Friday, July 26, 2013

A New Perspective on Things

It’s funny the perspective that the passing of another year can bring…

Sunday was my 31st birthday, and I can honestly say that I could never have expected a year ago to be where I am now. In that short period of time, I have fallen in love, left a job, gotten married, and moved away from the state that has been my home since I was born. So much change in such little time!!!

I was thinking about this as I was walking the dogs late last week. The last few months have been a lesson in faith and patience for me, a lesson that I desperately needed but was fighting against internalizing. About a month after I moved here to Florida, I started putting in job applications, starting slow at first and then increasing exponentially as I continued to receive little to no response. As days, then weeks, then months, went by with no job to show for my effort, I was starting to get frustrated with myself and with the whole process. Matt was wonderful in his encouragement and support, but I struggled with self-doubt. I knew that this was an opportunity to both demonstrate and build my faith in God’s willingness and ability to provide for those who trust in Him, but I wanted so badly to be able to help pay off some of our debt, specifically the fairly significant educational debt that I brought into the marriage. With each application that went out with no response, the thought grew stronger and stronger in my head: I know what the result will be. Why even bother?

So I was walking the dogs last week, thinking about my upcoming birthday and how much my life had changed in just a year, when a new thought made me stop and smile…

If so much can change so quickly, why am I wasting my time and energy worrying excessively about something that can change at any moment?

I realized that I was taking the circumstances of my present moment and assuming that they would always be that way. How silly a thought, though, when I knew firsthand how quickly things could change! There is no way any of us can know what the next moment of our lives hold.

Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you out to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’”  (James 4:13-15)
 
James 4 talks about the foolishness inherent in the assumption that life will continue on as it always has. The foolishness is not in the making of plans for the days ahead but in the approach to life that assumes that I am in control. It’s a perspective that can permeate so deeply that you don’t even realize that you are living by it. But all of a sudden, your timeline is most important; your measure of what is good is the standard; your expectations are what need to be met to be happy. Here’s the thing, though: my timeline doesn’t really matter, my measure of what is good is only as sound as the assumptions I have built it on, and my expectations of what I need to be happy can be completely warped by the influence of the world.

So after that walk, I decided that I was going to fix my perspective. I was going to keep doing my part in submitting applications, but I was going to stop viewing each rejection as a disappointment and start viewing it as just another stepping stone in the path that I am walking for Christ. No matter how long it would take to find a job, or even if I never found one at all, my focus would remain firmly set on living each day in service to my husband and to my Lord.

Remember how I said how quickly things can change, though…
I got a job this week. :)

I praise God for His mercies and His patience with me, and I thank Him for blessing me with the means to help out my family in each and every way that I can. And I thank Matt for his patience with and encouragement for me and for being such a hard worker and good provider for the two of us. I’m looking forward to seeing all the changes this coming year has in store for us!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Erin~

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