I’d like to take you down the crazy rabbit hole of my brain this morning.
The last week or so has been exceedingly difficult for me because it’s the first August in many, many years I haven’t been surrounded by college students being trained for their positions in Student Development.
The jobs I have held at colleges have been far more than a paycheck. I’ve bucked tradition and my desire to stay home after having children because I knew, knew that I was doing the work God called me to do.
(I have to believe I wasn’t delusional about my impact because two of the last three years I was selected Staff Member of the Year. I appreciated that honor but was always a little surprised because the honor wasn’t something I worked to receive… I just did what I thought was right to the best of my ability.)
It’s always been that way for me – working with college students has been a calling, not a paycheck, not a place to be because I couldn’t find a real job, not an easy out because parenting is hard… I’ve felt a certainty in my soul I was doing what God asked me to do.
And this year August training happened without me.
One thousand miles away the staff I selected trained for a job I shaped and went on with their lives without me while I sat in a little mountain top town in a mouse-hole of a home with my family, two puddles and a Great Dane.
Professionally, this has reinforced my longtime knowledge that no institution is made up of one person and no one is irreplaceable. Because that staff is going to be awesome, they’re going to do great without me and if it hasn’t already happened, they’ll forget about me because the staff they have now is incredible!
But on a personal note I’ve had to do some serious soul searching.
I know we are where God calls us to be in the timing He has decided. I’ve felt no conflict about being here, doing this job in our mountaintop town in our mouse-hole of a home with my family, two puddles and a Great Dane.
But what do you do when you’re not Doing what God called you to Do?
The last few days I’ve realized I need to change my perspective. I don’t always need to do the things God has called me to do in the past if I can be the person God has called me to be right now and in the future.
Does that distinction make sense? I fear I’m not writing it well because it has been so immense in my brain it’s hard to wrap my hands around it.
This life we live throws a lot of curve balls. Right now our financial system is askew, people are scared, marriages are in disarray, and culturally we are looking bankruptcy in the whites of the eyes.
We have to adapt if we’re going to survive and holding on to yesterday’s glory is a surefire way to damnation.
I know I need to release the work I’ve done in the past and embrace the work I’m doing right now. Who knows what the future will bring – but I’m totally accountable for my today. And the person I am Today must be the person God’s called me to Be.
I can let Him take care of the rest of life, the doors opening and closing (whether those be gentle or firm!).
“Be Still and Know that I Am God.” Psalm 46:10
“The LORD will fight for you, you need only be still.” Exodus 14:14
I don’t usually do crazy things like quote Scripture from the Bible on this blog. I’m much more prone to tell stories of my children’s poop or other such uplifting topics. But every once in awhile I think it’s ok to be authentic with struggles and let you know what’s touching my life.
So thanks for joining me down the rabbit hole today. Tomorrow may bring poop and humor back into the Force. You’ll just have to check back and see.
Do you ever struggle with these topics? What conclusions do you have?
11 thoughts on “Rabbit Trail”
I’m struggling with this right now (and many times in the past!) I’m being torn between my lifelong dream and calling to be a mommy first and the immediate need for our family to increase its income. I feel guilty for NOT wanting to “work”, but I horrible when I think about not being able to pick my son up from school or to be able to spend time with just Piper. I don’t even know what God wants of me or with me at this point, and its frustrating and scary. And it stinks that money is the driving force behind all of it:(
It’s not an easy answer, but I do believe if you’re doing what God is calling you to do He will provide the money. I don’t know what that means practically, but I think the investment you have in your children is more valuable than dollars… but money’s the way we manage life, too. I wish there was an easy answer for you – I would say, give it time and prayer. And I understand!
God’s purpose for us definitely changes over time. Does He call us to ONE thing for our whole lives, or does He call us to different challenges and opportunities throughout our lifetimes? It I was to think that God has called me to one thing for my lifetime, at this point I would have to say I have not fulfilled that purpose. He calls us to live where we are, and follow His guidance wherever He leads us!
It’s good stuff JJ and right on. I think today is hard when you don’t know what today is supposed to look like. Is there more than I realize? If I just make the most of the moment living in today, will I wake up years down the road wondering what if there was more and I just settled? Or will I wake up to think life was perfect and just the way it was meant to be, simple. I want to do great things, but am I just an ordinary person, like most the world, where great is ordinary?
That sounds good, though I constantly have this battle that I do not want to be ordinary. I get used to ordinary and then the wrestling starts again, there’s more… I try something new to find, I did not finish or it did not work out as planned. What am I here for? Help me Lord!
I think this is very common with moms and maybe dads who have found jobs that they are good at and then have children and stay at home. I found myself caught up in the false thought that I was better person or smarter person because of the job I was doing. Suddenly when I needed to stay home I found myself floundering in the great stay at home mom abyss. I may not go back to work again but that’s ok because I’m doing a much more important job with my girls at home. Also it’s not what you are doing it’s who you are and whats in your heart. I know you are an amazing, caring, intelligent women who has and continues to touch other peoples life regardless of where you are and what occupation you hold.
I would have written this if I had a blog…and was as good with words…and if I had ever had a career at a college. But pretty much this is my life.
You make me smile, Chelsea! We need to figure out how to conquer the world together!
I know one thing I learned during the same experiences of my life. God can never use me where I want to be until I am happy with where He has me now. When I am content with what He is doing with me now, He has the freedom to lead me where He has for me to go.
Tough, tough… but true. And wise. So the follow up question is: what practical techniques do you know for making where you are now a place you are happy with?
Happiness is fleeting. It’s a quick feeling that comes from a funny movie or a heart shaped lollipop or a really good birthday present. It’s great. I love to be happy. But happiness is a reaction that is based on our surroundings. And our surroundings are so very rarely under our control. Even when – especially when – we think they are
Being content is so much different from being happy. Being content is not based on your surroundings. Being content comes from within. Contentment is a spirit of gratitude. It’s the choice you make to either be thankful for the things you do have, or to whine about the things you don’t have.
Being content and grateful leads to consistent joy.
Sometimes I feel like we are in a “holding place” until we are moved on for another purpose. It may simply be necessary for us to gain an experience or learn knowledge before we are moved onto something more. Or even that our new purpose is not ready for us yet so we have been led to a smaller one. In times like these as humans we feel we have lost our purpose. As much as some of us would love to know what the plan is so that we can prepare, there are some plans humans are not privy to and we have to learn patience and be grateful for the new opportunities made available for us to experience and therefore become more prepared for our next purpose.