Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Blog Neglect and Other Random Musings on the Meaning of Life

Oh my, how time flies. Here it is Tuesday, and it's been a full week since I've blogged. Total blog neglect, but, what can I say, my life simply isn't very interesting! I'm going to attempt to be better at blogging more regularly. We'll see...The sun is coming up earlier, and that does make it easier to get out of bed. Now if it would only quit snowing and WARM UP!!!! Amen? In any event, my apologies for not having posted anything for awhile. Lo siento!
So, onto more important things, like the meaning of life! Well, kind of. It's just that I have been thinking about my life a lot recently--where I am, where I've been, what I want to do, and where I want to go. Maybe because it's nearly spring, the time of new beginnings and spring cleaning, or maybe it's because I'm just at the end of my rope. But, whatever the impetus, I feel that God is telling me it is time for some changes in my life. Specifically, I feel that He is telling me two things: 1) "It's time to move on"; and 2) "Cut the crap." (OK, so I'm not sure that God uses that exact phrase, but the meaning is the same!) Now, that's all fine and good. I am definitely ready for some changes in my life, and I have a general idea of what I'm being prompted to do. The problem, however, is I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do after I make certain changes.
For example, for several months I have felt as if I am supposed to leave my current place of employment. It's no secret to anyone who knows me: I AM MISERABLE there. My work environment is insufferable, and I don't even enjoy my work anymore. I dread going to bed at night, knowing that I have to get up and do it again the next day. I have nightmares where I dream not only about work, but I also dream that people I work with are physically harming me. Some days it takes all the physical strength I have to actually get out of bed. It's like I'm paralyzed, lying there, completely unable to move my extremities. And, after I suffer all day at work, I'm utterly spent when I get home. And, then I get to do it all over again the next day. All of this stress has taken its toll on me, both emotionally and physically. Emotionally, I swing from sad and depressed to angry, and even vengeful. And that can happen in a matter of seconds. Physically, my body is deteriorating. I've gained the weight equivalent to a large toddler, my migraines are worse and more frequent, and I've made at least two trips to the emergency room with stress related symptoms, all since I started working there. Nothing that is sacred to me is sacred to these people, not God, not family, not physical and emotional health.
But, I thought that since I was here, God wanted me to be here. I thought, "There must be some purpose in this." But, over the last several months, I have felt God telling me, "It is time to move on." At first, the promptings were whispers. I would often push them out of my mind, thinking that they were a figment of my imagination. Since those first promptings, however, everywhere I go, in everything I read, watch or listen to, I see or hear something that corroborates those promptings. Over time, the promptings have gotten louder and louder. Now, instead of whispers, they are screams. As I laid in bed this morning, crying about getting up, once again, I felt God say, "IT IS TIME TO MOVE ON."
I agree with that, but here is my problem. I don't know what I'm supposed to move on to. Am I supposed to get another job in the same field, or am I supposed to move on to something entirely different? Over these last few months I have also felt that I am supposed to move. But where? I have been thinking of the South a lot, but is that only because we've had five feet of snow this winter, and I'm tired of it? It is not at all clear, and right now I'm getting silence on the specifics. Is it just me, or do you sometimes wish that God gave us all an instruction manual? You know, one that tells us where we are supposed to live, what we are supposed to do. Everything spelled out clearly for us. Maybe, it's just me and my Type A personality. I don't know.
In any event, the lack of specific direction compounds my problem. Instead of continuing to pray through these issues, or waiting on God to make the answers clear, I begin to doubt the promptings. Beth Moore once taught a lesson about being led by the Holy Spirit. In that lesson, she told a story about a friend who was awakened in her hotel room one night by a flashing red light. Her friend initially thought that God was speaking to her, but, instead, it turned out to be the light on the fire alarm. Beth's point was that sometimes God is leading us, but other times we just think it is God, when instead, it's only the fire alarm.
So, after awhile, I start to think, "Is this God, or is it just the fire alarm?" And, then I start thinking it's all in my head. I begin to think that I'm not supposed to find another job. Instead, I think that I'm weak and wimpy for not being able to handle the pressure and the stress. I tell myself that if I was only stronger, more determined, more steadfast, things would be OK, and, I stop listening to the promptings. And, initially things are good. I have a surge of "self-discipline" and "will power." I feel as if I am handing things better, even well. After awhile, though, it all falls apart, and I start sinking. Then I beat myself up for having doubted the promptings. I start listening to them again, but the same things happen. It is a nasty cycle of belief, doubt, and unbelief. A cycle that I can't quite seem to break away from right now.
I wish I had the answers. It would make it so much easier, but I realize it's not supposed to be easy. So, I'll keep struggling along, praying for more faith, and, of course, some specific guidance! But, if you have any ideas or suggestions for me, I'd love to hear them. And, thanks for letting me ramble on and pour my heart out. I know it isn't pretty, so thanks for listening.


melissa said...

I think we're soul sisters! So many of these same doubts and questions run through my mind. Here is a verse that i try to read when I am wavering back and forth between belief and unbelief. "If any of you is deficient in wisdom ask of the giving God who gives to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly w/o reproaching or faultfinding and it will be given to him. Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering, hesitating or doubts. For the one who wavers is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything he asks for from the Lord. For being as he is of two minds, hesitating, dubious, irresolute, he is unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything he thinks, feels, and decides." James 1:5-8 Ouch, right? Yet it makes sense that God will only give us something that we believe Him for. He's not going to give us something only to watch us doubt Him and throw it away. When I was wondering how I could know if what I was hearing was from God or not I got some very good advice. If you're walking in God's will and in obedience, you can rest assurred that what you're hearing is probably Him. Also, if He is telling you in many differernt ways (through His Word, friends, songs, Bible teachers, etc) it's HIM. There's no such thing as coincidences! Finally, if it's something that you would never come up with on your own you can know it's God. For instance...me fasting. That is NOT something my mind would ever think would be a good idea so when I hear in my Spirit to fast I KNOW it's got to be God. You say He's been gently whispering and suggesting and now He's yelling. Girl you better do what He says before he MAKES you obey. As Beth Moore says, we can either get on our knees and humble ourselves or He'll do it for us. I feel free to tell you all this since I'ved heard some of the same harsh truths myself recently. I say them in love. Here is a prayer for you that I wrote down b/c it spoke to my spirit...I hope it blesses you!
I know who I am in Christ. I know God, what you did/do for me and I intend to be an overcomer b/c Your Word says that I can be. I am more than a conquerer through Christ. Greater is He who is in me then he who is in the world! I can do all things theough Christ who strengthens me. I refuse to eat dust and ashes all of my life. I am going to ahve everything God wants for me! i'm coming up out of this pit and I'm going to do great things in Jesus' name! Love you sister!!!!!

Julie said...

I think you might be mislead about what "suffering for Jesus" means...it doesn't mean to stay in a job you hate, girlfriend! I say, listen to God, move on and you'll look back and see God was out ahead of you all the way. I did a Bible study called "Decision Making and the Will of God." We should talk about that, shouldn't we? I'll give you the fine points. But I am SURE that down the road you'll look forward, see all the signs that He's still out front, still leading you, his sweet child, by the hand to better and better places. Not always easy places, not always the amusement park, but places He has for you to bring you growth and strength and more and more dependence on Him. LOVE YOU!