Monday, June 22, 2009

Isaiah 48:18-19

"But the Lord says, 'Forget the things that happened in the past. Do not keep on thinking about them. I am about to do something new. It is beginning to happen even now. Don't you see it coming? I am going to make a way for you to go through the desert. I will make streams of water in the dry and empty land'."

My Life As an Unemployed Twenty-Something.

Lately my life has seemed to be anything but predictable. I came back to Iowa a month and a half ago thinking that I would rest for a week, find a job, get an apartment, make new friends and start my life over as an independent, young professional. My plan was to set up interviews, send out a thousand resumes, impress potential employers with my expertise and wit and get right back into the working world. I was focused on one thing when I moved home: finding a job and finding it fast.
Now after weeks of job searching I am starting to realize once again that I suck at making plans. My plans never work. My plan a year ago was to be living in Indianapolis right now, working at Fall Creek and spending the summer with my best friends. When those plans changed I made a plan to move home, find a job and start my life here. I make plans and I work hard and I aim for success. Yet somehow I am sitting here, on the big chair in my Dad's den wearing pajamas, with no make up on my face and a Diet Coke in my hand. This is not good, people. This is NOT. GOOD.
When I stop and think about my situation for more than five minutes I start to look like this:

This picture was taken three summers ago when my sister and I were in Chicago trying to find her an apartment. We had been driving somewhat aimlessly all day, talking to realtors and getting things put in place for her to move to the Windy City. It was about a million degrees outside and the last apartment we had seen was occupied by five dudes who were all home and asleep at 3:00 in the afternoon. The place reeked of weed and stale beer. There were Bob Marley posters on the wall, black lights in each of the bedrooms and some very suspicious looking pipes and aluminum foil on the coffee table. I was definitely not impressed and desperately wanting to take a shower to scrub their filth off my body. (I legitimately feared that I may have contracted Hepatitis or some other type of questionable infection simply by touching their doorknob.)
But we didn't have time for such luxuries. We were on a mission and we would stop for no one. I, being the annoying little sister that I am, started to whine and complain. My big sister calmed me down and explained that everything would be fine. We just needed to find a clean place to eat, sit in the air conditioning for a while, wash our hands and continue our journey.

I remember being skeptical at the time, thinking that my life was over and I would never be healed from the distress that her little house hunting trip had caused me. I remember telling her that I was going to just DIE if we didn't take a break and relax for a while because I can only take SO MUCH weed, blistering heat and exposure to black lights and I had had just about enough. Lucky for me I had my big sister to lean on during my time of weakness and she carried me through, keeping me calm until I got some food in my stomach and shut my mouth while she mapped out our plan for the rest of the day. That's what she always does. She always takes care of me and she always talks (sometimes smacks) sense into me when I need it.
But now my sister is a trillion miles away. She's living in Patagonia in the middle of winter, spending her days teaching and making new friends while I sit in our parents' house and attempt to count all of my split ends (which could, for all intents and purposes, but considered a full time job). I have realized in the last few weeks that I have no choice but to deal with this big mess on my own. I don't have anyone to bail me out right now. My big sister isn't going to swoop in and comfort me, my dad isn't going to save the day and my friends can't dig me out of this hole. I'm here and I'm waiting and I'm alone.
I am forced to listen to God's voice and shut up for five minutes so He can speak to me. As much as I hate it, I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be. I am supposed to be in Waterloo, Iowa. I am supposed to be unemployed for the moment and I am supposed to be giving my burdens up to God rather than trying to make superficial plans and follow inconsequential dreams.
Here I am. I'm sitting. I'm waiting. I'm shutting up and I'm listening. And right now, that's all I can do.
I get frustrated and annoyed with my situation but I also rejoice in the fact that God has a greater plan for me. He has blessed me beyond belief since I have been home and I know that he will continue to do so. Although I haven't found a job I have found other answers to prayer. God has allowed me to meet new people that I otherwise never would have known. He has provided opportunities for me to serve others and has given me a chance to spend some great time with my dad.
Since I have been home a lot of things have happened that were totally unexpected to me. I have been absolutely shocked more than once by the creativity, extreme love and overwhelming provision displayed by my Heavenly Father. I have moments where I want to scream and moments where I do cry, but I also have moments where I want to fall on my face and praise the God that cares so deeply for me. I am overwhelmed by His grace and His all encompassing love.
I know that God is bigger than this. He's bigger than my situation, He's bigger than my concerns and He is bigger than my desires. He promises to take care of me and He never ceases to amaze me. I will wait for His guidance and I will seek His face as I learn how to be patient.

He who has promised is faithful.