I’ve written too many Day One entries whether on a blog or in a journal, full of enthusiasm and optimism for specialized goals I’ve conjured up for myself, only to find that on Day Two the spirit wanes and the resolve weakens. I remember writing about homeschooling the girls in Ghana on Day One. Something along the lines of, “Look how organized I am! Look how well-behaved my kids are! Look how much we’re getting done!” You can only imagine what Days Two – 500 looked like.
In order to avoid the Day Two denial stage, I’ve added an accountability option – to tell you about it.
So, to explain, despite the title, this is not Day Two of my being unemployed (I think we’re on Day 92. I’m not even technically unemployed.), nor is it Day Two of a job search in earnest. Ah heck, why didn’t I just name this post, “Loreli – Day 14,023”?
Because. This is Day Two of a 40-day self-prescribed fast/quest to hear from God about where he is leading me, as far as my employment situation is concerned. Right now I would technically call myself “underemployed.” I wish to be fully employed, as in certain and disciplined about how I occupy my time each day, hopefully resulting in a pay cheque in my bank account. Although that is not my primary motivation; that’s my husband’s.
During these 40 days, I intend to spend a lot of time clearing out the detritus of my heart in order to hear God more clearly. I feel like my head is fuzzy, full of stuff I want to do, can do, must do! Plans! Ideas! What ifs! But there’s no clarity of vision.
I’ve been feeling a little lost since making the final decision to sell my business. My reasons were valid – not burn-out, not loss of interest in the business, but an understanding that God was pulling me deeper into ministry. I feel this call, it’s just undefined at the moment. When something you feel so deeply is undefined, you get a little restless. I believe that if you were to rev the engine in your car, plus your car had no wheels, it might feel something like this.
I find myself in this no man’s land of wanting to work, but not willing to compromise. That’s a dangerous place. I honestly worry that I might do something stupid in my eagerness to get a move on. I’m already a ministry hog, leading women’s ministry, doing communications for our missions project, managing social media for a few different organizations, plus the assemblage of duties one acquires as a “Pastor’s Wife.” Plus, hello, I blog. Besides this personal one, I write a weekly blog for our denomination, which gives me technical “employed” status.
Here’s the thing: if I am excited about what you’re doing and I can get involved, I most definitely will. The dangerous part is that I overbook and overwork myself and miss out on what’s important: listening to God’s voice, spending time with my family, making meaningful connections, and Sabbath.
In her book, 7, Jen Hatmaker talks about fasting. I agree with her findings.
According to scripture, fasting was commanded or initiated during one of six extreme circumstances:
I believe my circumstances fit into the category of Inquiry – which we Canadians spell enquiry, so I’ll make that small change – which involves me asking God a lot of “What about…?” questions. More so, this is about Preparation. I believe God is preparing me for… something. That’s all I’ve got for now. But I know from experience that at the end of a period of uncertainty or crisis, we can usually look back and say, “So that’s what this was all about!”
Fasting increases my reliance on and desire for God. My physical hunger alerts me to my spiritual hunger.
I just want to home in on what God has in the works. I want to be a part of his plan, not the other way around.
Just so you don’t worry that this is a hunger strike,I will only be skipping supper. I won’t eat after 2 p.m. As provider for our family and cooker of our meals, my husband is so annoyed by this. I did this for Lent and he felt like he was forced to fast too, from my company, because it was just him and the girls at the dinner table each night. So I’ve made some changes, that I will still sit with the family and engage in conversation as we usually do – and it can’t be about my wishing I could eat. I will have one day a week where I will eat supper (which will be Fridays).
I feel it has to be a supper thing because that’s where the hunger hits the hardest. I want to eat the most then. There’s the proviso that the family feels this is an imposition on them, I will change my fast to suit their needs. Next option is giving up Diet Coke, so I’m really hoping this supper thing works out.
These 40 days are about hearing from God.
Just today, I had a few interesting nudges. Check this out.
We should take the stigma out of being unemployed so that people won’t have to say they have a blog.
OK, I just found that incredibly funny in a nervous laughter kind of way, since I do tell people I blog when they ask me what I do, which they always ask. And I always hope they don’t think I’m as delusional as I might actually be.
For real though. I struggle like most people with where I find my worth. Blogging falls short. So this was timely:
So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.
–Jesus (Mark 9:35)
I don’t even hardly know what that means, but I want to. I think it’s a Best Kept Secret about fulfillment and purpose.
If you’re a fellow believer on this path that we travel, seeking God’s will, I would love you to walk with me. I’d sure appreciate your prayers if you feel so inclined. I intend to write about the experience. Writing helps me process my thoughts. Writing keeps me accountable. Writing will help me work through Days Two – 40.