Monday, July 28, 2014

The Journey Begins...Again

The long and winding path from Flickr via Wylio
© 2008 Edward Webb, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio
Two and a half years ago, I had to quit a job that I loved and move.  Since then, I have been a full-time stay-at-home-mom.  It's been difficult, as I enjoyed working part-time and I miss it.  

A year after I moved here, I wrote this

"And I love where I am now.  It is a new chapter in my life, that, although I didn't write it, has been wonderful.  It is a chapter in my life that I have seen, felt, experienced (pick which word you relate to best!) God's leading more than any other time in my life.  Even before it was certain we would move here, I somehow knew that this was the place we would go.  It was strange too, because there was the potential of another place, closer to where I had grown up, that was becoming an option.  I would have preferred that place, but I knew it wasn't the time yet."

I have often wondered why God wanted us here.  What specifically was there for me to do?  A few months ago, I thought I knew exactly what it was God had called me here for, but as it turned out, that job opportunity was not to be.

Yesterday in church, our pastor was talking about blessings, and read from Genesis 12:1-3.  I ended up deviating from that and reading further on, since I have always loved the story of God calling Abraham, and noticed something.  

"And Abram journeyed on by stages toward the Negeb." (12:9)
"He journeyed on by stages from the Negeb as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first, and there Abram called on the name of the Lord" (13:3-4)

What first stood out to me was the phrase "journeyed on by stages".  When God called Abraham, God's promises didn't just appear.  In fact, God's promises of descendents and land were so far in the future that Abraham would not even be able to see them himself.  

I next noticed that after the second journey by stages, Abram ended up where he had been at the beginning.  He'd left his family and all he ever knew to go on this journey of God's calling, and ends up at the first place he had come to initially.  He had to start over yet again.  How frustrating!  

It brought me a little comfort though, that even Abraham, this person that God chose to start a great nation, had setbacks.  The journey wasn't easy or clear.  I don't know if he expected it to be or not, but I know that I tend to expect it to be pretty clear.  I didn't expect to spend this much time being only a stay-at-home-mom, and I didn't expect that part-time job to disappear just when I thought it was the exact right opportunity for me.

But life doesn't always meet our expectations, and we sometimes have to think about where we've been, what we've done, and just start over.  The last two and a half years haven't been a waste, at all, even if they weren't what I expected.  Not working has had some of its own blessings: no problems staying home with my kids when they were sick or had a snow day, getting to know a family in the neighborhood and loving the kids in that family, deciding to cook or bake whenever I had an urge to do so, etc.

But now, I do feel like I am starting over.  Soon, football season and the new school year will begin.  Both my kids will now be in school (1 elementary, 1 preschool), and it is time for a new chapter in my life.  And I still have no idea what that is.  The question "what is your ideal job" has been posed to me twice in the last couple of weeks, by two people who have no connection to each other.  And it stumped me. I am not entirely sure what my ideal job would be.  I have a list of dreams and interests and what I am good at and I don't know how they fit together.  But here they are.  I'm hoping that deliberately writing them out and publicizing them will somehow help bring some clarity and direction. 
  • Must be part-time and flexible so I can stay home when the kids are sick and can't go to school as well as flexible during school vacations. 
  • Writing/Editing
    • I am currently at 17,498 words in my novel
    • I've been blogging on faith/Bible topics since 2005
    • I have a yearlong spiritual discovery project started that could potentially be a book
    • I have always been good at proofreading and have read and provided feedback for writers in my writing group and do some freelance proofreading for an editor friend of mine
  • Publication Design
    • I've created newsletters, booklets, posters, handouts, inspirational sayings on an amateur basis for various organizations and personal use (caveat: I have no idea how to use Adobe products. I know that's a big negative).
  • Social Media 
  • Speaking/Preaching/Teaching
    • I have led Bible studies, given sermons and other devotional talks for many years
  • Getting to know people on a one-on-one basis
  • I've enjoyed my church/ministry jobs the most
We always talk about the church being a community and that people are not supposed to do life alone, so I'm asking for your help and feedback.  I'm not sure what type of job combines those interests and abilities, but if I don't put it out there, I will never know.  So, please, if you have thoughts, advice, know of something that seems like it would fit me, let me know.  And we'll see where the next journey leads. 

1 comment:

Tia Dye said...

I don't have an answer for you, or even a suggestion, but I can relate. Thanks for sharing, and I am sure that you will find the right path. You have your heart and mind pointed toward God, and that is always the best start. Be thankful that you have the time and resources to consider what is ideal, and keep blogging!