“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
No, I’m not dead. I’m very much still here, actually.
I’m still dancing, and that’s not going too bad for me.
I’m still studying health science in my spare time for fun, still exercising and dieting, and still dating the same wonderful woman I have been for what will be coming up to two years now. If I count all those things, I should be feeling blessed. I should be feeling like I’m more than content, but happy, and not needing of assistance from people.
But in all reality, I’m actually struggling.
If I’m being honest with you all, although I’m not bipolar, I do have somewhat of an extreme tendency to ride a “rollercoaster of emotions”, if you will. My highs are awesome—oh so high, and I feel like I can overcome anything. Just as well, my lows are pretty darn low—I can seriously wallow in some depression for a day or two, and just feel absolutely broken inside and out. It’s pretty extreme, really, and it takes a lot of bad stuff to get me there. And if I’m being honest with myself, it’s probably not the healthiest habit.
That’s kind of how I run though—I throw myself all-in to things. If I’m not all invested, I’m probably not going to succeed. That’s how I’m continuing to do well in breaking, and that’s how I’ve done well in pretty much everything: school, sports, whatever. The unfortunate part about it is that, because of that want to put it all on the table so to speak, I end up putting it all in to being disappointed sometimes, too.
And I think we all do that sometimes, but me more so than others, in my opinion.
Now, I used to take losses and setbacks really hard, but I’ve learned, through God’s grace (thank the Lord) to find some balance in that, and be just as resilient. That’s why some of the previous posts I’ve made about resiliency work so well—because I’ve learned how to manage things and come out of it. I may be damaged, but I’m not dead.
These past 11 months have been especially hard. Ever since my return from Korea, I’ve made mistakes in trying to find the right job opportunities. I’ve been too selective, looked in the wrong places, used money where I shouldn’t have, and although I wasn’t the most irresponsible (that was my freshman year of college), I could have done things differently.
Like I told my father though, I absolutely don’t regret doing those things at all—even if I’m in the largest hole I’ve ever been in, in my life—and that includes putting myself into debt in university to kick my own “adversity overdrive” into gear and be my own man. Crazy, I know.
So now, here I am, unemployed for almost a year. Luckily I’m barely finding ways to make money. Luckily I’m getting job interviews now, although it looks like—to my utter disappointment—I’ll be still here in Indiana for at least another year, while my girlfriend is on the east coast. I would be lying to you if I told you it hasn’t broken me down a couple times; made me crawl into bed and question how resilient I really am, or if God’s plan for me is actually…well, a plan.
But I think of Job. That dude had Satan jealous, and so God allowed him (Job) to be put through the worst, most rigorous of life tests to show Satan where his faith lied. Job questioned a bit too—he felt anguish and questioned himself while just about everything was taken away from him.
“Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze? Do I have any power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me?” –Job 6:12-13
“When I lie down and think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.” –Job 7:4
I know those feelings, bro. Really, I do. Because I’m feeling that time and time again as well.
I think of David, and every morning I am reading his Psalms to empathize with, and give me courage.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.” –Psalm 22:1-2
It is certainly tough being unemployed. It is definitely tough knowing that, for at least a bit, God is placing you in a position that you don’t necessarily want to be in.
But God IS placing you.
And that’s the solace in it all. Even when things are bleak—when you feel like there isn’t really much to look forward to tomorrow; when you feel like monotony is the tune of every day—God hasn’t ever stopped loving you, and even if His plan may be different than yours, He hasn’t given up on you one bit. Even if you have given up a bit on yourself.
He will deliver.
Maybe this writing was more for my own sake to keep me walking my path a little straighter.
I hope it helped you in your walk, too.
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach