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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

15 minutes about divine guidance

I started my application for graduate school today. When I get finished here, I'll be studying for the GRE until I fall asleep, which feels like it will be about 15 minutes. I've been getting up at 5:30 now that we've got to get Izzy out of the door for school, and any day now we will have residents at the women's shelter and I'll have to start heading over there with Korban and Evie. I just don't know if I'm cut out to wake up at 5:30 am. I don't think it's fair that grown up world revolves around morning people.

Anyways, back to my graduate school application. I'm not going to send it in until we're a little more sure that we are willing to commit to staying in this town. I am definitely planning to take the GRE, though, because I know that, wherever we end up, I want to prioritize going back to school. I'm going to get a Master's in Social Work with an emphasis in community. With that specialization, I'll be more trained to help start or develop a non profit organization (or an intentional community). I decided on social work as opposed to counseling because I think I like the options there better than counseling, even though the two are similar. Social workers often work more with a community of people rather than counseling just one client.

I may have had a mini meltdown today. It has been super hard trying to figure out our new roles. It almost...almost makes me wish to go back to when things were more cut and dry - I'm the housewife and he's the breadwinner/minister. I know that wasn't sustainable for me, but I do often wonder if I'm just getting in a rush, like maybe a few years from now it won't feel so impossible to get out of the house and do things. I think that it complicates things further that I don't have a degree where I can just stick the kids in some sort of childcare situation and go to work. Also, Dennis isn't looking to work full time right now, either, because we are trying to invest in developing a ministry. Another also, as I think I've said before, I don't really want to send the kids to day care. I love being with them. Just not alone and not all day long every day.

We are trying so hard to figure out how to make this work, and all we've tried so far has ended up pretty frustrating, but I'm so determined not to give up. In fact, I don't think that's an option, as near as I got to losing my mind in 2014. It's not something I'm proud to admit, but I strongly believe that our weaknesses and failures are just as much tools God uses to guide us as our strengths and victories. For example, this morning, I had just had enough and I went in to work instead of Dennis. I was tired of feeling left out and, at best, useless. At worst, I feel like a burden with the kids spewing chaos everywhere we go.

I spent some time working alone on odds and ends in the residents hall, then went to check on our new resident director. It turns out that she was having the same kind of morning and we were able to pray and vent to each other. We promised to help each other out and we both felt much better. At least I did. None of that would have happened if I'd just been "stronger" this morning and we had been able to stick to the plan. Now, I don't recommend going around pitching fits because you think God has planned them into the schedule, but when you truly are at your wits's end, know that you're not outside of God's will. I like to say that our feeling are temperature gauges, warning us then something is out of whack. I used to think our feeling were our sinful selfishness coming out, and it could be beaten into submission.

Another example is this whole mess we're in right now, with all the uncertainty but also freedom and fulfillment we get here. I don't think I would have had the strength to say "It's time to leave this, God has other plans for us, and I need to work harder to put myself out there." I tried and tried to be a good housewife. It's all I'd ever wanted for my family, but I just. could. not. do it. I prayed and prayed that God would give me the strength to bear it, but he didn't, and I didn't understand why. I think all Christians are at that point a few times in their lives. I believe that, if he doesn't give you strength to do something, it may very well be because it's not the thing he's asked you to do. He didn't change me because he wanted me to change my situation. Of course, so much of our Christian walk is on a case by case basis, and sometimes, we just have to stick it out. This phase is harder in a lot of ways than the last, but it ways that I feel I can not only bear under, but grow stronger from. It's a different kind of impossible, I guess. One I can live with.

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