A Hope Deferred

It’s a day off and I just finished working out and yet I find myself  in a less than spectacular mood. The endorphins should be rushing through my brain and putting me in a more energetic and happy mood. There ought to be a smile on my face but, to be honest, I’m bummed out.

It’s not for any great reason, either. But there’s just something eating away at the core of me. Last week sometime I had this grand and marvelous revelation that I was unhappy (in fact, I am mostly miserable) at my current job. I’ve probably complained about where I work before so I’m not going into any great detail or gripe at any great length about the issues I have with my current employer.  Let us just say that I am not happy there and most of the issues that cause me the most dissatisfaction are ones that center around me and my heart in the matter.  Mostly the fact that my heart isn’t in it. It’s no longer an environment I can thrive in after 5 years with this employer and 2 with another. The phones just aren’t for me anymore, I’ve discovered. In the midst of this I found a verse that sort of woke me up:

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 ESV)

Ah-ha! I said to myself. Perhaps I need to steer myself back into the direction I was headed when I made the decision to go to NCC and follow what YHWH had intended for my life. I thought, perhaps, there would be jobs out there that my soul was more suited for and the search began. I looked into social services/non-profits but not a lot of luck there. Turns out most of those places require college degrees. I’m working on it! I sought some wise counsel since I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or looking for. My mom gave me some insight into some job needs for the Nebraska foster care system especially in transportation. It sounded like a gig perfect for me.

I actually found a job posting looking for just that a day or so later. I thought about it and, of course, there’s no harm in applying so I put my résumé together and applied. That was yesterday. I tried not to get my hopes up as I waited. I thought it would be a few days at least but, lo and behold, in my e-mail inbox was a response from the collaborative I applied at and, go figure, I was not what they were looking for.

Rejected.

I really shouldn’t be busted up about this at all. But I had hoped that this job would be a way out. I prayed about it and whether or not I should apply or if this was just some fit of fancy or impulsiveness that I wasn’t able to curb. I remember hearing in my head this Sunday as Ben preached about the cost of discipleship and the carrying of one’s cross that part of dying to myself would include killing off the anxiety and the fear that kept me in place and questioning whether or not this was where I needed to go. But then I got rejected. They didn’t want me. Am I going to cry about it? Probably not. But I am just a little bit disappointed that things didn’t work out my way.

I also think about that: “My way”. Why is that so important? Why must I always get what I want instead of deferring to the wisdom of the Most Holy God and holding fast to the idea that he has a path set for me, that he will get me to where I need to be and in ways I’ll probably never see coming? I’m selfish and I know that and it’s got to be one of the things I still fail at. In my heart I still think about myself too much and about God and others far too little. Maybe I haven’t decided to carry my cross like I thought I had. I don’t know.

I have realized this, though: In my obedience in doing all of this I have seen paths illuminated that I couldn’t see from where I was at my current job. My mind and heart have changed from despair to hope. Now, I’m no optimist but isn’t that a decent first step?

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