When You’re Not Sure How to Be In the World

Hello, you,

Yes, you. I see you over there. Some days, you feel like your heart is a pin ball, shooting back and forth between the deep desire to be seen and known, and the overwhelming fear of the consequences. I know you’re bruised and busted up.

I see you spending your days hunched over a borrowed desk. I see you with your bed head and unbrushed teeth folding your sixth load of laundry. I hear you speak coarsely to your husband and children, and know how as soon as the words leave your mouth, you desperately wish you could take them back. I know how you dread the ring of the phone at the office, and how you seem to hear it for hours even after you’ve come home for the day. I see how you pour your heart out onto a page and bravely click “publish,” only to find that you can count the number of views on two hands. I see how you’re made to feel like less than because your womb has yet to be occupied, made to feel like less because you’re not a certain age, made to feel like your dreams and your plans and your commitments are not as important as someone else’s. I see you, burdened and bogged down.

I know that you’re tired. I know how sometimes nine days out of ten don’t go the way you think they will, and I know how swiftly the days turn into weeks and months and years, and all the sudden, you look up and realize that you’ve lost your way.

PicMonkey Collage2

See, I know you because I am you. We’ve read all of the books, and we’ve memorized the verses. We’ve rehearsed all the speeches about how we’re really okay and no one should worry, even though deep down inside, we’re far from okay and our own worry guts us on a daily basis.

These days, I don’t even know where to begin. Its more than finding the right words — deep down, I’m hungry for the right life.

The questions keep me awake at night, even after nine and ten hour days at the office. Worries stuff themselves into tiny, gnawing what if’s about job security and fulfillment and 401k’s and callings and health insurance plans and masters degrees, but mostly how in the world do I make a home when the world is not my home? 

For the past year now, all I’ve wanted is someone to tell me that it’s okay for me to not want to sit behind a borrowed desk and watch my tiny pieces of my soul waste away mile by aching mile, but more than that, I just want someone to tell me that am okay.

A new friend told me last night that she feels called towards evangelism, but she’s just not sure. Its hard to press in and chase our callings when we’re uncertain of whether or not those callings will pay the bills and keep food in the cupboards.

I pace back and forth, wondering how the Bob Goff‘s and the Katie Davis‘ of the world do it.

How in the world do I live a life of love and freedom when CNN and The Times and my Facebook feed are constantly telling me to hoard and be afraid? And how do we lean in to hear and answer callings when the stock market and our parents and the ever well-meaning people at church are so worried about being comfortable?

The way of the world is fear. Fear that we will never be enough, so we try to do enough to make enough to make amends for everything we lack. Fear that we will never have enough, so we try to hoard enough to distract ourselves from our brokenness.

I tell a friend in an email that I feel, somewhere deep down in my bones, that God is about to do something. And while we never get a blueprint for the future, we know that whenever Jesus shows up, blind people start seeing and deaf people start hearing and dead people begin to breathe again.

Dead people begin to breathe again. 

See, His plan wasn’t to make us comfortable — His plan was to make us come alive.

Where I have craved a road map, He says that He is the Way. Where I have demanded certainty, He has asked for faith. Where I have sought a get rich quick scheme, He has promised unsearchable wealth if I just hold fast to the promise. But perhaps I must come to the end of myself. Grace resides on the fringes. And true fulfillment might just show up in that place where you realize you have nothing to lose.

We can build empires and have lots of letters behind our names that tell the world how important we are, but at the end of the day, what good are those things if they come at the expense of our souls?

Today, my prayer was for help in my unbelief, help in my mindless wandering and endless frustration. Help for my unbelief, because today I feel broken and bitter, and as the hours have ticked by, it has seemed as though there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Yeah, my soul is singed by the fire of the world that burns for fame and fortune.

But it is the world that He declared good, the world that He so loved. So I pray to be more like Him. I pray to be searched and known and tried and approved. I pray to be found in Him, and I search for evidence of His goodness, even on the hard days.

Because He is the light. His burden is light. And in Him, there can be no darkness.

  • Moi

    “These days, I don’t even know where to begin. Its more than finding the right words — deep down, I’m hungry for the right life.” – Wow, sister you have a gift for words! I loved every stinkin bit of this post and it directly related to the same junk I have been stewing with lately. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Oh girl!! I love this post! I was here in this same place about a month ago when I posted that I was frustrated and felt like I was waiting on God. I was so ready to speak, move, lead, do something anything. How sweet it is when He answers, but sometimes in such unexpecting and painful ways. I am glad I didn’t know what He would do because I would have dreaded it, and taken back my request for a directive. His grace is sufficient and his power made strong in my weakness. I am closer to Him now than I have ever been, and want less to do with the world than ever, but the desire, oh that deep desire still remains to be a part of the world, because the world is right here, right now. Heaven feels so far away. Wow, I think I may have to use this in a post! Lol, thanks. I think I’ll link to you, since you’ve inspired me. :)

  • Faith Raider

    I SO love this post. I wrote a lot about this idea of dreaming big yet wanting to embrace the small of my life. I agree – we have got to be willing to take the first step even if you don’t know what the final result will be…

  • Tara Ulrich

    Loved this! Like clay jars, God pieces us back together when we are broken.

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  • Debi Alexander

    Beautiful… Such truth ….and ya love Katie Davis!!!!!!!!

  • Ingrid Lochamire

    This is just beautiful. You poured out your heart on the page and spoke for many of us. I can’t imagine doing life without knowing THE LIGHT. Thanks for sharing!