After mornings of activity for the sake of movement come the afternoons of silence.
The house is clean, almost too clean.
There are no more doctor appointments left to schedule.
I ran and did yoga and vacuumed, which happens to work up a sweat.
The plants might drown with all the water they’re getting.
Dinner for this week is planned or cooked in advance.
I’ve dabbled in some Charlotte Bronte, J.C. Ryle, Agatha Christie, and Stuart Olyott.
I’ve checked Facebook probably fifty times.
I’ve written a blog post, or at least saved a draft of a blog post.
I applied to two or three or four jobs.
I busily crafted a healthy lunch and put extra energy into rolling the perfect chicken/kale/cucumber wrap.
Tea has been steeped and showers have been taken.
And then it’s 1 p.m.
I sit awkwardly in the living room, sipping my tea, searching the outside for some bird or chipmunk to entertain me.
I hum and kick my feet.
I take frequent bathroom trips just to feel busy.
I sprawl on my tummy and make carpet angels.
I poke my head into our bedroom to peer at my slumbering husband, exhausted from his graveyard shift, like a little kid checking on his parents at 5 a.m. before playing with the toaster.
I light a candle, then blow it out.
And honestly, it all just kills me.
The absolute silence of being jobless whirs in my ears like a hurricane.
It’s not even an issue of not wanting to sit still. I can’t sit still.
Maybe it’s because I’m an American, raised on our bullet train society. The need for busyness is so woven into the very fiber of our beings that the mere thought of slowing the pace, much less grinding to a halt, seems impossible.
There is no sin in keeping busy. Solomon commands the reader to “go to the ant” (Prov. 6:6), to learn the steady, hard work of one of God’s smallest creatures. God has given us minds and bodies that, despite any disability, are capable of glorifying God through hard work.
But what if God tells you to stand still?
What if you were working, like the ant? What if you were happy and content in the job God had given you? Writing manuals and designing documents might not seem like much to some, but it was perfect for me. I loved my job. I wouldn’t have dreamed of quitting.
I loved my colleagues, I loved my boss, I loved my projects, I loved all of it.
And what if, despite it all, God said, “I’m going to move you an hour and a half north of your office.
“And that’s only the commute time with no traffic.
“And even though your managers said they were fine with you working from home before, I’m going to make them reconsider.
“And I’m going to plant you in the one part of western PA that doesn’t need or want technical writers.
“And despite your attempts to apply for jobs before you leave your current job, you will be jobless for the first time since you were 16.”
I’m frustrated. I’m at a loss.
I shouldn’t be.
God knows precisely what my future will be. I have no need to fidget and worry.
But the natural, worldly part of me writhes for an immediate solution. A solution that I would pick out for myself.
I feel guilty, in a way, to not be working. This was not in my plans, God. I thought I showed you my blue prints.
Turns out we never graduate from the school of Christ during our time on earth. The venue might change, but the hard, grating lessons never do.
Last year, it was the arena of Lyme disease. Early this year, it was Shaun’s lay-off. Now, it’s the quiet of waiting on the Lord.
Pray for me. I am struggling to learn contentment, patience, and trust amid the deafening roars of God’s stillness.