April 29, 2005

Rambling Reflections (a laptop backlog entry)

Today is the day I’m leaving for the Kingdom Weekend retreat. I hope that it is really good. I’m sure it will be. I just took a shower. I’m mostly packed. I bought a really good movie today with a coupon and double points on my movie club membership. Starting Over is going to be on TV any minute. I like that show. I think of my parents’ house as a starting over house for me; it is just taking a long time for me to graduate. The show today was dealing a lot with hidden anger and a woman who is denying and obstructing any discussion or work on her anger. It was interesting. It made me wonder if I have a well of hidden anger. I think I do let some anger build up, but then at some point I usually vent it and own up to what has made me angry. I usually cry and write and pray it out. Sometimes I’ve been angry at myself, sometimes at God, at situations.

Anger List: The biggest things I’ve been angry about at one time or another in the past two years

Not finding a job
Not finding a husband
Myself being lazy or procrastinating
Being pressured into commitments that I don’t want to make
Having nothing to show for what I’ve been doing with my life, feeling that I’ve wasted my life.
That I sometimes fail to keep in communication with friends that I care about, not replying to e-mail or sending them a letter or calling when I say that I will.
Having to wait and wait without knowing when or how God is going to provide for something that I need or that I think that I need.
Being ignored by all those men at eHarmony

Well, that is a starter list. There may be some things just simmering under the surface. Last year about this time I went to the Kingdom Weekend and didn’t realize how angry I was at God for not meeting the expectations that I had. I felt that I had been working hard at doing the right thing and building a new life here and it wasn’t going very well. I was working at a job that I didn’t like and was just a temporary thing. I had been working hard at eHarmony and found only rejection. I had really imagined getting a career started and a wonderful, loving relationship that would turn into a lasting marriage. I had dreamed that a whole new and exciting life would start. I was really angry because things in my new life were not shaping into what I hoped for and it was deeply disappointing. I felt that God owed me the fulfillment of some of those dreams because I was trying my best to do what I thought was right. Not that I was living perfectly and I still am not living perfectly. But I was trying my best.

Where have I come since last year? Have I made any progress in my walk with God or in my new life in Washington State? I’m in a job that is very precarious and may possibly end permanently in about a month. But it is a teaching job at a community college, which is exactly what I was dreaming about. I had another teaching job for several months and that one ended due to a lack of students and due to, partly, my lack of ability to handle the incredibly diverse needs and desires of the students. I tried my best and I prayed really hard for wisdom and creativity and insight. It just didn’t work out that well and I wasn’t really sad when it was over because I was also really stressed out by the way things were run there and it was not a great working environment for me. There were communication problems which led to not having important information about the schedule or other things I needed to be able to do my job well and give the students the right information about programs and events.

I quit eHarmony and have had some temptation to start again, but haven’t renewed my membership. I won’t say that I never will. I still have a profile there and I haven’t closed it out. But I am less and less tempted to open the membership because I feel that everything in my life is still too unsettled. I think if I had a more secure job that paid me fairly well and I was moved in to an apartment, then I would be much more tempted to open the membership up. I am embarrassed by my present circumstances still and don’t want to have to tell a man who may start communicating with me that I live with my parents and don’t have a car or a dependable job. I don’t believe that he would accept me. I’m not sure that I accept my circumstances fully. Sometimes I feel like such a loser and a failure because I can’t support myself. Then I tell myself that God doesn’t judge me by my paycheck or by what I do or own. He still loves me. That is true. He does love me unconditionally and my worth and my salvation are not based on my acts or on worldly success.

God defines success very differently. But I still can’t help being angry with myself and I get depressed because I feel like a failure, not knowing know how to build this new life. I am angry because I had the dream jobs that I wanted and they weren’t the answer. I am seriously thinking of not teaching anymore and finding another career path. I don’t even know what career path I should follow. I have not been able to manage my professional life well. But I do praise God that with the money that I made in Korea and the money that I have made in the piece meal jobs I have been working at here and there that I am almost out of debt. I don’t have any credit card debt at all. I am still paying my student loan and I have not missed a payment once in almost two years since I’ve been here. That is such a huge load off. That debt was killing and choking me in Massachusetts and it seemed I would never be out from under it.

Thank you, God. Praise you for always provided what I really need. You have proven yourself totally faithful. Yet still I seek to build a little scaffold of worldly security that I can lean on so that I don’t have to get in a tight spot and wonder how you are going to get me out of it. You always do, but I get so frustrated in the middle of it. Sometimes I do trust and I know your peace in the middle. But often I run around in my own strength exhausting myself because I’m panicked in the darkness and don’t trust that the light is going to come before it’s too late. I get embarrassed when I have to tell strangers about my life because I feel that they judge me the way that the worldly part of my mind judges me- as a failure and a slacker. Progress that I’ve made is that I don’t expect God to just grant my wishes because I try to please him. I have had part of my dream come true. I saw that it wasn’t the answer that I expected.

Now I’m ready to quit teaching. What next? What dream? I don’t know. Dreams lead to disappointment anyway. There is only security and happiness in eternity. No dream can satisfy now in this life. Then what is the point of dreaming and making goals? Well, they can be helpful to motivate you and get you going in the right direction. God has plans for me. Those plans are for good- to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me hope and a future. Ultimately that is in eternity. But I do believe that he has positive things for me in this life, too. His plans will help me to have the most fulfilling and satisfying life possible for me in this world. It may not be materially rich and satisfying that way. But there are many kinds of “riches”. I ask God to help me see his vision and to help me be passionate about the things that He wants me to do. I have no idea what the results will be. It is a little scary that way because I like to feel a little bit more in control.

No comments: