Note to the reader: This is not about wrong or right or about persuasion of any kind. This is about openness and the sharing of my journey with you. May you be blessed as you read.
Well, I have had a sabbatical and I am back at the office for about five more weeks until I reach my last day. I have been in the office for one week so far and it has probably been one of the hardest weeks of my career. When I left back in December I knew that the the youth ministry was in capable hands and I was absolutely right. When I got back things were moving very well. Events were happening, groups of people were getting involved and there was even an excitement at our youth staff meeting that I hadn't seen in a while. Things were moving right along...without me.
Have you ever been faced with watching the world move without you? It is a humbling experience (and I know I need a bit of humility). I excepted things to be going well without me. I even hoped for it, but experiencing it is an altogether different thing. I came back to a place that I at one time was an integral part of. Now I am trying to figure out how to fit in. The experience is like one of those cartoons (probably Road Runner fits best ) where the character is standing on a platform, limb or plank that is precariously hanging over a cliff. Then the plank that the character is standing on gets yanked from under his feet and he looks at the audience as if to say, 'This is going to hurt.' and plummets to the ground beneath him. You see what I am finding is that the thing that I was standing on, my job, calling, vocation, whatever you want to call it, is gone. And with it being yanked from under my feet I find myself plummeting through a myriad of emotions and thoughts in the whole process.
Doubt is one of the first things that I have been facing. Like a neon sign that flashes at your window at night while you are trying to sleep, doubt seems to annoyingly make himself glaringly apparent when you are trying to have some peace or get some rest. There are doubts about whether I have been useful or not. Doubts concerning if there is anything that I have to offer the world in the future. Doubts concerning convictions that stand on. Doubts seem to be springing up every where like weeds and they can be very unsettling.
Being alone is another thing that I am facing. I don't mean like 'I wish I had a love interest' alone. I mean like I am wearing a scarlet letter and I want to get away alone. My letter is 'L'. It stands for the guy who is leaving us. So, I find myself wanting to isolate myself to hide my letter. I want to dodge questions about the future, and wanting to get away and figure out the answers to those questions. I find myself wondering if I am the only one who has ever felt like this but I don't want to ask. And thereby as I try to hide my letter I end up fulfilling what the letter stands for. I end up leaving, even while physically being present.
Anger is another one of those emotions that I find myself experiencing. I find myself angry at those who don't agree with me. Wishing they would have done...(whatever I thought best) and thinking I'll show them them when I... ( and I come up with a marvelous scenario where I prove them all wrong in grand fashion). Then I get angry at myself for not being above these petty thoughts concerning those who think differently than me. Ye Ha! This ride gets better the further you drop, huh? (Can you smell the sarcasm emanating from your computer screen?)
There are probably more emotions that I am falling through but I am tired of writing and it is kind of late. So what happens when I get to the bottom? Will that be the end of me? What will I land on? Where will I find myself? The answers to these questions can't be found in a job or new location to pitch my tent. I am talking about something a bit more personal. I want to know where will I land. When the cartoon character previously mentioned finally finishes his descent, he tends to land on something solid. My hope is to land on something solid, as well. I am hoping the that solid thing I land on is my Lord. You see the neat thing about the cartoon character who goes through the fall is that, eventhough the fall is scary and sometimes very rough on the way down and the landing can sometimes be met with pain, he always gets up after he finds solid ground.
Lord, please be the solid ground where I can stand after my platform is gone and through the fall. In the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.