I don’t like challenges. I don’t like things to be hard.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. I like overcoming things other people think are challenging, and I like walking through to the other side of “tough stuff” looking like an unfazed superstar. If someone else thinks it’s rough, and I plow through unscathed, I like that.
If I’m not winning, or if I’m really struggling, or if it’s just plan tough – I don’t like that. Not at all. If I can’t figure out the daily sudoku puzzle in the newspaper, obviously the puzzle is mistaken. I don’t ever try to keep going to find out, though. I quit. I throw in the towel.
I’m tired of tough stuff. I’m tired of failing.
I went to the grocery store the other day in our June-gloom weather. It wasn’t raining so much as it was misting enough to be annoying and quite literally put a damper on my evening. After I got the groceries and loaded up in the car, I found myself just sitting for a while.
What am I supposed to be doing?
It wasn’t a simple question. It wasn’t like, “Oh, right, I’m supposed to be driving home right now….” It was deep. It was rooted in frustration. It was a plea.
What am I supposed to be doing?
There are a lot of things I’d like to do. But I’m either too busy, too broke, or too scared to do them. I want to travel. I want to write that first book (and it’s subsequent sister books). I want to sit on the sofa and knit another sweater. I want to take the kids to the zoo (but…rain). I want to read more, write more, do more, go more, be more.
Instead, I find myself in a grocery store parking lot, miffed at the rain, miffed at our budget, and miffed that my life is so hard.
I said it. I complained about it out loud. My life is hard.
I mentally justified all the reasons why. Apartment life with kids, crazy work schedule, trying to build my own blog, not having a clue what I’m doing, enrolling in every webinar on the face of the internet planet, cooking, cleaning, churching, being responsible, running Harlynn’s Heart, and trying to not let the fact that one of my children died, kill me altogether.
What am I supposed to be doing? I’m tired of not knowing. I’m tired of muddling and struggling my way through things. I’m tired of trying to figure things out. I’m tired of feeling purpose-less.
Have you been there? Are you there right now? It’s not just that I’m confused about my path, or losing sight of my goals. I feel absolutely purpose-less.
It’s a lonely, dark, scary feeling.
I started the drive home, instead of waiting for an audible answer. After all, I had ice cream in the car. (It was on sale….dangit…)
Seriously, God, what am I supposed to be doing?
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
~ Exodus 9:16
Those words were spoken to Moses. The dude who led a bajillion slaves out of Egypt, and brought the 10 commandments down from the mountain. He struggled with his purpose. He struggled with what he was supposed to be doing. He doubted. He wondered. He tried to get out of doing the hard stuff.
He tried to get out of doing the hard stuff. He argued with God, and was like, “Actually, Lord, I have a better idea…you could just send my brother instead, and I’ll be on my way now….thanks for the talk….”
I don’t like this feeling. I don’t like wondering if I’m anything more than a vanilla latte addict. Val who? Oh that gal that was addicted to lattes? Yeah, whatever happened to her? Pass the mustard.
What am I supposed to be doing? Well, I reckon I’m supposed to be doing whatever I can. I suppose I should stop focusing on the things I don’t like or can’t do, and get to gettin’ on the things I can actually accomplish. I suppose I should let the challenges sharpen my traits, and my tough times drive my pursuits.
Eventually, one day – maybe even in a single moment – my purpose will be revealed. I know everything I’ve struggled through will have prepared me for, and shaped me for it.
Then I’ll know. This is what I’m supposed to be doing.