One of the blogs that I read on a consistent basis captured the state of my life in one simple sentence: "My life is again an emergency room that follows me wherever I go."
This woman gave me the words to articulate what I have been feeling for the past few weeks at the very least; it's a never-ending cycle of the pressing needs of the moment, and I am on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop, almost anticipating the mistimed juggle that causes the balls to fall, the one last card to topple the already tottering house of cards.
I dropped a job this week, which should help my gradual return to sanity, though it was a tough decision to make. I enjoyed making coffee for people, I enjoyed being hospitable, and I enjoyed the few hours it forced me to do work that needed to get done. Most of all, I enjoyed being around people for those seven hours in the Cafe each week. But I'm hoping the potential decrease in emotional stress of an introvert having to be "on" and the stress of just being somewhere at some designated time will dissipate and I can feel like my life is (somewhat) under control.
Not my control, of course, because I'm not really at the point of managing 12 credit hours (think a total of 48 hours combined work and classtime per week), church, planning a wedding, another (albeit limited) part-time job, life complications and so on and so forth in an efficient and effective manner (because this is only scratching the surface of life, the universe, and everything). I just can't do it; I'm barely clinging on to the world by my fingertips. Thank God for God. Not that God couldn't handle it with that extra job in there, but I was beginning to have my doubts. Unfortunately, I couldn't very well blame God for something I did to myself.
It wasn't until today that I resolved my squeamish reaction to the words "God never gives you more than you can handle." I know I've tried to use this as a rationalization for life in the past, but it has never quite sat right with me. It felt like a sweater that you desperately want to fit, but realize that you need to lose (or gain) a few pounds in just the right places for it to work. My pastor preached this Sunday on the "wilderness" and talked about the image of God up there doling out misery to people not working for him. Instead, God allows these experiences to happen (much like parents who see their children struggling but don't intervene so that they will learn) so that learning and growth can happen through spiritual struggling. God doesn't give us tough times, but God allows these times to happen for our benefit. As much as I would absolutely love God to take away the stresses and everything else that worries me (please, God?)...I know that won't happen. My task is to press on, pray a lot, learn to take it a bit easier on myself, and eat lots of chocolate. (Oh wait....darn Ben for giving up deserts for Lent....well, if chocolate becomes a meal, it isn't desert, right? :-) )