Losing Work and Finding Grace: Lessons from Marginal Employment

I haven’t been writing much lately.  I haven’t followed through on my goal to share about my peacemaking trip to Israel/Palestine once a week. The words haven’t flowed; I haven’t really tried.

And surprisingly. I’m okay with it.

Since I left my job as a writer at Plant With Purpose  nearly two years ago, I’ve been plagued with the constant guilt that I’m not writing enough, not producing enough, not saving the world enough.

But after months and months of thrashing and crying and giving up, I  think I’m beginning to learn the lesson that God has been trying to teach me all along. (And that I thought that I already knew.)

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I may have lost my words, but I am gaining a new life in Him. An open-handed life.  A life of holding loosely to the labels and identities I used to clutch with greedy palms.

In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, burnout and depression, I’ve discovered God is with me in the waiting. I’m being transformed by the knowledge that I can choose to trust Him in the waiting, in the in-between. (Not that I always do.)

Sue Monk Kidd writes in her beautiful memoir, When the Heart Waits, “Hope lies in braving the chaos and waiting calmly, with trust in the God who loves us. For if we wait, we may find that God delivers us somewhere amazing–into a place vibrant with color and startling encounters of the soul.”

I’ve tried to wait, but it’s not often been calmly and it definitely hasn’t been eagerly. Maybe if I type it here–commit it to words, and the action will come easier. I will wait with you, Lord.  Open-handed. Open-hearted.  

I will trust that you are delivering me in to something new, something good, something holy. I know it.

I taste it already. In the sweet moments in my new caregiving job. In my new excitement for grad school. In the friends who’ve spoken the words and spilled the grace into me that I’ve needed to hear so badly.

I can taste the sweet. And I can choose the sweet.

I can bounce back from job rejection. From disappointment. Even from depression. 

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I look around and I see color. I echo ee cummings in saying,

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings;and of the gay
great happening ilimitably earth)”

I am grateful for the wonder. For the gifts of this day. And I’m trying my best to hold it all oh-so-loosely. Palms unclenched. Open-hearted.

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