I feel overwhelmed.
My frustration could have been due to the paltry 2 pages I wrote today, or the fact that none of the shoes I wanted at DSW fit me, OR the fact that after going to two grocery stores, I couldn’t find any fish I wanted to fry for dinner. Then of course I came home and lost the potatoes and corn; dropped part of the sweet potato on the floor; got the fold-out table stuck–and it eventually fell on my toe; found the corn and potatoes after dinner was nearly over.
—Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day
The night ended with me and my friend sitting on my patio, watching my neighbors call 911, and not receiving much help from them. My neighbor’s daughter was really sick, and the police and the medics acted like their dinner break was interrupted. As she emerged from the car, her whole body was shaking.
We prayed for her and her family. Prayer didn’t soothe me, however. It made me more upset. I was reminded of my powerlessness. There was nothing I could do to heal this woman, or to comfort her mother. I should have been focused on the power of God. I kept thinking about what I couldn’t do, as opposed to what God can do.
The powerlessness I felt standing at the sidelines of their lives triggered a sadness I spent the entire day fighting. Underneath my annoyance with the little things that kept going wrong (hair in the fish at the supermarket? really Stop and Shop?), there is a deeper sadness about not knowing the details of my future.
I feel an uncomfortable in-between-ness during this time of my life. It’s as if God has allowed me to see how awesome my future will be, but I feel stuck in this present moment. There’s nothing really wrong with my present moment. I love my life, and feel a deep sense of contentment and gratitude every morning when I wake up. Just the other I day, before I was really conscious, I stood up with my arms outstretched and started in a yell-whisper: “God I am so happy, and I love You so much!”
So things are good.
During this weekend, however, I started to feel a niggling sense of sadness creep up. I know that I am on the cusp of interesting life changes. “I’ll land on my feet,” I remember thinking this morning while on the treadmill. “I always land on my feet.” I repeated it in my mind like a chant, because of course I’m afraid that I won’t. And isn’t that just like me? God promises me a great future, and I immediately distrust that vision for my life, and replace it with a vision of abandonment, failure and despair.
On days like today, when every little thing seemed to go wrong for me, and then those around me, I am suddenly gripped with fear that my future will be a nightmarish collection of terrible happenings.
When we prayed together at dinner, I said, “Lord, turn my fear into faith. And give me the courage to do what is right.”
And that’s the hard thing: to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and then to trust and obey God anyway.
I’m still just a: