I have really kind of struggled this week. It's been a physical/emotional kind of struggle. No matter how much sleep I get, I'm tired. No matter how much I get done, it feels like I'm wasting time. No matter how many job searches I do, I can't seem to find the place that could be the right fit for me. And then there are people in my life that I love who are also struggling. And being the person that I am, when I hear about those other struggles I try to pick them up & carry them, stacking them on top of the burdens that are already weighing me down.
Oy. What a way to live! I'm pretty sure that this is not the abundant life that Jesus talks about giving to us. But you know, I wasn't even aware of what I was doing until I had a conversation with Mike today on his lunch break.
I was asking him if he thought I should see our doctor to check out whether or not I am struggling with depression. Yep, it's kinda been that bad (that's part of the reason I have been hiding out from this space; who wants to read sad junk all the time?!). I told him that some days I feel like I don't remember how to smile & when I try to, my face just feels twisted.
Of course, Mike was loving, kind, & supportive in his response. He told me I could if I thought it was necessary. He told me there was nothing wrong with exploring the situation. And he told me he knew how I felt because he had been in that same place before. He calls it feeling 'blue'.
Somehow, after he told me that I wasn't comforted. I was kind of mad, actually & so, so sad. Where is our joy? Why are we so sad? What are we missing that the Lord is trying to work out in us?
As I drove home I had a miniature pity party fit. I cried & told God that I really just missed my mom so much. And that I just wanted a job, for crying out loud! And hadn't this been enough? Wasn't He going to fix anything anytime soon?!
And I don't know what brought these thoughts to mind, but I started thinking about Thanksgiving. Most of my Thanksgiving thoughts so far have been to fuss & worry about how we are going to plan & pull off the family meal because Mom was the genius behind all of that. But today I actually had some genuine Thanksgiving thoughts. I wondered, If I really start trying to be grateful for what I have, rather than mourn what I have lost, will I recover my joy? Will I start to have some hope? Will I learn to trust God? Because I am really struggling with that...
And you probably really don't want to know where my thoughts went from there because it will just highlight to you what a freak I am. I thought, Maybe I can list 1,000 gifts by the end of the year! I'll be just like Ann Voskamp! And I'll post them here on the blog every day! Then I got to trying to do the math in my head...there are 61 days left in the year, 1,000/61=I-have-no-idea-but-it's-a-lot! And then I got real with myself & admitted that I can in no way commit to posting here on the blog every single day. I'm just too scattered for that.
Then my mind went into an even scarier place: I thought, I'll get on Pinterest & find some sort of Thanksgiving chart thing to make where Mike & I can daily list our blessings! That idea is nuts for so many reasons, number one being that I don't have even a single sheet of construction paper in this house & number two being that Mike truly feels that stuff like that belongs in a elementary school classroom & not in our home, plastered on the kitchen wall, for example.
So I guess maybe I just need to make a change in my thinking. And I know that the Lord will help me do that. He already has, truthfully. Right after I came home from meeting Mike on his lunch break (a perk of unemployment that I'm so grateful for) I came home & started raking/bagging the leaves in our yard. As you all know, this is a somewhat exhausting chore & awkward (dumb leaves, GET.IN.THE.BAG!). But as I raked & piled & scooped & bagged I thought about how we have a yard! we have trees! we have a rake! & bags! I'm healthy & strong enough to do the job!
Maybe what I'm finally beginning to learn is to "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." I Thessalonians 5:18
Because "all circumstances" includes the death of your mom, the loss of your job, the disappointment of expectations, the death of dreams, all circumstances = ALL circumstances. And the Lord wouldn't ask me to do it if He couldn't help me accomplish it.
So I'm putting on my Turkey hat & starting the work of being thankful. I hope you are, too!