Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Let's Catch up: Thriving vs. Surviving

Wow. I've been missing in action for a while. I think I've already mentioned that writer's block has become a close friend. I'm afraid to say that it's so much deeper than that. Discontentment and struggle keep me quiet. Ya know the times when even the journal can't handle me, or my brain is mush, therefore I can't articulate a thought? Been there? This season has me in the latter. My brain is mush. The clutter in my mind has succeeded capacity. The post your are reading right now is an attempt to spill my brain (or process) and catch up with you guys.

Early morning walk
Courtesy of Flickr: here

Have you ever watched the movie Thirteen Going on Thirty with Jennifer Garner? In the movie Jennifer Garner's character is thirteen, wishing she was thirty. Hence the title. She is kind of an outsider in her high school, dreaming of being cool. In the movie the character reads a magazine cover that peaks her interest with a headline reading, "Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving". Wouldn't that peak your interest? Well, she does in fact get her wish and of course it's not all it's cracked up to be, but that's not where I'm going this post. I"m stuck on the "and Thriving" part.

I've recently been discussing life with a few friends. Did I say recently? I mean every day of my life. Some of my folks are in this season of life called twenties, and some of us are in this season single. No, this is not a post about singles. Again, not where I'm going. Others of us are in this season in our twenties, single, and just  straight up confused about life. Pause. I have to say this is also not a whining post, only a post that is processing reality. If this season is not what you season looks like, please show grace in what I have to say about thriving.

I'm not there.

Kinda scary seeing that on the screen. One, I'm afraid you are all, especially those who know me in person, are going look at me after this post is published with pity. That is NOT what I want. Again, I'm processing life. And I would love love love feedback. Are you in my boat, or do you know what it's like to thrive, and can share advise? Two, I'm afraid that my feelings are not justified. There are beautiful things in my life. Don't confuse my confusing feelings with a lack of gratefulness.

Let me clarify where my heart is on this subject. I believe that God created His people to thrive. Yes and amen. Yet, we live in a fallen world. We weren't made for this fallenness. Instead of harmony and peace, most of us, everyday, experience instead the brokenness of this world. I also believe that in the fallenness  we call "life" is joy unspeakable, and a reason (and ability) to thrive. I'm not thriving. It's more like surviving. Doing life everyday, but not fully engaged in my life. Does that make sense?  In my effort to be vague, you may not be following me. The twenties are a challenging and exploratory time for many folk. Sometimes in all the exploring, people are simply searching, but not adventuring. That is where I find myself lately. God has awakened so many dreams in my heart, but I feel like I'm living with my passions on hold...Life is better when thriving, right? The ability to thrive is there to be accessed.

Insert the "how" question.

Here, I could right all the right verses. And it would be truth. I believe that. But that doesn't mean I know how to live it day in and out. I'm learning that there is a lot of depending on the Holy Spirit that I don't do. I look at Paul. He understood, really understood contentment. I look at Jennifer Adams and wonder why God puts up with my whining (I'm trying to leave the whining to my talks with Him, and let you see the less desperate me). I don't know, folks.

And I don't think I am going to try to answer my own question here.

Instead, I'll leave you with words far greater than mine. This is no band-aide mind you, but an active word (Hebrews 4:12).

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day...Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net (Psalm 25:5, 15). 

Maybe one day I will have a post of answers instead of questions. Nah...


Stephanie said...

I think we all long to thrive, to live in wholeness and be fulfilled in what we do everyday... there's a balance to be found in seeking that and yet recognizing that sometimes there is the mundane and that's not necessarily a bad thing, or outside of God's will...I pray that God refreshes you, friend. You sound a bit burnt out - have you thought about doing some kind of personal retreat?

Rebecca said...

Girl, I know exactly what you are saying! It's so hard to understand sometimes why God puts dreams and passions in our hearts and then makes us wait foreverrrrr to see them happen... And more than that, to realize that every day of the waiting is equally important. There are so many days that I feel like were so much more difficult, so much less fulfilling or productive, than I thought they should be. I try to keep Psalm 23 constantly in mind, really paying attention to all those promises and choosing to believe them instead of my feelings. Something practical that's really helped me is to evaluate every day in light of verse 6 -- looking back, where can I see God's goodness and/or mercy in this day? How did He show me His goodness/mercy today or use me to show it to others? Praying for you (and me) to see each day of this season the way He does and to praise Him in it!

Jennifer said...

Steph, You are very right. Mundane is part of living, even living abundantly. I've let my circumstances get the best of me...I have thought about taking a personal retreat, but I haven't had the opportunity yet. Thanks for your prayers, Steph! Your prayers and sweet words are always appreciated!

Becca, I definitely get that. And I love love love Psalm 23. I've been stuck on Psalm 25. I think the Psalms are the perfect place to go when your stuck or your in trying circumstances. David's heart is relatable to the tired and wore out. lol