So I realize that my life right now is pretty easy in comparison to most people who find themselves in transition or in between jobs. I do joke sometimes that my life looks a little like retirement because my schedule sometimes echos that of the retired couple that I live with, my random meals at the retirement community down the road, I also drive like an 80 year old man and my current transportation is a Cadillac, etc. But joking aside, I find myself continually thankful for my situation because it is stressful enough without adding those pesky little necessities like keeping a roof over my head and myself fed.
I wrote in my newsletter last week about the pressures of the current unknowns in my life and I thought I was doing pretty well handling it all until I got into church yesterday morning. This isn’t the first time it has happened but I cried through the whole service. These weren’t sad tears per se but instead the result of everything hitting me at once. I can honestly say that everything that is currently happening is good. That isn’t to say that it isn’t hard or it doesn’t hurt but it is still good. I’ve said enough good-byes and had enough changes in my life to recognize that this is just par for the course. Giving up something is part of opening yourself up to gain something else. It is hard to leave community, friends and people you care about. It is stressful not to be able to plan or know what is happening more then a few weeks down the road. It takes faith and trust to step out and make decisions without knowing for sure what lies ahead.
In all of this I am my own worst enemy. I realize that I am harder on myself and put more pressure on myself than any of my churches, supporters, friends or family ever do. I have a great talent for getting into other people’s heads and thinking of all the reasons they could have for being disappointed, frustrated or annoyed with me. I work myself up thinking of all the questions that no one is really asking. Why can’t Joy just make a decision already? Why is she wasting time and money just sitting around doing nothing? Shouldn’t Joy be back overseas already? Why doesn’t Joy just get a real job? Etc. I guess there could be people who are thinking this but they are probably not the ones who actually support and pray for me faithfully. Instead I have received nothing but kind, gentle, sincere support from people who are earnestly praying and willing to stand beside me and wait upon the Lord.
So I find myself in a place where I need to truly take that step of faith and trust that God is willing, able and faithful to continue the work He has already started. It is not a question of what others expect from me or even what I expect from myself but instead what God lovingly expects from me. I just have to look into His Word and see what He has promised. As far as expectations, there is no rebuke or chastisement for seeking Him. Instead He continually promises to remain steadfast through all things.
“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” Isaiah 30:18
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mathew 22:37-39
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?…Hear, O Lord when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’…I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27 1,7,8,13 &14