Life's Unexpected Journey
The unpredictability of life… How do we find ourselves here? How did we get to this point? Where are we going? What happens next? How can I get where I want to go?
These are questions that I have.
About a year ago, I experienced a “heart” episode that rocked my world. It was an awakening to the amount of stress in my life and the need for some changes. A new job, closer to home, alleviated some of that stress. Then in March, out of nowhere, I started to experience knee pain. Within days it became intense enough that I could not get through a work shift due to the pain. I was given an ambiguous diagnosis and there was no surgery that would help me. The knee pain exacerbated the ongoing issues that I have had with my sacroiliac joint and hip issues.
Physical therapy was helpful in regaining some strength, but I am a long way from being able to function fully. The work restrictions given by my physicians are such that I can not work; nor was I approved for medical leave and to top it off, I had not been at this job long enough to qualify for short or long term disability.
There are days, where the pain is manageable and I am able to move and do things fairly well. Everything seems fine. But on other days, a single mis-step and I am debilitated by pain for hours or days. Sleeping without waking many times throughout the night in pain has been a challenge.
So now what? Where does that leave me?
The truth is that I have been wrestling with God over this. I would like to retire. I would like to keep my house and yard. I would like to purchase a van and convert it to a travel vehicle and do some extended traveling throughout the US and Canada. I would also like to travel overseas to places like Japan, India, Scandinavia, the British Isles and Europe. I dream of being able to hike trails like the Camino del Santiago, the Appalachian Trail, or the Pacific Crest Trail, or even short trails like the ones in Rocky Mountain National Park. But dreams of hiking - whether short or long distances, seem out of reach when I cannot make it through the grocery store without pain. I would like to write a book (or several. I want to paint, I want to take photographs, I want to create beautiful things. I want to spend my days restfully, seeking beauty, inspiring others, living simply, joyfully and contentedly.
By now you have noticed that like Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”, “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere,” while still staying in my safe, comfortable home. A paradox to be sure. I want it all!
In my search for answers and direction, I have recently completed a devotional on the YouVersion Bible app, “Facing the Unpredictability of Life” by Sherene Ellen Rajaratnam. In it, she states,
“A major cause of unpredictability in our lives arises from the fact we only look at life from our angle and want God to help us fulfill our plans. Unfortunately, the sovereign God weighs our hearts. God wants us to align our plans with His, so He can establish them.”
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Instead you ought to say, “if the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
There is more to this unexpected journey that we call life, than we can ever dream of. It takes us on paths we don’t anticipate, teaches us lessons that we never imagined learning. Maybe the biggest lesson is that our best life isn’t lived in the life we imagine and dream of, but in the unexpected journey.
God willing, I am retiring from nursing and preparing to sell this home that has been my lovely nest for the last five years. I have been massively downsizing in preparation. God willing, I hope to spend a few years traveling this country by van and hopefully some travel abroad. In short, I hope to truly live my “manifesto” that I wrote a few years ago.
- Live God’s peace
- Spread God’s Glory
- Worship the One True God
- Live prayerfully
- Pause and reflect daily
- Walk daily in God’s creations
- Downsize my possessions
- Live environmentally conscious
- Live minimally
- Spend time with people
- Create (paint, photograph, stitch, spin, knit)
- Live simply
- Live joyfully
- Be content
Philippians 4:13I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
I will keep you posted as things change. One of these days I will have stitching and artwork to share among other things, but posting may be somewhat sporadic for a while longer as I figure things out.