Confession time: I’ve recently relapsed into feeling discouraged and worn down by life. I’ve broken down. I’ve cried myself to sleep—a lot. I’m defeated and frustrated. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to make any progress toward the next chapter of my life, and I keep feeling like where I am isn’t good enough. I can’t seem to get out of this rut.
I’m trying to follow my own advice and trust in God and His plan for my life, but I’m failing miserably. I know I’m in a rush to get to the place that the world tells me I’m supposed to be.
The fact that I’m not there yet means that God has another plan for me life, but that hasn’t made it any easier to accept. My parents hug me through my tears and try to encourage me, but it doesn’t do much good.
In case you need a refresher (and because it’s very therapeutic for me to keep writing everything out): It seems like no matter what I do to boost my resumé and further my experience, I’m still not good enough. And while I enjoy the two part-time jobs I have, I can’t work part-time forever. I need steady income and benefits. Just when I feel like I’m getting closer to that next chapter of my life, something happens to take it from me. I’m a planner–being an organized, detail-oriented planner does not mesh well with uncertainty, and uncertain is exactly what my future is.
No matter what I do, I can’t seem to get any kind of affirmation or security. I’ve been applying for full-time jobs for over a year and have only been called in for two interviews. TWO. Only two out of the 30 to 40 positions for which I’ve applied.
This time of my life has been incredibly hard. Half of my friends are still in college and can take spring break trips, take a summer break, travel and spend time with friends. The other half of my friends are married, own homes or apartments, have full-time jobs and seem to have their lives together and going somewhere.
I’m stuck in the middle. I work too much to have time to hang out with friends, but I don’t work enough at one place to get vacation. I work almost an hour from my house for 12 hours a day, but I don’t make enough money to move out. I’ve lost the freedom of being a student and I haven’t found the freedom and security of being a self-sufficient adult. I can’t even get dinner with my friends and family because I don’t get off work until 9 p.m. most days of the week. By the time the weekends come around I’m too exhausted and too behind on chores and errands to do anything with friends or family.
I’m fully aware that being an adult comes with working 40 hours a week, bills, chores and numerous other responsibilities, but I welcome that. I welcome getting home from work at 6, fixing dinner, washing clothes and cleaning. That would at least mean that I was off work before 9 p.m. and home before 10. That might mean I have a home of my own.
I’ve examined the past month of my life—when things have become really hard again—and there’s something I think is causing this relapse. I stopped digging into the Bible. I’ve been making the excuse that I am too busy and don’t have the time to read the Bible and spend time in prayer. Sunday mornings at church are probably the only times that I’ve opened my Bible in months.
By neglecting my quiet time, I’ve let fear and doubt overtake my life. I’ve given the devil a foothold. I haven’t done anything to try to take that foothold away. I’ve cried and felt sorry for myself, but I haven’t picked up the Bible or prayed. Maybe that’s what my real defeat is—it isn’t that I don’t have a full-time job and an “adult” life, it’s that I’m relying on worldly success and earthly affirmation to feel satisfied and worthy.
I know in my head that earthly success and possessions are fleeting. I know that my worth comes from who I am in Christ. But my heart doesn’t feel like that all the time. The past few months I haven’t felt that way at all. There’s only one way for me to start healing this brokenness that I’m feeling: I have to make a commitment to getting back into the word of God and spending time in prayer and worship.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25–26 (NIV)