Have you ever found yourself on a journey... but you don't know where you are going, or even WHY you are going? It's kinda where I'm at right now.
I seem to be something along the lines of a fish out of water right now. Not sure how I will survive, but for the love of God, I know I will. (Maybe a fish out of water doesn't feel that way, but in my life right now, I feel like a fish out of water). Ok, so for a long time - like a REALLY long time, my life was defined first by one thing.... my job. I started working in my field (Chemistry) at the end of my sophomore year of college. I was lucky enough to land a job where they let me work while I finished my education and then they hired me upon graduation. I was pretty much the envy of all of my friends at the time. So, since the ripe ole age of 19, I've worked in the Pharmaceutical industry. I had many jobs along the way - Analytical Chemist, through QA and Validation to my final stop in Management. Sadly, it did pretty much define me. After I had my children, then two things defined me - my family and my job. They sometimes fought for the front running position and depending on the circumstances, they jockeyed back and forth as to which was in front.
I think, well, really I know - God was trying to get my attention. Sorry God, no time... I'm busy. Do you not remember the time-consuming job you gave me and the children and husband that you blessed me with? Did you forget all the effort I need to put into them.... I HAVE NO TIME RIGHT NOW. You want BALANCE in my life??? I'm balancing the best I know how!!! I've wondered many a time why God "blessed" me with the unique (not unique to everyone, I guess a better word would be rare) eye condition that I have. Along the way, I have seen God use it to better my life and I think - ok, this is it!!! I have learned why God allows this to remain in my life. I've learned a lesson. But then, it doesn't go away.... It becomes an annoyance. "Ok God, I learned what you needed me to learn, so stop with the robbing me of my sight". Remember??? I learned my lesson. God always has more for me though.
I call my condition a "blessing" because most days... it really is. Looking back on life, I see how God has used this condition to better me, to keep me needing Him - I think without it, I'd be too dependent on myself and I'd wander quickly. I'm an independent person by nature. I take pride in doing things on my own.... but I've learned that nothing it done truly on my own - only though the power of Christ.
So, God must have something big and interesting in store for me. My eyes are getting much worse. Everyone sees it. My husband sees it, my children see it, my family sees it, and my friends see it. Others who don't know me, and don't know my condition, probably think I'm rude as I walk in front of them without knowing, or I run into them because I don't see them. It's becoming more and more apparent. As I said before, I'm currently not working because of it.
How could God take away one of the things that DEFINED me??? Well, I thought about that quite a bit lately - as I have had a little more time on my hands.... God does not see me as being DEFINED by my job. He defined my role on this earth a LONG time ago, and it had nothing to do with my job. Now, He gave me my job for a reason, and if I truly believe that - which I do - He has taken it from me right now for a reason. Maybe to re-examine what truly defines me. It shouldn't be my job. Truthfully, it should not be my family either. Not my husband, not my kids.... I need to learn to let God define me. It's a difficult task for this independent, education minded, workaholic person I have become. Imagine my life without the blackberry???? Never.... yet here I sit, on the brink of no work blackberry - and yet I survive!!!
God is Good!!! Yes, ALL. THE. TIME. Even when the situations of life really stink... God is still good. Of the two things that I've ever thought really defined me, I'm thankful He has chosen to teach me a lesson by, at least for right now, taking me from my JOB and not taking me from my family! He is not only GOOD, but He is MERCIFUL!!!
So, while I'm figuring out this new chapter of my life, I've decided to utilize some of my time to get into better shape. There isn't a whole lot for me to choose from... I had a road bike - not a good idea for someone who can't see. It's hanging in the garage.... anyone need a good road bike? I tried running - well, STARTED to try running and ended up with a fractured leg, and after it healed, I vowed to never run again! So, lately, I have been walking. I find it to be a good use of my time. I get up with Tim and the kids, and get everyone out the door for work/school. As they are climbing in the car, I'm putting my ear buds in and heading out on my walking journey. I watch the sun rise over the rail trail and listen to my music... sometimes I walk with Selah, sometimes Casting Crowns, other times SCC, sometimes a variety shuffle - no matter what, I find that on the trail I absorb a lot from the songs that happen into my ears on my journey. It sets my mind in the right place for the day, and along the way I get to take in the beauty God has provided all around me. So, I started walking about three miles a day. I'm now up to between 7 and 8.5 miles a day. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my walking time. Last week I walked 42 miles. I'm hoping to walk 50 this week. We'll see how it goes. If nothing else, it's doing wonders for my health!
I don't know what God is setting me up for - but I know it will be an interesting journey. Why do I have this desire to walk seemingly endless miles??? Not sure - maybe it's because one day I will have enough courage to stop the couple that walk by me every day, introduce myself and maybe develop a relationship with them... Maybe they are Christians, maybe they are not, but maybe one day when I stop and ask them their names, they will see the love of Christ in me. I look forward to passing them every day... and yet I don't know their names! Maybe it's to say hello to the older man who walks alone on the track every day.... he seems sad / alone. Maybe it's talking to the man who walks his two dogs. He always seems happy when I say hello or compliment his dogs. Or maybe it's to talk to the man who walks his dog.... it's a friendly dog that he walks off lead. Sometimes I look down and I have my music so loud I don't hear the dog's pitter-patter feet walking next to me. He will walk with me for awhile then turn around and go back to his owner - never bothering me, just walking. I stopped and said hello to him the other day and we talked about his dog. I saw him again today. I believe God puts us places for a reason - and I think He has given me the desire to get out on that trail at the same time everyday, to see some of the same people every day for a reason. Not sure what it is yet, but I'm bound and determined to find out. In the meantime, I'm enjoying my time with God and my music!
As much as I hate change, especially dramatic change... change isn't always bad. It's simply CHANGE. Something new to get used to. The new normal.
Please pray for me and for my family as I find my new normal and adjust to it. I'm sure whatever God has in store for me and my family, it is something good...
Romans 8:28 - For all things work together for GOOD for those who love God, for those who are called according to HIS purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you saith the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a HOPE!
PS - I'm working on getting Anna's birthday pictures up... I have some really good ones of the family. I'm having trouble viewing them with my new computer though, so it may take some time... I have not forgotten nor neglected my Anna Clare's birthday!