Life has been strange lately.
This adjustment phase, if you will. That stereotypical post-graduation, "what in the world am I doing with my life?" phase. Of course I hoped to skip right over this into gainful employment. To be a "career woman," for a few years at least. To be doing what I love in an awesome, creative environment.
And yet, as life goes, things haven't worked out as planned. I have become a statistic that is pandered around frequently in politics these days: unemployed. An unemployed, college graduate.
I have found myself wondering, why here? Why Iowa? Why me?
So many selfish question have been raised to God. Clearly he wanted us in Iowa, so why isn't he providing for me? Sometimes these frustrations weren't even voiced in my head; they just remained in the depths of my heart, simmering in bitterness.
Wouldn't it be nice if this post had a happy ending? I kept wanting to write one. One where I talked about my struggles but finally landed that awesome job and it was all worth it in the end.
Well folks, I'm still unemployed. There's a few freelance jobs I have on the side, but no job security, benefits, or steady income. I've had my ups and downs post graduation. Interviews and raised hopes, but I continue to get the same answer from God: "Not yet." After another no, feelings of disappointment and failure. Being either under-qualified or over-qualified. Embarrassment at checking another "currently unemployed" box in a job application.
I have so many questions about my future. I am searching for other avenues and have a few things in mind for alternative employment. I'm trying to keep my mind open to whatever comes my way. But right now, I really just don't know.
Slowly, painfully, God is getting through to me. Loud and clear today, both in my quiet time and at church, the message was that God will not save me from suffering, but he will be along side me the whole time. Romans 5:3-5 says, "...we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Endurance is my new goal. This is simply a phase, only a small blip in the span of my life. And my suffering is so slight, so insignificant to someone who is facing a life-threatening disease, or the loss of a loved one, or no access to clean drinking water... That list could go on and on. I truly do have joy in my life, and Jason and I have everything we need. Things could be so very much worse and I praise God for what we do have.
I don't write this for your pity. I certainly don't want that. I just want to share what's been on my heart. My blog starts to feel less like me when I have several happy posts in a row and none expressing my less-than-happy days.
I don't know what my future holds, but I know that I have a God who loves me. Not a small love, but a love that is poured out on me. A God who wants to teach me to endure not in my failure (or my strength!) but in his glory. Who gives me hope even in my disappointment.
And hope, hope is a beautiful thing.