Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fish over head

I've been thinking about my life a lot recently. Eventually I want to put some of it on here, but it's too much for one blog post and I'm not sure what of it I'm ready to share. I'm ready to share one part though, which is partly an update on me.

As many of you know, I had been frantically searching for a job since just before Thanksgiving, when I found out that my assistantship funding had run out. It was upsetting not only because it meant I was out of a job, but also because it was a job that I loved. I applied to three positions (and looked at hundreds online). When I showed up to the interview for the first it was abundantly obvious that they'd already chosen someone else. For the second one, I got the notice on a Monday and submitted my materials that Wednesday only to discover that it had already been filled. The third position was posted this past weekend (I think). I applied for it as soon as I saw it, interviewed on Tuesday and was offered the position. I'm really excited about it! It's work that I love doing, with what seems like a great group of researchers.

It was a God moment for me. While telling my husband about the interview and the job, I told him that I was ashamed about how worried I had been. Most of a decade ago one of my best friends shared this with me.

Some years later I heard the expression that fear is the faith that something won't work out. This picture and that phrase have stuck with me for a long time. I've used them both in times where things were uncertain. So when my job situation was resolved, I realized, with shame, that I hadn't held fast to this image. I'd been afraid. I'd had faith that something wouldn't work out.

Maybe it's not that simple. Maybe God uses anxiety as a motivator, to push me to look hard for and strive for something. But I doubt it.

All of this is tied closely to an internal debate that I have, and that I know for a fact some of you have. It's a hard one that I feel like I'm always looking for an answer to. It goes like this: I'm a girl who loves to struggle. I love facing a hard task. I love compelling myself to try something that I only suspect I can do. I'm convinced that God made me this way. Because I'm both a nerd and an overachiever, I'm a PhD student. As my good friends MT, NS, DP, and others will tell you, it's a hard road. There are times when every good graduate student questions how much they want the degree, and how much they are willing to sacrifice to get it. During the hardest points in the program, I wonder whether a) God is trying to test my devotion to the path He laid out for me, b) God is telling me that I belong elsewhere, or c) whether I'm trying to use God as an out. I'm still here and plan to stay here, apparently because I believe that A is the correct answer. And, despite whatever road blocks and frustrations I encounter, I do absolutely LOVE my work. Regardless, when it comes to navigating the everyday, it's just hard to figure out what God is saying when you have your head in a fish.


MJ said...

Don't be so hard on yourself! It's very hard to put all fears aside and be an optimist all the time! I believe that God doesn't fault us for that and goodness knows others shouldn't! What's important is that we turn to him and realize that he does have a path for us, which I think you've noted! However, it's really hard to see that path when other things cover it temporarily. Not sure any of this makes sense now that I've written it, but know that I'm thinking about you and I'm sorry that I haven't been a better ear lately. I can proudly say that there will be an end that is in sight and you should be delighted to know that you will have accomplished SO much when you reach that goal!

Unknown said...

This is a really neat post. I've been really encouraged to see how God has provided for you so perfectly!!