praying for me. My friend Erin once told me, "You're going to look back on this in 10 years and laugh!" I hope she's right. She probably is, but I still have to get through this.

7 Responses to “Contemplation”

  1. # Blogger Kat Coble

    Earthly concerns aren't worldly at all. Especially one as close to the bone as this.

    I've so been where you are at now. I know the pain of doing everything "right" and still coming out on the flip side of the coin. I know what it's like to look out the window onto the sunniest day with the bluest sky and think "God, who cares how pretty the day is? Just make the phone ring with a job offer. "

    He has a way of laying us low so that we know where to turn. There are times that to me it seems rather ugly of Him. But He being God seems to know best. Takes awhile, but it does come out okay. The best comfort I had two years ago when we were in danger of losing our house, our car and our dogs I kept repeating "yea, tho I walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death."

    The comfort is in knowing that it's just a shadow...not the real thing.

    And you will be surprised at the source of His bounty. I continually am.

    You're in my prayers, and also in my slim networking arena. I'll put your name out there.  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    I know what you are going through. I've been there. Now let's get practical. What law school did you graduate from? They should be helping you with job referals and recommendations especially with your scholastic history. And yes you may have to take a job out of Nashville but I can't believe there is not a law firm out there that wouldn't benefit from a female with a sharp legal mind. As with mycropht you will be in my prayers. God Bless.  

  3. # Blogger Malia

    I know there is nothing I can say that will make you feel better. So I just want you to know that I read the post and I'm praying for you.  

  4. # Blogger Kat Coble

    can't find your email.

    Email me at

    k DOT coble AT comcast DOT net

    I have a possible job thing you might be interested in.  

  5. # Blogger Unknown

    i will NEVER quote job to you, nor will i ever blame you for "escapism" b/c that is where i am right now and why i read harry potter over and over. and yes, it is one reason i like to travel over and over again. life can be very frustrating. it feels like the world needs to re-align...its off somehow...i totally understand...if you want to go get coffee sometime and mutually vent, feel free to call me!  

  6. # Blogger Tara

    I'm with Malia. I love you and will always be proud to call you my sister, no matter what, because of the amazing woman you are. But when there aren't words to make you feel better, I'll offer what I can--a lot of love and a lot of prayer.  

  7. # Blogger Clarissa

    I am praying as well. You are being refined. It's no fun. I love you and will keep praying.  

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