Thursday, December 6, 2012

Living On the Outskirts of Normal

Have you ever felt you were not meant for the seemingly prescribed standard of life? Do you feel like you are constantly searching for your place, but never quite fitting in anywhere? What do you do when you've come to the point where you realize that everything you have tried has not been quite right for you?
I am at that place in this moment. I am confused about my calling. I have gone from place to place, jumped off of one career path onto another - many times, tried exploring many different college majors and still feel as though I'm back at Career Day in fifth grade. I know there is a purpose for my life, but what in the world is it? Some have asked me if I have been seeking God about this and I feel as though I have, over and over again. I have felt as though I had a clear message on what I was supposed to do/be, but I either misunderstood, or my everyday life got in the way and jumbled my thoughts, my plans, my aspirations until I seemed to spin around in a whirlpool just to get placed right back where I started.
Is this some sort of mid-life crisis? I don't even feel like I'm in "mid-life" right now - I feel as though I'm still hanging onto the first third of my life.
I recently watched the movie "Eat, Pray, Love." I had read the book a few years ago, but I was not in the current crisis that I am now experiencing - I enjoyed it, but I definitely separated it from my life. I completely related to the main character. (Other than the part where she's getting a divorce :-) ) I related to her on the level of feeling so lost within her current life and not knowing what to do, but searching and searching for her purpose. How brave of her to just live and see where life takes her. The story also highlights how much unnecessary value we place on material possessions.

What am I really trying to do with my college degree? I have to ask and answer this question honestly. Is my determination to get a degree born out of some imagined necessity of upward mobility? Or, is it a way to make up where I failed many years ago when I dropped out of college the first time? I have told people that I did not forgive myself for dropping out (more than a decade ago) until January of this year when I started again as a full-time student and was actually doing well. Now that I am being honest with myself I really must wonder if I did truly forgive myself. If I dropped out of school right now, would I still look back on my failed stint at Miami University so long ago and honestly still declare myself forgiven? The answer, sadly, is no.
God's forgiveness is not like ours - thankfully. Once He forgives us, our sins are as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12). I have been judgmental, or biased, or something. I have had the mindset that if I had a degree from a respected 4 year university, I would be more respected. I suppose that is true in some ways, but how important are other peoples' opinions of me? What is important is my opinion of myself. I am more than any title/degree that I may or may not hold. I have a place in this universe, I have a purpose. I will stop looking at myself contained within this narrow cube that "society" wants to put me in and start looking "outside the box" to what my existence means on a much larger scale.
More to come soon...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Not Focused

This is why people go to college right after high school - BEFORE marriage, kids, and everything else! I'm supposed to be working on a paper that is 3 hours late and I am so not focused. I feel like I'm sinking. I have one semester left before finally completing my Associate's Degree, but I really don't know how I will make it through that! I'm pretty sure I am changing my major, but again, I don't know what I want to do next.
I'm really starting to feel, after 15 years of intermittently trying, that college may not be for me. I would feel so silly giving up after this, though. I think I actually want to become a teacher and I know I have to go a lot further in school for that. So much uncertainty right now. I'm working on increasing my discipline/self-control because I believe that's a large part of my issue. Do you have any idea how many posts I have saved as drafts for this blog? It's really ridiculous. I have started many posts about various topics that I want to discuss, but somehow didn't think I had the time to finish them. Mess. I have so much greatness in me. One of these days - soon - I will conquer all of these "inner demons" or whatever you want to call it, and I will truly be walking in the plan/purpose(s) that God has for my life.
I promise that!
For now, back to work/studying.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Catching Up

I have about three posts saved as drafts since the last time I posted, but I'm still not ready to finish them. Sorry! Busy, busy, busy! I just had to post today because I was looking at my Mother's Day gifts and I was feeling so thankful. My kids all made heartfelt gifts for me and they just mean so much. How nice that they think so highly of me that they want to create beautiful things by their own hands for me to cherish. I am so blessed. Also, my husband (who I told not to get me anything) got me a beautiful new outfit that I was able to wear to church yesterday and the card he picked out was so sweet. I remember when we were dating and he always seemed to feel a little awkward about giving me cards because he wasn't very good at expressing his emotions so he would get so embarrassed when I would start to well up and want to hug & kiss him. Now, he writes beautiful messages full of emotion and I always know they are straight from his heart.
Even though I had a great Mother's Day, right before I went to bed, I was feeling so low. I was asking God how I could possibly change who I am. How can I go from seeming to always make the wrong choices to making smart choices and having an organized, fulfilled life. I just wanted to go back and rewind my life so I could fix things. I know it is impossible, but I just couldn't see my way past... well, my past. As I was talking with God and asking how I could possibly change, He brought this verse to my mind, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13 NKJV) My initial reaction was, "I know, but this is so hard!" Of course I was just whining, so He repeated it, "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!" I got it that time. All things means ALL THINGS! No matter how big your problems seem, even when you feel like you are drowning, you CAN pick yourself up and try again. You may be behind on your bills, behind in school, behind in work, suffering from a broken heart, estranged from your family - whatever the case may be, you CAN go on. Of course it feels like there's no escaping from your problems, and maybe their isn't, but even if you cannot escape, you CAN find your way through, wade through, muddle through, whatever you have to do, just remember with the Lord on your side, nothing is impossible! NOTHING.
So, I may feel a little lost right now because I am not living my life exactly how I planned it, but I WILL still make it. I'm not going to ask God to let me rewind my life because I need to live with choices I made. What I am doing from now on is taking one step at a time and seeking God first, but even if when I make the next not-so-good choice, I will still hold on to His hand and not let go. I know He will always pull me through the darkest depths.
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