Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The myth of control

completely unrelated photo! taken sunday on our valentine's hike :)

Hello...can you hear me?? I sure haven't heard me in a while. Apologies for the extended blogging hiatus. The only explanation: life! And I don't mean "life" as in, "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry I haven't gotten back to you yet, it's been so crazy recently and I just completely forgot blah blah blah." Nor do I mean, "Shit has hit the fan and I've been avoiding everything." Instead, it was more like, "X happened to be immediately followed by Y which required Z and then D, E, and F." Hence no time for blogging.

But I'm bummed that I haven't written anything in so long, mostly because I really do enjoy blasting my thoughts into the interwebs. And because I was actually looking forward to updating this little record on a regular basis and then being able to longingly look back on the fun and glorious times we're having, the adventures and restaurants and new friends! Sad to say that very few of those things have happened recently and instead, ALL of the things that have happened have just been draining, exhausting, requiring enormous energy and patience and love. (Welcome to Lent! God is laughing at me for expecting anything different.)

Actually, what God is truly laughing at are my plans. Oh, my plans!! In my elusive last post, I hinted at a potential job (!!!) and I decided there's no reason not to share what that thing is. Want to guess?

Is it:
a) Not in any way related to being a lawyer
b) Low-paying
c) Part-time and/or temporary
d) Something I've always wanted to do

If you selected the fictitious (e) all of the above, then you're correct!! I have applied to be a substitute teacher :)

Now, being a sub (or as the Denver Public School System puts it, "Guest Teacher") is not the dream, BUT teaching is (perhaps more on this in a later post). I have an interview on Thursday and am VERY much hoping it goes well!! My 250 character blurb about "Why I want to guest teach" was something like, "Thinking of making a career change [in my head: hahahahaha! what career] and have always been attracted to teaching. Would love to get some classroom experience." Also, money. AND maybe even of more worth to me, something to do every day besides chores. Please send all the good thoughts my way that it goes well!!

However, even these barely-laid plans were foiled by life two weeks ago... I had planned to finish my application and be on my merry way by now. I had also planned to have had several networking handshake meetings, a haircut, a date with Lewis, and a whole week of meals planned (for once!!) Lots of stuff. I mean, stuff that I really wanted to do on my schedule.

But then a friend got sick and asked me to come help them out for a little bit. I love this person so dearly. They are practically family to me. I couldn't bear to think of them trying to get better on their own when they had asked for help, and I wanted to do everything I could to help them heal. Or at the very least, take their life burdens off of their shoulders for a little while. Practically speaking, I have unlimited vacation time right now, a husband who can cook for himself, and air miles. The flight was practically free! There were a million reasons to go and very, very few not to go. So I went.

We spent 6 days together and I know it did a world of good for us both. While I was there, we ended up talking a few times about the myth of control. How we aren't actually, really in control of anything but like to pretend that we are. How despite our best plans, sometimes things don't work out that way and it's okay. How sometimes it can take just a Small Event (or sometimes a Big Event) to show us how very little control we have over our lives, our health, our families and children, our career.

Sure, we can (and should!) do all we can to live good lives, to be healthy, to plan for our futures. Lewis and I are not going to stop budgeting for example. But having that small interruption into my plans was an excellent reminder to me to be flexible, to allow room for grace and the Holy Spirit to ask things of me and for me to abandon my plans to instead say "YES" to something more important. My Lenten Fiat.

In fact, our entire time here in Denver so far has really revealed how little trust I have in God's plan for me, or my fear of what His plan looks like, or perhaps my impatience with the timeline. I expected to have a job by now: no job. I expected to be a lawyer: maybe not going to be a lawyer right now. I expected us to have a circle of friends and community by now: not yet. I expected, at the very least, to be able to structure my days and weeks as I liked. And two weeks ago, God said, "No." It was clear to me that He said, "Go help this friend who you love. Abandon your plans and myth of control, even just for two weeks."

And like I said, it did us both a world of good. I am so, so very happy that I went and was able to help. Not because the trip was easy or fun or even fulfilling for either of us. On the contrary, it was hard and demanding. It required true love and a lot of sacrifice. But I am so grateful that I was the one who was asked to help, that my friend trusted me and our friendship enough to ask. I kept telling my friend what an honor it was to help and to be there - and it was.

Slowly, slowly I am learning that my plans are always tentative. And that changing those plans (or throwing them out and starting over!) is what the rest of my life will probably look like. I'm very curious to see how substitute teaching goes and how that fits into things right now. Or whether I'll actually ever practice law. Or whether Denver will be the place we eventually settle in. It's sort of exciting to see what God has planned! :)

brilliance above by Demetri Martin, "This Is a Book"

1 comment:

  1. Now THAT'S a job!!! I think you'll love it. Must have been the awesome high school math teacher's influence.