Last year when I started this little blog, it was for the purpose of cataloging a journey into a minimalist life and ultimately a tiny house or skoolie (converted school bus for those not in the know). Very shortly after that, my life changed drastically and this blog evolved into a record of my growing faith and all the ins and outs that go along with my life.
I have felt extremely challenged recently. I have this uncomfortable trapped feeling. Every challenge that comes up, be it a health concern or finances, feels like it is locking me into the job I currently have. I am thankful to have a job, but I have never been in a career position where I have no opportunities to expand or promote. I could promote with my company but it would require me to relocate. Not just relocate, but relocate to areas I do not ever want to live in. Areas with insane traffic, hustled lifestyles and outrageous cost of living. To move up the ladder into something I would want to do would require a trade-off. It is not a trade I am willing to make. My husband and I have been married for 14 years and it has only been in the last year that we have truly had a life. We spent so many years surviving, that we failed to thrive. We could not learn from one mistake because we had quickly moved to the next mistake. We are finally engaged in with others a living beyond our four walls.
It seems like every time I reach milestone in my faith. You know an event or experience that becomes a part of your on-going testimony, these obstacles seem to appear. I have a good life, filled with Godly, loving people. My faith is stronger today than it was last week. Yet, I find myself grinding the gears again with anxiety. I can tell you all the intricacies of the issues bothering me, but it all boils down to anxiety. I worry about things I cannot solve. If I can’t plan for it I feel completely out of control. I can’t help but think of the saying, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans”. I’m pretty sure I give frequent cause for laughter and a significant number of head shakes.
My Mom commented recently that it seemed Joe and I were trying to retreat from life when we were planning to live in a tiny house. I cannot say she was wrong. The world had been such a cold, dark, mean place for me…for us. I did want to shut everyone out. It had been me and Joe against the world and I saw no chance of that changing. It has changed though. We no longer fight back to back, keeping everyone at arm’s length. We have fellowship with others. We have people willing to help fight our battles when things are difficult. Sometimes fighting is prayer and other times it is just encouraging us to stay engaged with like-minded believers. This fellowship is not something I am willing to sacrifice for my career.
I’ve spent the last few days listening to various YouTube sermons. Each one has touched on how we have to control our thoughts and how we grow the most in our discomfort. Let me tell you, I am in a season of extreme discomfort…my growth will exceed this discomfort. I am trying to control and command my thoughts. My friend Erin calls them “Mind Monsters”. That is a fitting title because these mind monster wreak havoc. They fan flames of worry and dread. Even if you have no faith and do not share my belief in God, you can probably relate to the psychological aspect of “mind monsters”. Think self-fulfilling prophecy or affirmations, what we see in our mind and say with our mouth determines a great deal of our outcome.
I do not want to retreat into a tiny house. I do not want to live and work in a major metropolitan area. I do not want to be stuck in a vehicle for 8 hours a day. (I actually don’t mind my work, it is the environment). I’m tired of being isolated from people all day long. The mind monsters creep up and tell me this is my reality. I want to live my claimed future, not my current circumstance. I want to live right here in West Virginia. I want a job that allows me to use my mind and allows me to engage with people. I do not want to be in a vehicle all day long.
Back to that trapped feeling. I do not know how the job thing is going to play out. Perhaps one of the opportunities that have passed my threshold will work out. Perhaps my current company will reveal something that changes the work dynamic. Perhaps there is something God has for me that I cannot yet see. I want to bloom where I am planted, I’m just struggling with the lack of sunlight.
We each have things that we wrestle with; career, family, faith or all the preceding. How do you keep your “mind monsters” from taking the upper hand? What has you feeling trapped? Please share your story…it lets me know I’m not the only one…