24 August 2011

Canyon Places

We've been waiting and waiting, these last months, for the phone to ring. He's applied so many times, so many places, so many different jobs. People tell us over and over again that the market sucks, like we don't know that or it's supposed to be comforting. It's not us, nothing personal, and we don't take it that way. But you can only go so long staring at a silent phone when all you want it to do is ring before you start to wonder if you got the rules wrong, somehow, or if you're playing a different game than the rest.

And then it rings, and again and again. Three interviews in two weeks, and we were out of town for one of those. A job we really want, a job we kind-of want, and one that we'll take with joy if the others fall through. Three different industries, three different types of experience. But it's all backwards, with notifications coming in the order opposite of what would be helpful and us wondering if we're going to have to close the door on something sure because we hope for what we don't yet know. We're not sure if we can do it, if it comes to that. Not even sure we should, with two littles in the mix now and the need for at least a semblance of stability.

Sometimes I feel like I'm a player in a game that I don't understand, like if I could have the view of the chess player rather than the pawn, then it would all make sense. From where I stand, it feels backwards and inside out (or, in the words of my daughter's book, "Inside, Outside, Upside Down"). We've waited so long for any opportunity, and now we have three. Rejoice! On the other hand, we may end up choosing one that's not what we really want because we can't wait any longer to hear back from the one that's most ideal. Bah! 

It's a twisty thing, this path of life, and somewhat easier, I think, if we accept that most of what we'll do is wander. There aren't many vistas, here, not many places where the clouds part and the rocks move and we get to see where we've been and how it leads to where we're going. Most of the time, I think we're in a relatively narrow canyon with high walls. It's beautiful, there, with a stream running through and trees and flowers and all the layers and layers of rock stacked to remind us that others have been by, millions and millions of times. It's beautiful, but we can't see.

This doesn't bother some people nearly as much as it bothers me. I've always wanted to see, always strived to understand more, to gain a bigger perspective. I think it's the the way my mind works, the way I was made, if you will. I don't like having pieces without a whole, don't like sifting them through my fingers without some sort of overarching reason or premise behind it all. 

I want us to make the right choice, to not choose out of fear but out of wisdom. I want the pieces to fall into place, so that I know. But without the bigger perspective, I don't know if that's possible. And I wonder why he doesn't tell us more, doesn't give us what we need to know to make the right choice. 

"Trust," comes to mind, and I work on that. Yet he's trusted me with so much, and it kills me to think I might not be able to make the right choice here. He'll still be there if we don't; I know that. But I don't know how much more of this wandering I can endure. Funny, that. I've always been a wandering heart. But now I want roots, a place to settle, a place and a routine that feels like home.


terri said...

i hear you sarah. it's a hard place to be. i'm praying that you come to a wide open place soon where you can see from here to there and beyond. i'm writing this from the great plains of south dakota so i know what this means. it's good to see a long way and to realize that there is still room in the world.

love to you.

Anonymous said...

Why is trust so difficult, when it brings such freedom? Maybe because it lets go of control...and as Ann VosKamp says, we enter this world with clinched fists.

Amy Danielle said...

totally agree with journeytoepiphany. clinched fists are out birthright, but adoption into His family offers hope for open hands... sending up a prayer for your family right now.

Leslie said...

"It's a twisty thing, this path of life, and somewhat easier, I think, if we accept that most of what we'll do is wander.... It's beautiful, but we can't see.

So well said. Reminds me of the C.S. Lewis quote, from his book, "The Problem of Pain," chapter 7. (it's kind of long, so I hope you will forgive me there):

"The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and pose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home." -- C.S. Lewis

That said, I don't think recognizing it necessarily makes it any easier. Praying that you might have peace during this "twisty" time, and that He will lead you into green pastures...

alittlebitograce said...

Oh you write my heart! This beautiful canyon with the layered rock walls, and the stream and the flowers but without a clear view. I want to see, to understand, but God just whispers"trust" and I cry because that's almost too hard for me.

Praying for you with thanksgiving for job offers and for wisdom to know which path to take.

emily wierenga said...

oh sarah... i want to see too. how well you put it, this narrow canyon... it can feel suffocating, no? and yet it leads to light, and how bright the light and open space once we've been in the canyon. praying wisdom for you friend.

Sharon Wang said...

Praying for wisdom and answers for you! I'm reminded of something a "career counselor" told me at the end of my college career. "It doesn't matter which choice you make, God will use either one." I truly thought he was insane at the time, but now can see that in some instances (or maybe all???) it really doesn't matter which choice we make. I mean, yes, whatever choice we make, will lead us down a different path than another choice would, but either choice would be fine. I say this, but in reality, I am a planner and like to know exactly what my options are and where they will lead. So, I say this in hopes that it will give you some comfort in the agony that making a decision can bring.

Laura said...

Trust is such a hard thing when we have choices, isn't it? I always remind myself that He uses it all--even if I make a mistake, He'll get me where I need to go.

Praying about those choices, friend. Hugs to you.