Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easy Joy

Last I wrote, it was Christmastime! I can't even believe that. So much has changed since then. And so today, partly because I'm feeling especially joyful, partly because I feel a strong need to do something creative and expressive, and partly because I REALLY don't want to do my taxes...I write!

Some updates:

I love my job! I transferred to a different position in January, and it's amazing. I get to care for people all day long, instead of just trying to direct and organize the care for these people. I get to be hands on, wiping noses, feeding lunches, reading stories, making crafts, having conversations, for 8 hours a day. I'm still a supervisor, but not such a high-level one, so I feel much more comfortable with it. I feel like I can do my job with excellence, which is a feeling I really missed in my last job.

I have a life! The new position came with this amazing development: working 8-4 Monday through Friday! I took on some music therapy clients in the afternoon/evening hours to make up for lost income, but this still leaves me free from work by 6:30 at the latest on weekdays, and off on weekends. I've gotten to return to my dear small group, go to church every week without a work phone attached, serve in a variety of ways, go out of town on weekends, and make plans with friends and family like a normal person. What a freeing thing this is!

I have discipline! Discipline used to be a defining factor in my life, and that all seemed to sort of go out the window these past couple years. My stress level was so high that free time, which was rare to begin with, wasn't usually used very constructively, and my time in the Bible and in prayer suffered pretty seriously. In January, I committed to start what I thought would be a long, difficult journey back to the kind of discipline I'd once had. By God's grace, it's been almost easy! I'm sleeping well, rising early, reading well, eating better, even exercising more. In God's perfect timing, my pastor preached a sermon on prayer just a couple weeks ago, which challenged me to evaluate and change my prayer life too.

Since March of 2010, I'd endured an interesting season of sadness. It started with certain circumstances but persisted even as circumstances improved. It became less intense over time, but it wasn't until just a couple months ago that I feel like it actually ended. And now I realize how a large part of me had stopped believing that it WOULD end this side of heaven. It didn't have to. God could have given me far more than 22 months of wilderness walking, and He would still have been good. But He chose to end that season, and I'm incredibly grateful. Joy is suddenly not something I have to daily seek and fight for but something I wake up with and remember throughout the day. Perhaps this happy season will be long, or maybe it's just a brief recharge before another challenging season. Either way, I'm thankful for today. And I'm thankful for the 22 months, really I am. I didn't love them, but they were an effective tool used in the hand of a good and wise God.