9.28.2011

I Am Here

After my recent rants, you know how I'm feeling about my job and in some ways, our life in general. You know that Peter has had some difficult weeks at work and that I've been talking about changes on the horizon. You also know that I like to be very vague about such things on the blog. However, something smacked me in the face last week and I thought I'd share it with you because it was such a good reminder for me.

Back in the day, we were always talking about what we were going to be doing in the future, about how we were going overseas and we weren't staying here and what we were going to do with our house. The fact of the matter was, we missed living TODAY because we were focused on TOMORROW. We missed opportunities that God put in our path THEN because we were too busy thinking about how He was going to use us LATER.

Fast forward eight years or so and here we are, back in the same area, living in the same house, no longer working overseas in missionary aviation. In fact, come January, Peter will have been back with his old employer for three years and it has flown by. Over the last three years we've been more intentional about getting involved. and we now find ourselves with more to do than we have time. Perhaps we've begun to burn out and that's why we're ready for a change. I honestly don't know.

But what I do know is that as the weeks and months have passed, we have become more and more discontented with our jobs and our current location. Some of that comes from this life-long travel bug that we both seem to have, but some of it comes out of total frustration with our current situation.


I realize that sometimes God uses discontent to move you out of your comfort zone and push you in a different direction. That's certainly what He did to get us back here in the first place. But as we look at different options and seek out new opportunities, I find myself becoming a real Debbie Downer about where we are now. I'm griping more about work, about living in this area, about people, about our church, and that's why the above saying struck me so hard.

I don't know if God is going to move us half-way around the world or if He's going to leave us right here, working our same jobs and trying to get us to realize that we have lessons He wants us to learn. What I do know is that there are many things about our life TODAY that I can't change, but I CAN change the way I think about them day in and day out. I can CHOOSE to look around me each day and ask God what He wants me to learn today, how He wants me to impact the people in this area for Him. 

Maybe He hasn't opened other doors yet because we haven't finished the work here. Perhaps I'm stuck in this job because I'm supposed to be there to encourage someone else. Maybe Peter's still at his job because there are skills he needs to hone before God will move us to a different situation where Peter will need the skills he practiced here. Again, I don't know, but I know that the only part of this whole equation that I have any control over is my attitude.

I choose to change the way I think about it - the jobs, our location, the people, our involvement. You see, I want to be able to say:

"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.
I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."
{Phil. 4:11-13}

I choose to be like James when he reminded the Church that they had no idea what the future holds:

"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.'
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.
What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 
Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.'"
{James 4:13-15}

And although I have no idea what the future holds, I rest in the knowledge that I know the One who holds the future. Jobs and locations may change, people will come in and out of our lives, bank account balances and mortgages will go up and down, but the Word of the Lord remains the same. There is peace in knowing we can rest in Him and His plan for us. Until the next step is clear, I choose to be present here, to take advantage of each and every opportunity presented to me, and to stop looking to THEN and get myself back to the NOW.

I choose to be present. What about you?

6 comments:

  1. Wow. This was a great post. I loved it because I can definitely identify. Yeah, I know our life circumstances are totally different, but I know that I often find myself struggling with discontentment and focusing to much on where I've been and where I'm trying to get (not where God has me now!). Although, I've been finding that God has totally used the "in-between" parts of life to teach me more about reliance on Him and patience then I could have learned if life went exactly like I would plan it. Not that that makes life any easier... I think you are absolutely correct about attitude and CHOOSING to live in the here and now. Hang in there :)

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  2. GREAT post, Carrie. Great perspective. Way too easy to get caught up in the future, especially when you're a plan-ahead type person like me. Glad God has something for us in EACH MOMENT. =]

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  3. Amen! You really expressed it well. May God give you peace and even surprise you with joy in the present. : )

    By the way, I read several blogs but yours is my very favorite. I love how you are so real. And I love when you write posts like this, that share your own struggles (or victories) and lessons you're learning in a way that we can really relate to our own lives. Just wanted to let you know that even though your current job seems like a mis-match in that it doesn't seem to be using your gifts, God is using your blog to touch people you've never even met, like me. : )

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  4. I can so relate. Something similar came to me today related to if we are not content with how somethng is going, we need to change it. Great post. I loved it!

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  5. Thanks all for your kind comments. I'm thrilled that you can relate to this post - for one thing, it makes me feel like I'm not a total freak! ;-) Seriously though, I'm happy that you found encouragement in it (Sandy B. - your comments made me blush!).

    Blessings!

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  6. Girl, you know this is a lesson that I've been coming face to face with over and over again over the past 5 years!!

    Hang in there and give yourself the same grace God is giving you.

    Can't wait to hear what's next for you guys whether here or there.

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