I looked up the word muddle today… Why?
I wondered if there really was such a word to define the way I have been feeling lately. Low and behold there is such a word and it means to be deficient in clarity. That would be me these days; muddled. It is becoming a very uncomfortable place. And may I say, I am so tired of being here!
In part I think my “muddledness” comes from transition of life from one season to another. That season that begins to prepare oneself for the autumn of their life. My husband and I have finally reached that stage that we dreamed of in our youth; spending time together and having fun (although we dreamed it with a wee bit more financial comfort-ability) being foot loose and fancy free. My our children are all grown up – no longer in need of mom and dad every moment of every day. I no longer feel the need to climb the corporate ladder, and I am ready to let others lead. But am I?
That is part of the struggle that whirls within me. I have spent the last 6 months, or so, in an absolute struggle of sorts. One moment feeling confident and on course and the rest of the time feeling uncertain, unsure of what or where I am headed and what I should be doing. There are times when everything overwhelms me. There are times where making a simple decision as to what to make for dinner is just too much; times when my memory fails, and my mind seems to say enough already I’m taking a vacation; and it seems to do just that. That would be funny if it wasn’t so scary. There are times when I just don’t feel like I belong anymore, I just don’t seem to fit; kind of like the odd woman out. On those days, I don’t like myself much either. But, then there are other days when I am back in the swing ready to take on the world and excited to conquer new things; mind sharp and body functioning on all cylinders – feeling I am where I am suppose to be, doing what I am suppose to be doing, with a complete sense of true belonging.
Being muddled is a form of insanity in the cruelest sense, I think.
Remember that dream I mentioned earlier, well it is funny in an ironic sort of way, that what we, my hubby and I had dreamed of in our youth, at least for me, seems to be the one thing I am fighting so hard against; a thought that just now hit me. So, now the million dollar question is, why? Is it because I get my value from work? Do I feel like I would be letting others down if I quit work and stayed home? Do I feel like my life will cease to have value, that somehow I will feel less than? That I will somehow blend into a land of obscurity where people forget I exist? And what about purpose… where does that fit? Does our purpose in life change as the season of our life changes? Do I lose my purpose if I let go of the things that “I” have felt brought a sense of steadiness to my life? And if I lose my purpose, is it too late to begin or have a new purpose? “What if I make the wrong decision?” “What if I let go of something I should have hung on too?” There are all kinds of “What ifs” that I can come up with. And the question, that as a Christian, I must ask is “Where does God and His plan for this season of my life fit in all of this?”
I am reminded of a time in my younger years. It involved a large log, a hot summer day, and a river. My brother and his friend were teaching me to jump into the river from a log on the opposite shore. I remember swimming out to the log and then climbing on; this was going to be fun. And then I remember standing there for the longest time on that log. Looking down from the log the river seemed miles away and that log had become my security. My brother kept encouraging me to let go of the log and jump in (I didn’t even have to go in head first, just jump). My brother kept reassuring me – saying it would be okay, he was right there, it would be fun; just let go of the log and jump. The more he encourged the tighter my grip, I hung on tightly until my little hands could hold on no longer… finally, I let go and jumped! It was okay, it was fun! So much fun I couldn’t wait to get back up and do it again and again. Letting go of that log and jumping in was a hard, hard thing, even though I knew that what lay ahead was the promise of something fun,cool and refershing; something that would bring joy, not only to me, but my brother and his friend too.
If I am right and my struggle is rooted in leaving the summer of my life to begin the autumn of my life. I have got to let go. I have got to start asking the what if questions in a differnt light, such as, “What if I let go of this and God does this in my life?” “What if I let go of that and God gives me the deepest desire of my heart?” My deepest desire is to leave a leagacy and to make a difference in the life of another for eternity. I have got to trust that God has something wonderful for me; that my life will still have value and worth and will count for something. I have got to trust that letting go isn’t the end… it is the beginning, It is time to let go of the log!
Until next time,
Be encouraged – Sandra
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