Saying Goodbye To The Cube Farm

So I was laid off from my corporate job today- no apologies are necessary.

These last twelve months have been a roller coaster of changes and adjustments.  The people I work(ed) with, in my immediate department, poured out compassion and grace to me every chance they got.  And still, I knew deep within me, very soon after Matt’s death, that sitting in that cubicle was not where I was suppose to be anymore.  With the mourning, the moving, and the months of ongoing adjustments I made the decision to hold to that job.  I knew that the financial stability was smart.  I knew my ability to discern whether or not another ‘life changing event’ should be placed on our home simply wasn’t there.  Even with all that though, it was a day by day effort.  Waking up and getting to a job that had lost all meaning … working for corporate America … and at what cost?  The nagging feeling that I was leaving my children behind in order to do so.

It was about a month ago, maybe two, that my heart started truly aching.  The desire to step out in faith, to follow God’s calling on my life, and do the thing that most people would view as ‘irresponsible’ or financially risky had reached a point that I felt I was about to crawl right out of my skin.  Depression, of a different source this time, was sinking deep down within me.  I felt I was letting down my children by needing to hold a 9-5.  I felt I was letting down my co-workers, both by the change in my work habits, and my loss of passion.  I felt trapped.

Before Christmas the company I work(ed) for had executive level issues, and it was rumored there may be layoffs.  With much angst over how it could possibly sound to a manager, I requested that if layoffs were to take place that I would be the one to go.  It had been weeks since then and there had been no sign or word that it was ever going to happen.  More recently, in the last two weeks, I began to give up hope on that being the tool in which God would use to release me from my old career path.  I became frustrated with God … what was worse was I tried to take control – to handle it without surrender.  I doubted His ability, or possibly more accurately speaking, His willingness to answer my prayers.

Last night was the ugliest night I’ve experienced in a while.  I paced for hours, I wrote feverishly (in private journals never to be seen by the pages of a blog), I prayed, I begged, and I cried.  I asked God to show me, tell me, make it known what was the correct path.  I confessed to Him.  I was honest about my pride, my need to control, my doubt.  I went to sleep.  I woke up.  I went to work.  But when I left?  I went home with confidence and freedom, the kind only Christ can give.

He is so good.  We say that, don’t we … God is good.  It’s almost as if no word ever could even come close to encapsulating Him, so we just nod in knowing and say, ‘He is good.”  But it’s truth to the core … He has been good to me, so good to me.  Even in my doubt, anger, and unfaithfulness He loves me.

I got home and the song How He Loves came on.  Those first words almost knocked me to the ground …

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy
When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

Where I had felt alone and angry just hours before I could almost now see his love surrounding me in all my weakness.  Jealous to have my faithfulness back – holy and good He bent me like a branch in the wind of his mercy, goodness, and love.

How To Still A Dizzy Heart

I’ve battled with anxiety my whole life. It sprouts up from time to time in a most disgusting and volatile way. I rarely see it coming. I usually can’t idenify a concrete reason for its arrival. And I’m always unhappy to have it around. Recently, it has come to visit. I suppose it showed up after Christmas; sometime after the tree was taken down, and the holiday was finally at a close.

And so, as of this morning, I feel like I’m being chased in circles. Like someone is whispering that I have more to do than I can ever get done. A whisper that has a taunting nature; telling me I should stay out of the way of the people who love me. A whisper that has the power to evoke old feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.

Although it’s very hard to recall with any certainty, I don’t think I have felt the true weight of this anxiety since before Matt’s death. Sure I have been anxious from time to time, but never a constant nagging on my stomach to attain the unattainable. I feel like I’m running in a race which not only I won’t win, but likely not even finish. None of these inner mutterings are truth. I can affirm that I do what I can, when I can, in the best manner I can.  I have faith God is ever loving, gentle, and that I am in His care.  I know that I am doing things to move forward.  But those anxieties that are laying waste to my inner self still surface.  I know they are wrong, and yet they still appear.

Part of the anxiety lies in my fear of the unknown. Fear of what this last year of grief, moving, and life changes has done in me. What these changes will bring me to – or worse – what they won’t. I want to DO something. I have grown so unfamiliar to normalcy, and the return of that brings a sort of angst to me. Normalcy is scary. After seeing what I have seen, losing all I have lost, you would understand that to go back to the place that I came from is nothing more than complacent and foolish. To avoid this feeling I want to move. I want things to keep happening at the rate at which they have been happening. Moving forward, getting things done.

Keeping up …. Keeping up … Keeping up

I want to be the reason for my surviving (and at times thriving) through this journey … and there in lies my problem.  I am not the reason for any of this.  His grace given to me … for the glory of Him who was sent to save.  I am being told to wait. God has brought me to a place in which endurance is needed. Suffering can feel easy at times compared to patience. A person must be still in patience. Being still, especially after a time of such massive movement, can seem beyond daunting.

It’s that feeling you get when you stand in one spot and spin. Even after you stop spinning your legs wobble, your eyes can’t focus, and your head is still dizzy. You want to be able to see where your spinning has taken you, but you can’t control yourself enough to stop moving and look. You want to be able to walk, without veering to one side or the other, but it is hopeless. From all outside appearances nothing is causing you dizziness; after all, at this point you are just standing in one spot. And yet, you feel out of control. And the only way to overcome it  … is patience.

I have learned in the last year that I am in control of nothing. I have learned that God’s provisions for me have always been greater than my expectations. I know that surrender of my dizzy little heart must be a daily request.  And so I must breathe.  I must enjoy what is in this moment.  And I must take each day as it comes.

It’s time for a little patience.  It’s time for a little stillness.  It’s time for a little endurance.