Monday, March 9, 2015

Empty Spaces

So we've moved … sort of.

We are back in our hometown - at least our bodies and our clothes are. Everything else is still in our house an hour and a half away. We have loose ends all over the place that makes it tough to be settled but we are trying our best. We are awkwardly stumbling through our new routine and making a niche, each of us where we are. In truth, some of us are having an easier time of this than others.

The kids, so far, have hit the ground running. They love their new school. They have each made friends, have joined a variety of extra-curriculars (yes, I am literally living in my van these days!) and are genuinely happy to be here.

Mr. Awesome loves his new job but this new job won't be his for much longer. Last week he was offered a promotion that will take him away from some of the most dangerous parts of his job (yay!) and into the office most of the time. He starts his training in a couple of weeks and he couldn't be happier.

I, on the other hand, have absolutely no plans, no routine and no sense of what I am doing here. I had taken a term position with a not-for-profit but that didn't work out. The job description changed drastically after I started and became something that I didn't enjoy and didn't really have the skill set for. It was disappointing but the director and I parted as friends and I still whole heartedly believe in what they are doing as a foundation. So, that being said, I am here … with nothing to do.

That's not entirely true. I have laundry and bathroom cleaning and kid driving and meal making and coffee drinking but I have no occupation. I have an empty space where my job used to be. I miss writing curriculum, planning object lessons and meeting with my team. I miss teaching my Buddies on Sunday morning and high-fiving my volunteers as the last kidlet walked out the door. I miss that life. I miss having no empty spaces, no moments to spare. I miss the feeling of a full life.

Last Thursday, as I was laundering and coffeing I was also praying, reading my Bible and listening to podcasts. I was looking for answers for The Big Question: What's next? I hadn't been sleeping well and frankly, I was not very pleasant to live with. The not-for-profit job was not going well and I knew I'd have to have a chat with the director soon. I was also having trouble finding my rhythm with the new book I was working on. The outline and concept had come so easily but I had completely stalled out. I was stalled and panicking. And cranky.

This is where I was when I decided to lock myself away in my room, fold mountains of laundry and listen to some Sisterhood podcasts. As I folded and prayed and listened I realized that I was afraid. I was afraid of not having a job description, a title and a purpose. I was afraid that I had thrown away my one chance of being relevant. And then I realized I was being a ridiculous control freak.

The message I teach more than any other is that God sees us, knows us and loves us. His thoughts are always towards us therefore we will never be forgotten. I teach this, I write about this (see my previous blog post) and I do believe this. It's just that I am human and prone to dramatic over reactions in times of uncertainty. I sometimes forget the very truth that God has engraved on my heart. He created me, he chose me for a life with Him and He calls me His very own. He's got this.

So as I stood in my bedroom, folding clothes and weeping, I prayed the prayer that is my mantra, "Lord, make me uncomfortable. Keep me from settling for a life less than your best. Not my will but yours - however that looks." It's a scary prayer, its a humbling prayer and its a prayer of surrender. It's the prayer that reminds me that I'm not in control and, in fact, it's better this way.

I have a lot of empty spaces in my life right now. A lot of holes where busyness and purpose used to fill. Where commitments and obligations fought for top spot. These empty spaces aren't really empty, though. God has reserved them for The Next Thing. He is readying these spaces, and my heart, for whatever comes next and in the mean time I have to remind myself to surrender and to allow God to fill these empty spaces in His way and in His time. I have inklings of what this might be but The How and The When are complete mysteries … and I am choosing, moment by moment, to be okay with that.

But for now and for always I pray ...

Lord, make me uncomfortable.
Keep me from settling for a life less than Your best.
Not my will but yours - however that looks.
Thanks for loving me always.
You are so very good.


Pray prayers that scare what's scared inside you.
~Lisa Bevere


Becky said...

"May I always seek His path, not my comfort." About a million times easier to write than to DO. Thanks, Nichole.

Mindy Whipple said...

"make me uncomfortable" - a hard prayer to pray but we are not growing if we just stay in our comfortable spiritual place. God will answer your brave prayer with his perfect plan for you. Visiting today from #the4500. Nice to meet you!