Just kidding. It is day 43, and while it's not an official milestone day it is ANOTHER day of my life which I find myself sitting on the couch perusing Facebook, checking my email (did I get any mail? How about now? How about....now?), reading and watching movies. The time off is something that in one way I hope is "once in a lifetime". Seeing it that way helps me to try and appreciate what I've been up to the last few weeks.
1. I will now be sending the library staff Christmas cards I know them so well and see them so frequently. THIS, is not a bad thing. I love to read and I love their selection of DVD's and books on tape - and for a good laugh I go peruse their music selection. If I were stuck in the 80's or had the inherent need to listen to Christmas music all the time this would be a fount of opportunities. Going there has given me motivation and purpose and for that...I am indeed thankful.
2. Photography has been kind of put on the back burner which, to be honest, has been the biggest surprise ever. I've done a few things here and there, but not like I use to.
3. I wonder at times how I ever got everything done AND held down a job. It just doesn't seem possible on a day when I spend 6 hours JUST running errands.
4. I have learned that you don't have to shower EVERY day and it IS possible to stay in bed for 24 consecutive hours reading, farting around on the internet, watching movies and having cereal for each meal. Luckily I am past this stage but it was touch and go there for a while.
All in all I think it boils down to the old saying "be very careful what you wish for" and "work your plan" - here's why:
The truth is I longed to sleep late every day when I would wake up at 5:30 and have to go to work. I craved going to bed early when I got home because I was sooooo tired from thinking all day. Now I CAN do that but at the cost of having my sleep schedule completely out of whack...and for me, that's not good. I'm a gal who needs a routine, otherwise I give into laziness waaaayyyyyy to easily.
The truth is I use to think that having all the time in the world to go take photos would be a dream come true...and in part it is. There is great freedom with getting in the car at 1:00 in the afternoon or 1:00 in the morning and searching out & capturing something your eye thinks is unique/special/creative. The reality is I have so many options, it's easier not to choose.
The truth is I had a plan that I was working the first two weeks: exercise, breakfast, job search, clean, then the rest of the day was mine. After a while I gave in and started to say....I can do that tomorrow. Hence my home is wreck and if I'm being completely honest, I have not job searched every day.
The truth is I wanted my relationship with God to become stronger and stronger during this time because it's an unprecedented amount of time to devote to reading His love letter to me - learning who He wants me to be and what he wants me to do. The reality is that after the first two weeks of unemployment, my feelings became "If I've prayed and sought Him earnestly before, during and after my employment, and being unemployed is 'the plan/reward' I get for that effort, why try???". Being unemployed has given me some of the scariest feelings I have ever experienced. It's bizarre. All I can say in the meantime is that while I have those feelings, I have to hold fast that they are not real...they're just feelings.
I think last night was a turning point though to all of "this".
Last night at my Life Group meeting, I was privileged to hear a husband and wife team speak about their calling from God to go live in Israel. Here's what I took away from it:
1. God still speaks to us today. He still guides us, protects us, loves us and blesses us beyond our measure. He will give us trials and he will help bring us through to victory. This requires us to be participants...and that is where I have failed miserably.
2. God's plan for our lives is not really about us. God's plan to take this husband and wife team to Israel was not really about them, it was about God equipping them to be a blessing, a tool, a resource for God to show His love and compassion and abilities to His children who do not know Him. God said go and they went, God said do, and while they didn't know exactly how, they stepped out. God said go home for a season and He provided not only a place to live and people to encourage, but in the meantime they praised God for all things...and he blessed them in an unfathomable way...because they were obedient. I have failed miserably at being obedient.
God's plan for my life is not really about me. It's about Him working though my heart to bring about His plan. We're not puppets - we still have free will to choose Him or not - but the beauty of being His son or daughter is that His plan is perfect. By believing that the word of God is true, here is what I can speak into my life as truth, which in turn gives me hope - it's found in Jeremiah 29: 11-13
For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me."
- God is not sitting there saying - oh let's see...how can I mess with Caryn today and get her to cry and feel worthless and let me put these obstacles in her path that I know she can't possibly cope with. Now to be honest, sometimes it feels like that...but it's not true and those are just feelings. My feelings are not truth. The truth is:
- God has a plan...and God's plan is not to let Caryn make up the plan for her life or feel that she has to. God will take care of the plan.
- God has a plan for my life...not just my life, but every life. Every life that was, is and is to come. He has come so that you may have life. Not some of you, all of you. You, you, you and yes, even you.
- God's plan is good...And we know that God causes everything to work together forthe good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28.
- God's plan offers me a future (here and after and death)
- God's plan offers me hope and offers me up as hope for others. Hope can be defined as: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to, a person or thing that may help or save someone, desire, wish,expectation, ambition, aim, goal, plan, design, optimism,expectation, expectancy; confidence, faith, trust,belief, conviction, assurance; promise, possibility.
- If I come to Him and ask according to His will, He will hear me. My creator, a living God who is omni-everything (the author of all time from beginning to end, all knowing, all powerful, always present, always loving) hears me - one whom He created will be heard. The only requirement is to come to Him with an expectant heart - to be heard and to hear from Him.
- When I look for Him in His word and in the people and nature He created...I-WILL-FIND-HIM. Not maybe I might find Him, not possibly I will find Him. I will find Him. With all due respect, family and friends (human beings) are faulty and they will fail me - as much as I will fail them. That is who we are - fallen man. But God...God will not fail. He can not fail. It is not in the essence of His nature to fail. If He were to fail He would not be God. He has never failed. He is faithful and will remain that way till the end of time. So my faith is not in man, but in God. And I will love my fellow man with all that I have because that is who He created me to be. And when I seek God's abilities (not my own) to love people, He will show me who and how.
3. I think what God said to me is: stop looking at getting a job as "the plan" and realize there is something much, much bigger at work here; listen carefully and hear the words the couple is speaking and know that while there will be trials, I (God) will always prevail and always provide; lock away in your heart, that until I speak to you, draw near to me; and when I do speak, draw even closer;
I will speak in the manner in which you can & will hear me, and you will have no doubt.
I can't sit here and say my faith has not been shaken from this unemployment experience, because it has. I felt as though God was somehow punishing me by losing my job because I tie so much of "who I am & what value I have" into having one. I see myself as worthy and productive and purposeful by having a job. Instead of running to Him I've run away from Him, very far away. What I can tell you is that He has been faithful. He has put people in my path who are bringing me back to Him by words of encouragement, love, concern, and compassion. They renew my belief that God still speaks today and I was in great need of being reminded of that. I need to remember that the only reason I am far from God is because I have turned and run, not God. While I may have failed miserably at so many things, this isn't over. I have the ability to change things...and God is faithful.
If you read my blog you know that if nothing else I am honest about how I feel. I don't always post "happy go lucky" things. I talk about my life and what experiences I am having that make my life incredibly wonderful - the good and the bad. The fact and the truth of the matter is that this time is not bad. This time is a gift and I've taken advantage of it and I'll never get the last 43 days back. Maybe that will be my motivating factor to do what needs to be done and to draw close to Him. Please pray for me. For a job, sure - but more for my obedience and desire to draw close to Him. For His revelation in whatever plan has been and will be laid before me.
Thank you for stopping by and for your prayers.