I wrote this several months ago but never posted it. Re-reading it, I’m not sure why I didn’t post it. It is all still true, and aside from specific time references, I could well have written it today.
The title of this post is a bit, well, unsettling I guess. I am having trouble sleeping this evening, and amidst all the thoughts rolling around in my head, my overwhelming mood is unsettled. Not necessarily in a bad way, but just not content. Over the past several days, my posts have mentioned situations that are causing frustration and general restlessness in my heart and mind. I have been praying through these feelings, and sensing some gentle nudges about possible direction, but have not felt a strong nudge toward anything. Until tonight.
I have, for a long time, felt called to be a part of the lives of teenage girls, in some capacity. This has, thus far, consisted of my being a volunteer leader in the youth ministries at my church. Through these times, I’ve begun to hone in on a few girls in the sea of many that I can possibly have an impact on, through mentoring and, as my pastor calls it, doing life with them. However, while not negating the impact that this has on the lives of students, as well as myself, I’ve also begun to feel like perhaps this isn’t all that God has for me. I’ve begun to feel a little more unsettled and a little less content with staying in my comfort zone.
I’ve also begun to feel even less happy and content at my job than I was before. My attitude over the past few weeks has really suffered, and I have struggled with getting through some days. My feelings of discontent and being unsettled have carried over into this area as well. I’ve begun to really question what I’m doing, and thinking “There HAS to be something more to life than this.” My excuse has always been “I have to go back to school to get a teaching certificate. But school costs money.” Or, “I don’t have time to look for anything else because I’m just trying to get through the day and spend time with my family.”
After a particularly bad week last week at work, my spirit was broken. I was incredibly discouraged, and honestly didn’t care (much) if I didn’t go back on Monday. There are a lot of things that went into my feeling that way, but my point is, I didn’t come home Friday and immediately start looking for something else. I didn’t even want to think about it. On Saturday, I was busy getting the house cleaned up before we leave for vacation this week. Today, there was no turning away or ignoring it. I received a gentle but firm nudge this morning, after the message, and thought about it some of the day. I was unsettled to begin with, and I became more unsettled as the day wore on. Tony and I were watching tv after dinner, and the tv turned on to 60 Minutes. They were talking to a group of homeless kids, still in schools, about the impact that had on them. I saw those kids, and something clicked in me. I lost it and started crying. I have a broken heart for homeless kids. The kids who are still trying to grow up, learn to read and write, and trying to discover who they are and where they fit in the world, when they don’t always have food, clothing, or a constant shelter. We don’t have a lot, but we have a house, clothing, food, and jobs. We’ve had our share of financial problems, and still do occassionally. But, I look at my kids and I imagine what it would be like, for them, if we didn’t have this constant shelter, clothing, food. It breaks my heart to think of it.
God is speaking to me about those kids just around the corner from me who are homeless, who don’t have a permanent place of their own. I don’t know what all this means, yet, but I am peacefully unsettled. Restfully restless.