I read through the thread on which both you and Carol wrote.
What a mess the devil is stirring up in your lives, along with the world and the flesh. I don't give any more credit to the one than the other, though usually it is ourselves that are most to blame, though that is a statement more in regards to myself than to others.
Oddly, I was in Real Estate for over 20 years, first selling houses, then selling loans.
What they don't tell you in that eternally optomistic vocation, is how long it takes to become established, with a regular income, and how much even a boom market can drive you to depression.
Even when you are well versed in your profession, changing territories is just like starting over, except that you know what you are doing. Oddly, it doesn't matter much, for the newer you are, the more you have to prove, to establish a reputation for doing what you do well.
It's strange, but I recall my last change of territory, from Orange County, California, in the 1990 real estate bust. I took the opportunity to catch up on my sleep, then worked part time, my experience, and a small overhead, plus some advertising when no one else did at the time, got me through.
Then I made a deadly mistake, or a brilliant move, depending on how you look at it. In 1992, I went back to work full time, in the middle of the bust, in a new territory. It helped that I knew as much as I did. But the depression that results from lack of immediate success hits everyone in Real Estate, in a new territory, with or without experience, right about nine months into the new area.
The reason that Real Estate Sales or Lending is so attractive a profession is the prospect of great pay, and running your own hours. The problem is, it can take a few years to even bring home a regular check, for in a boom market there is a ton of competition, and in a bust, there is not business enough to give to newcomers.
I know that this is not what you want to hear, and that Carol will be all over you to quit, although from what she wrote, she was already tending in that direction.
You feel the lack of success more than you know, for I imagine you are used to being successful. But trucking has it's troubles these days, with high gas prices. Going back to it has its dangers, unless you have a strong company to go back to.
And the ministry, well, that you can do anywhere, anytime. But it is unlikely to produce much of a living.
And Real Estate, without someone supporting you, and even when they do, financially, and otherwise, is a heart breaker. You can't learn what you need to know without a lot of transactions to teach you what is needed and what isn't. And even if you know, breaking new territory is long, heartbreaking work, tedious in the extreme.
There is only one way to make it work. You have to turn the entire situation over to God to deal with. And God is not particularly concerned with your financial success as He is with your spiritual success. Once you have the spiritual, He'll give you the financial.
Now, you may be willing to lose all your possessions to work through to your success. I already know that Carol isn't. And it's hard to ask her to, in a society predicated on having things to feel successful. And it's not as if we can add our tents to the family tribe anymore, and wait for our flock to grow.
Carol, I speak to you now. I know it is hard to give up the amenities of life, particularly if there is mistrust of the outcome. You two have a long marriage to celebrate, and such time together gives you knowledge of who each other is. That can be good, and bad. Both of you may be able to look back at the years and trace a pattern that you don't want to see again. And being scared of the past is a bad way to live.
Both of you: God is in control! And He is concerned with how you view and act towards Him, and then each other.
And yet, instead of trusting Him, you are both scared of what is to come, and angry because things are not turning out as you expected.
Carol, you are providing the majority of the income, and you do not have a profession to turn to, nor I think, the inclination for one. You worry about surviving, and not losing what you have worked so long to get.
My dear sister, I've been there. My name may be Forrest, but I was the wife. And three years after I changed territories, and was re-establishing my usual success, I crashed in a ditch. I became permanently disabled. Only God pulled me out of the worst of the brain damage that killed my 13 year happy marriage, my career, and my very personhood. God used the accident to change the circumstances of my life.
I remember the fears of losing everything, then my husband disavowed his vows. I remember the year I couldn't pay the mortgage because all the money was gone, and everything was tied up in law suits that I didn't win because a filing date was missed by my attorneys. And I remember the sheer misery of being all alone, helpless to change anything, and only God to lean on. My mother was dying of cancer, and my dad was tied up with that, so I had to face it alone.
That was His plan. What happened since has been His plan. I'm happy now to live on the edge of nothing, because I trust Him to take care of me. I thank Him for all the blessings I have, that He provides, but I know they can be taken away at the drop of a hat. I might not always like His version of taking care of me, since I really loved my husband, my career, and my success, but I'm willing to deal with disability, loneliness, too much stuff for my small house, since I have no garage, and laugh at the same time.
Do either of you know how close we are to the end? How a single bad decision can take one of you from the other? In God's name, and for His sake, take a look at each other. Imagine the other gone! Imagine everything gone but each other!
Doug, your confusion is evident, but in those expensive marketing seminars, they don't tell you the price of success. It takes time, and there's a learning curve that is different for everyone. And what you lose along the way, you sometimes can't get back.
Carol, when you put your comfort over your relationship, you forget how easy it is to get back the 'stuff', and how hard it is to get a lifetime relationship.
Both of you: Put God first, and then each other. And pray together for guidance, that both of you, as a couple should know what to do.
And lean hard, lean hard on the Lord. Do you really think He doesn't know your difficulties?
He only waits for you to turn to Him, and trust in His ways. And cling to each other like two children, lost, and waiting to be found, knowing that the Lord will come for you, and lead you home.
Yes, it is hardest to trust the Lord when everything is going wrong. But it is the time you most need to do so. Is this not perhaps your time of testing? Only God knows, and only you can ask Him what next to do.
As for me, I will pray for you both.
Edit: Sorry to sound like I know everything, when I don't, or to chastise when I am in need of it myself.
What I want is for you to both look at God, then at each other. All the rest is important, but less important that your relationship with God, and your relationships with each other. They are so easy to lose, you see, and the pain of those losses is beyond description.
I'll stay out of this now, except for praying.
And I'm still praying for you.