Sunday, June 27, 2010

What to do when you life vision falls flat Part 2

I don't know what it is, but the moon gives clarity for the soul. My post from yesterday was unfinished and no matter how many times the thing was tweaked, it still wasn't coming together (: So I thought I'd let it sit for a day and come back. A walk in the moonlight and encouragement from lovely friends who left comments helped to bring things together. I asked a couple of questions..."Ever have your life planned out only for things to take a totally different direction? Did you have a vision of how things would unfold and now life is not playing nice with the dream?"

Actually, I'm in the middle of this wonderful dichotomy...yes, I said wonderful even though this past week hasn't felt so wonderful. The vision for my life was to go to college, find my soulmate, graduate, get married, find a great job, buy a cute cottage, have kids and face the challenges of life as a family. Well, that hasn't happened.

At the time I was okay with it because the focus was taking care of Grandmother. But when you turn 40, begin to evaluate things and see everyone else moving on while you're still at the starting gate, the sadness can be overwhelming...especially when it comes to having children. It's even harder when siblings and cousins begin to breach that realm and you watch as their families grow. Don't get me wrong. The opportunities have been there, but each time God said, "No, not yet. Wait." {Sigh}

Now almost half way through my one year challenge, those feelings have come back with a vengeance. "Why God? Why am I still waiting? Why am I having to take the long path while everyone else around me seems to have the life of which I've always dreamed? You do realize, God, that if I wait much longer the possibility of having children dwindles." (: But just as He has asked in the past, "Be happy for the blessings of others and celebrate their joys even in the midst of your own pain. Your time will come soon enough." {BIG Sigh}

So, what's the plan here? To be honest...I have no idea. God is an out-of-the-box kinda guy and on the surface things may not make sense, but He's guiding my every step. This may sound odd, but through all the mourning over a life of unexpected twists and turns, I'm more confident and content than ever before. During this time my faith has grown by leaps and bounds. God has drawn me closer to Him, allowed the healing of old wounds and opened new doors that were never thought possible.

You see, when we let go of our vision and open ourselves to God's vision, a design greater than we could ever imagine will come forth. We might have lost a loved one, a marriage might have crumbled, the scholarship for school might not have come through, the baby we were expecting might have been lost, the cancer that was once gone might have back or maybe the job we've had for 15 years is no longer is full of things that throw us for a loop and make us question the meaning of it all. There will be times of questioning and frustration.

I've been there this week, but I've asked for a life bigger than my hands could design...the life that God has always wanted for me. With that comes a lot of work on my part plus the willingness to let go of the old vision of yesterday.

I've accepted the long, narrow path and can see where I'm headed, I just don't like where I am at the moment. It's the dreaded "in-betweens." That place that feels like perpetual limbo when we've left the old life behind and we're half way to the new. We can see the possibilities, hopes and dreams taking shape right on the horizon, but the journey through this leg of the path is not yet finished and there's still more climbing to do.

So, if you find yourself in the in-betweens here are some tips that have helped me:

  1. Spend time in prayer each day. Meditate and connect with the One who is working on your behalf behind the scenes.

  2. Love yourself. Okay, I know this one sounds corny, but you have to appreciate the beauty of you! You are in the world for a purpose and it wouldn't be the same without you! Honor yourself by nurturing the lovely person you are. It will allow you, in turn, to love others more deeply.

  3. Focus on the blessings you've already encountered. What is going right in your life? Make a list and review it each day.

  4. Reach out to help others. There's nothing better for the soul than helping those in need.

  5. Gather a circle of close friends. Share your heart with those who love and care about you. On those days when you feel weak, they can be of great counsel and support.

  6. Memorize scripture that is specific to your situation. Quote it as you go about your day. You'll be surprised by the energy and lift it gives.

  7. Do something fun. It doesn't matter what it is, just do something that makes you smile. The sillier the better (:

  8. Just let go. You need to embrace the sadness that you might be experiencing, but don't let it overpower your spirit. Take the time you need to grieve (it's different for everyone) and then move forward. Let go of how things used to be and look towards the possibilities.

  9. Set goals. Set some short and long term goals that keep you moving forward. It could be one thing a week or maybe even one thing a month. Just do something.

  10. Practice forgiveness. To live in a world filled with people means to live with the possibility that you will be hurt. By forgiving those that hurt us, it opens the heart to love. Forgiving doesn't mean that what has happened is okay and it doesn't minimize or justify the wrong, it just means that we allow healing to come into the mix which brings a peace that can help us move forward.

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