There are days when I wonder what in the world I am doing with my life … Did God truly intend for me to just go to work, try to spend some quality time with my family, run errands, cook, clean, and go to bed (oh, and get in all the “alone time” that I require!! like 10:42 p.m right now!) – only to start all over again the next day?
I realize I have purpose – and in taking care of my family, I am taking care of what God has given me … but what else am I really doing with my life and talents? Sure, I have organizational skills and can generate, reconcile, and fix medical claims … but that’s it?! Was I just set aside because I failed miserably at connecting with people opportunities in the past?! I know that’s not true – but I sometimes question what in the light of eternity I am doing.
Someone once said that being lonely isn’t being set aside, it is being set apart. I am just here in NW Arkansas trying to figure out what in the world it is God has for ME. And I guess this is it! My “heart’s desire” is to do something completely different – to be able to use my German language skills, to study, to write, to travel … but for now, my life is here.
But most days I’m okay with that life. I’m just thankful we’re alive and healthy … we’re safe and warm (or cool – depending on the temperature requirements for our climate control!). While makes me think of Hurricane Matthew going on right now, too – devastation, poverty, losing your home … my worries seem so much less comparatively.
Here are the things that sustain my heart and searching soul these days:
We’ve been without a church “home” since the beginning of June … and actually, really, for the last 3+ years as our previous church in NW Arkansas just never felt like “home” as much as I tried to embrace it. This summer we’ve visited a variety of churches throughout our area – and we have settled into one church in particular in the last 6 weeks or so. Not all of our family is convinced it is “the one” … but for now, the Sunday morning sermons have stuck with me all week, and I call that a good sign.
It has been a long time since I’ve felt the need to eagerly write down sermon notes because I so needed to hear – and remember – what was being preached and that I felt the sermon actually applied to MY LIFE. In this time of being “set apart”, I do think God wants me to just sit and listen to Him and His Word …
The other thing that keeps me going is knowing that I do have FRIENDS out there somewhere. There is someone out there who says, “Me, too.” Or who at least knows me and understands me and gets where I am coming from because they were there as well.
And it does my heart good to spend some time with those people – even though it is not often enough. It is good to see my kids interact with friends from their past, too.
And it is good to have a spontaneous road trip with my kids. To have my son drive me around and sing silly songs from the radio together and to get an update on his life … to hear my girls interact (and bicker!) in the back. To just have FUN instead of just having obligations.
And then there are the occasional surprises. After doubting – and regretting – my choice to change jobs this summer – only to have that confirmed by situations that come up there – then to have a day (today) when I was there while one co-worker gently talked to another co-worker about some struggles she was going through. They are good people … I just don’t always see that side. Another co-worker brought in a doll for Mimsy because she is letting her doll collection go. Just a little reminder to give someone a chance – or a second chance. I still regret my job change …. but it is a little less painful today.
And so, I continue to grasp my straws or the end of my rope or whatever you want to call it. Looking for glimpses of joy in the ordinary. It is there because God is there.