2010 ends tonight and with it ends much of what is familiar to me. 2011 brings many more questions than answers.
I can look at this either as if I’m losing security or as if I’m releasing things that no longer fit to make room for growth and change. Although I do have some fear, I’m working to accept the unknown and live in the mystery until I am guided to the place I am supposed to be.
*The employment I’ve done for 8 years
+The stress of always being under a quota
+The stress of sometimes working for people who are ineffectual bosses
+The stress of going into the field and knocking on doors not knowing if it will be opened by the Lady or the Tiger
+The unreliability of the work
-The pride I feel working for a respected university
-The pride I feel to have this job with only a high school diploma. This job validates my intelligence and forces people to question their assumptions about people who haven't had the luxury of higher education.
-The really good hourly rate I am paid
-The flexibility of the schedule
*The house I’ve lived in for 10 years
*My status as a married person
-For what it’s worth, some people’s attitudes toward me will change—some for the better and some for the worse.
*The security of having a spouse with a good, steady job
-I was able to be more selective in accepting work because I had the luxury of my spouse’s reliable income.
I am the one moving out of our home. And yet I will be unemployed within the next couple of weeks. I have no idea how this will unfold. I trust.
I desire a life of submission to God’s will. I will actively do what I know will increase my awareness of God in my life, writing, prayer, fellowship, community. I will try to be open to new leadings and new directions. Not my will but Thine.
I would like to live a frugal life, relatively financially independent. I don’t want to think about retirement but about what kind of impact I am making on the world right now. I would like a low-stress job which would allow me the time to write and build community. Or, I would like to create a business that I can do from home such as owning an apartment building or running a hostel. Or, I’d like to find my own “right livelihood”. I trust Spirit to guide me.
Anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows I want to be automobile independent. In Nashville, with children in school and with a job, I don’t think this is possible. I would like to build into my new life as much freedom from auto-dependence as possible. I may still need to own a car but I would like to walk, (learn to) bike and ride buses whenever possible. I trust Spirit to lead me.
I would like an open house, that is, a house which is open and warm and inviting. I want to offer hospitality and to welcome people with food and generosity. (I’d really like a country kitchen, good for baking bread.) I would like my home to be a gathering place for my friends and my communities and my children’s friends. I trust Spirit to use me.
I would like to have greater compassion coupled with a more effective ability to act. I want to be a member of the Body of Christ on Earth, doing God’s work. I trust Spirit to teach me.
I know the more fearful I am, the more I pull inward and dread the unknown, the less I am able to hear God’s Call. Slowly, slowly, sometimes just cracks at a time, I’m revealing myself, releasing the fear and laying myself open for God. I’m not a patient woman, when I know that change is inevitable, I want it to be done and I’ve a tendency to force it--usually toward the outcome my ego most wants. I could easily do that now. I could apply for any and all jobs (which I started to do last month) and accept the first one offered to me. I could settle for renting whatever house or apartment I can afford for me and my children. I could compromise my values again in order to have stability, health insurance and security. But I’m pretty sure God doesn’t want me to do that right now. Maybe later I will find that taking a job with a corporation or a fast food restaurant or another research firm is where it seems God is leading me but for now I think I’m supposed to rest in the unknown. I think right now is a time of releasing fear and accepting that everything--EVERYthing--is beyond my control.
I give over this fear and trust God to transform it.
I accept the mystery and trust God to keep me.
I open myself, vulnerable and flawed, and trust God to strengthen, guide and use me.