31 Days of Finding Joy: This isn’t What I Signed Up For

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that I had a kind of sad morning. Nothing huge, just another job hunt situation that ended differently than I had planned. I got over it soon enough but first came a few tears and prayers. I keep telling God “This isn’t what I signed up for!” If you’ve read my “Every Ending Means…” post, you’ll get the idea. Tyler and I had dreamed of an entirely different life. We couldn’t imagine anything different. It wasn’t going to be a perfect life, we knew that—but the set of struggles we were expecting are just different than the ones we have now. The plan was to be in Indiana, Tyler finishing up his degree, me getting a job, living in married housing on campus. This was set in stone. Whenever my friends would be sad that I was graduating and leaving, I’d assure them that I’d be back. “We signed the lease! We have to come back!”…or not. Making the phone calls to my roommate and best friends at IWU was extremely difficult. I literally cried for days. I ached for Tyler, I ached for myself, I ached for my friends who were counting on me to be there.

The initial pain passed but there are days when it’s still hard. Days when all I want is to be with my friends and have the life we had planned. To be within walking distance of good fellowship. Yesterday I was reminding God that this was not what I had planned for my life. I should have a job right now—a long-term job, in my field. When I go to visit my professors at school, I should have something to be proud of—not just a temporary customer service position. They had such faith in me, and I’m “wasting” all of that potential. I should be able to care for my family and pay off my debt. Instead, Tyler and I are both in temporary customer service positions with no guarantee of hours, job hunting, and living in New York. We’re looking at what will probably be coming in our very near future: Tyler working a swing shift at a factory and me working part time customer service. Every time I think about that, I feel a little sick to my stomach. I don’t know how I’ll be sleeping alone at night some weeks, but I do know that I’m not a fan. God, what is going on?!

I post all of this not for pity, not for advice, and not so I can just blab on and on about my disappointment. I do it for 2 reasons: to process, and to share the comfort that I’m finding. I know that I’m not the only one in this position, and we gotta help each other along, right?! The two things that have been stuck in my mind since yesterday morning are as follows:

  1. I’ve just exchanged struggles for struggles and joys for joys. There are some very real blessings in this life I’m living right now, as well as some sadness. The same would have been true in Indiana.
  2. Instead of dwelling in the uncertainty and change and disappointment, I should be working sinking myself into the work God has for me.

#2 is complicated and I’m planning on focusing tomorrow’s post on that. Today we’ll just talk about #1. I decided to end this post with 2 lists: blessings that are blessings whether or not I like them, and blessings that I just absolutely love. First, for the former:

  • We have jobs. Yes, they’re not the jobs we wanted or planned. No, I’m not using my degree. But we are working and my supervisor has been giving me as many hours as she can. Definitely a blessing.
  • If Tyler gets this position, we’ll have benefits and a little more money coming into the house. We’ll have to make some adjustments to our life, which will be hard, but we’ll also be able to make more progress on paying off our debt.
  • I’m far away from my friends at college, but I’m staying connected! I’ve skyped with my roomie twice (Brit will always be my roomie, regardless of me being married or her having a new college roommate. The fact remains, she’s my roomie. After 3 years of rooming together, she got stuck with permanent honorary roomie status.) With my friend Jill twice, talked to Charissa at least for a few minutes each skype with Jill, and have been keeping in touch with the 3 of them via texting or Facebook. Plus a lot of other friends who have wandered in and out of the conversations. I would rather be with them, but I’m so blessed that we’ve stayed in contact. They haven’t forgotten about me yet. 😉

And now for the second list, the things that I am LOVING about this life:

  • Our apartment. I couldn’t imagine a better apartment for just starting out. It’s beautiful and pretty much what I always dreamed of our first place looking like but knew we wouldn’t be able to find on our budget. We have lived there for a month now and I still haven’t gotten over it.
  • We’re close to family. Both of our families live in this area and it’s always hard to live so far away from them when we’re in Indiana. It would have been especially hard this year because my nephew Riley who has cystic fibrosis was just born this summer, and I’d be missing out on all of his smiles and adorableness, plus I wouldn’t be available to help out when necessary or learn the ins and outs of caring for Riley.
  • I’m close to my two best friends who have been stuck with me their entire lives, Amy & Meg. We’re terrible at making plans with each other but it’s so good to know that we can!
  • Oh my goodness do I love him. He makes me laugh at the stupidest things, he’s incredibly weird, and I know I can trust him no matter what. I love our life together. Plus he does the dishes so I’ve got to keep him around. 😉

That’s an abbreviated version, of course there are many more blessings. But those are the main things I’m focusing on right now. God is good all the time, regardless of our circumstances. What a great life I’m living. What are the blessings—hidden or evident—in your life right now?

* * *

This post is part of the series “31 Days of Finding Joy”. Interested? Click here!

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4 thoughts on “31 Days of Finding Joy: This isn’t What I Signed Up For

  1. Pingback: 31 Days of Finding Joy | Waiting For Home

  2. Pingback: 31 Days of Finding Joy: Sink Yourself Into That | Waiting For Home

  3. Pingback: 31 Days of Finding Joy: All Good Things…. | Waiting For Home

  4. Pingback: Faithful: a Reminder for 2016 | Waiting For Home

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