Well folks, I really got behind on my blog. After being a counselor at youth camp, my family and I went on vacation for a few weeks (which we are still on), and finding time and mental energy to sit down and write has been difficult.
Partly though, I went through some significant discouragement with the job market, getting turned down by one job, having my resume ignored by others, and getting one significant lead turn out to not be such a great possibility after all. It's REALLY looking grim out there, when it comes to the economy. I seem to be making barely any headway! Due to that, and other huge changes in my life, all in one year (graduating, looking for work, significant changes in my personal life, giving up all these dreams I had because God asked me to lay them down, moving to the city where my family lives and trying to figure out where I fit in with things, looming student loan bills that will soon be filling my mailbox, and trying to figure out if I'm on the right path in life, etc), I started getting really discouraged and was moping around the house a lot. Not wanting to share my mild depression (which, this is the first time in my life I've dealt with such deep discouragement - gives me a whole new level of compassion for other people who go through really tough seasons) with all you lovely people out there, I just couldn't bring myself to write anything.
It's interesting, because when I look back on my blog, the first half of the summer was awesome - even though things were hard, I was going deeper into the secret, intimate place with God, and everything within me was clinging to him. But then, as I didn't see things change fast enough or to my liking, I got discouraged...and started going into a bit of a depression. I've had an underlying sadness going on inside of me this year, but only now, this past month, has it gotten so bad to where I just couldn't seem to do anything. I was struggling with maintaining a schedule, prioritizing anything, being productive, taking care of myself physically, getting sleep...everything. I've been waking up in the mornings wanting to roll back over and go to sleep, because I didn't want this to be real. By "this" I'm referring to the challenges I'm facing at this time in life. But please don't misunderstand me. At the same time that this has been a sad year for me, it's been an extremely powerful, supernatural, and amazing year with the Lord - the most amazing year I have ever had! How is it that even though everything is so difficult for me in my daily life, it's been the most significant season for me, spiritually-speaking? I've never loved or wanted God more. I asked him to be near to me, and he really has been! It's incredible. I know this is a test of trust and faith - and boy is it HARD! But I can't give up, I can't stop wrestling, I NEED this - I NEED Him. I know that I've struggled this path month in believing that, I know that it's even hard to really want to make time for God in my day, I know that I'm struggling in trading my sorrow in for His joy, but I just can't sit around being glum anymore. I wasn't meant to live like this. I know I need to PRESS IN for more joy and MORE OF JESUS in my life!
It all broke on Saturday night when I was able to share with some family friends, who are on vacation with us, some of the things that have been going on, and how I was feeling, and we prayed and talked and cried together. It was GREAT! Ever since then, I've been feeling a hundred times better, even though my circumstances haven't changed. I'm still jobless, I'm still very much in debt, I'm still struggling to understand what God's next step for me in life is, and I'm still struggling with the sadness and loss of some of the things God asked me to lay down. HOWEVER, joy and hope have been restored!
Wow, this life is such a battle! We really are in a WAR. There is a war going on for our very souls and the souls of those around us. Jesus will prevail! We already know the ending. We already know that we WIN! His Kingdom will advance. And I plan on being a part of it. :)