Not having a job sucks. In many ways, I feel like a housecat; I just lay about everywhere all day and only move to either eat or go to the bathroom. But unlike a cat, I’m expected to actually do something. Knowing this makes me want to get a job if only to retain my sanity, but that hasn’t panned out at all. So instead, I’ve taken to editing my blogs; rewording some of them or tagging a bunch of topics and organizing them into categories. It’s been tedious for the most part. And yet, it’s given me a review over the last ten months.
I can see into the various trials and challenges and joys I’ve experienced throughout most of the last year and evaluate whether or not I’ve made any progress. From what I’ve seen from my blogs, I’m still wrestling with many of the same issues. In regards to temptations, the internet still remains a battle field. Boredom, an unfiltered computer, and being alone do not mix at all. It’s in those moments that the challenge becomes the greatest and thinking back through the last ten months, I haven’t done all that well. On top of temptations, though, I still wrestle with certain challenges to my faith in God.
Believing that God is real and that He is here isn’t so much of a struggle as believing that He will provide is. I have some major trust issues. My father never being there mixed with my mother being unable to take care of me has imbedded a small skeptical nature when it comes to trusting others. So when Jesus says, “Seek first the Kingdom of heaven and all these will be added to you,” indicating that we need not worry about daily provisions, I naturally question it.
To be honest, my mother and I are on good terms. She lives in Wasilla, Alaska right now, working at Wal-Mart and fighting to hold herself up. She sent me a text message earlier today, asking how things were going. I said not well because I don’t have a job and it’s getting harder and harder for me to believe that I ever will have one. We chatted back and forth for a moment more and after I had asked her how things were up there, she said she didn’t like it at all. She said that making rent each month has been a strain and even getting to and from work on time was difficult. My reply was simply this, “Just keep working hard and make do with what you have. God’s always there with you and He’ll take care of you.”
Immediately after sending it, I realized it was the message that I needed to hear as well. Sometimes it isn’t enough to hear something just once. I’m very good at hearing someone’s words, but not actually letting them sink in. In the gospel of John, Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?” If I had been Peter, I would have been really frustrated with Jesus by the third time. But thinking over this passage a while, I realize that I’m much like Peter even now; I hear the words of Jesus, the words of His promise, but I fail to truly understand and grasp their meaning. Essentially, I don’t allow His words to reach my heart.
As I wait for a job to turn up, I realize that now, more than ever, is the time to trust Jesus and what He’s doing with my life. The time I’ve taken to review and edit my blogs has been sort of a review and editing session of my own life. The difference between editing blogs and editing my life, though, is that one is easy while the other takes a lifetime to do. Reading through my blogs, checking my spelling and grammar is really easy to do. But changing my habits, my anti-trust nature, is hard. For God, this isn’t so much editing my life as it is developing my character. Unlike an editor to a novel, my past can’t be erased from my story. But the great thing is that my character can develop and change over time; it can gradually conform to the image of Jesus more and more. The only thing that’s demanded of me is what I’ve realized today: my trust. God is the perfect and loving Author. He isn’t going to write a story of depression and anxiety with my heart; He’s going to write a story of how He has helped me overcome those things.
Does this mean I’m merely a puppet in His story? I highly doubt it. Why? Because it’s as C.S. Lewis says regarding free will; it’s the only thing that makes true love worthwhile. While it involves a great risk on God’s part to give us free will, it is also the only way true love can be shared and be worth sharing. I in my free will have some options; I can either trust in myself or I can trust in God. Reviewing where I was even two or three months ago via my blogs, I can tell you that trusting myself has not paid off. Therefore, with every last bit of faith I can muster, I must continue to trust God with where I’m going and what He has planned for me.