The Whale of Waiting

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Driving down the road, headed home from dropping off a humbling set of paperwork, I caught myself verbally processing through quite a yelling tone why certain people from my past have been consecutively crossing paths with me again and appearing to all be living quite the carefree lives.

 

Sooo annoying.

 

I mean, I am totally happy for their success, but seeing them doing famously awesome has been really catching me off guard. For some reason, the nagging feeling as though I should be at the same level, progression, and achievements have paralleled itself with my perception of them.

 

As I sat in thought, I questioned what I am doing wrong with confusion.

 

Stop Caitlin. These were the cards dealt to you, not them.

 

Maybe it is a time of character building, soul shaping, or mind expanding that is taking place through this decade of what feels like a survival mode hustle I have been living. I know I am not alone in this though, whether it be financial, relational, spiritual, or mental, the sparring that comes in living life is something every human goes through and honestly, should be expected.

 

Ouch.

 

Painful as it is to accept, the reality of it is… it comes in waves, through every human heart there is a desire and need to “keep up with Joneses.”

 

*Laughter* I am a Jones and can’t even keep up with myself!

 

It’s a pressure unasked for, yet, invites itself into every avenue of each of our lives. As many know, if not controlled, it becomes oppressively infiltrative to all we think, do, and say.

 

It is a tug-o-war struggle between not caring too much where you are in your journey, but caring enough to make the necessary progress to keep on keepin on.   

 

We all know the story of Jonah and the whale right?

 

Looking for a home, waiting to hear back from the multiple positions I have tested and applied for, being the provider, yet having limited funds to provide with, all while balancing the different areas of life and the dreading anticipation of the coming schedule I am going to have this year, I shrug my shoulders in an almost defeated manner as I come to the book of Jonah in my reading through the bible today.

 

Really God?! What impeccable timing you have…

 

Being comfortable has never gotten anyone anywhere was all that came to mind.

 

*Big sigh*

 

Jonah didn’t want to leave his comfy spot, he didn’t want to obey what God had told him to do, and he sure didn’t want to help the people of Nineveh. 

 

He actually, with intentional purpose, knew for a fact he was running from the path he should have taken. AND yet, he still made it in the bible… 

 

Long story short, while the sea raged, the captain of the ship Jonah was on took lots to see who was the cause for this storm, and lo and behold, the lot landed on Jonah. They threw him overboard, the sea instantly became peaceful, and Jonah sat for three days and three nights in the belly of a whale before he humbled himself, prayed, and accepted the reality of his purpose in life.

 

I’m not THAT stubborn…

 

…am I God?

 

Yep, I am. We actually all are.

 

I thought I loved change, and most of the time I wholeheartedly accept it, but what stuck out to me is that no one truly enjoys being inconvenienced to an undesired change in life, no one. Obviously, the path we are suppose to take is going to happen whether it is wanted or not, and as many have come to learn, it always ends up working out in the end. So, maybe it is not the change that we dread, but the vulnerability and the anticipation that comes with it.

 

Just the other night I rebelliously vented how much of a hassle everything felt to a friend outside our gym. With a sober and contemplative expression she responded quietly with, “Hmm, well it seems like you’re learning a lot.”

 

She was right. This season is just another time to learn, grow, and continue to shape who I am becoming. With that, it is okay to be angry at the anxiety new normals bring as long as it does not cloud your being or consume your mind.

 

Whether the learning experience is a good one or a bad one, welcoming whatever comes is the key objective.

 

Case and point, this is my season to be in the belly of the whale and until I accept it, release any feelings of peer pressure or societies standards of where I should be, it will be a storm of resistance I’ll have to fight.    

 

God seems to be telling me loud and clear, through the most random of people, His word, memes, signs, parallels and pretty much any other way He can every day, to release the this weight that comes with change, and accept the wait for the change. That only He is the peace in the midst of the chaos and only He will bring the clarity to the confusion.

A constant and daily reminder to live a humble life, free of the need to control is for the foundation for a beautiful future.

 

Until we meet again,

-Caitlin

Children and Community

For

 

Sharing stories is one way to create intimate bonds with others. As you listen to their words and unconsciously find your head nodding along strongly with each and every one, you come to find you are not alone in your stories, whether past or present. At one point or another, there is a comfort in knowing the two of you have shared the same footprints in that certain experience.

 

A dear friend recently shared with me in a text the following words, “praying for community for you”. Being just fresh off the hibernation train, I hadn’t really minded my time flying solo. Now though, the words resonated deep within and there was an urge to discover that community.

 

To find that kindredness in like minded friendships.

 

With new desires flooding my heart, I have come to a place that everything I once had wanted, even not that long ago, is no more. The things I had thought worked, didn’t for me any longer. Change was apparent, and trying to make sense of the newness in my life, brain and heart, I was unsure where to start in moving forward but to do the exact opposite of what I used to do.  

 

I want to be the first say, it’s okay to change. Change is healthy. Though I am finding I have to remind myself of those words, sometimes that change can be awkward.

 

The insecurity of walking fully into change is undeniable.

 

Following God’s lead, I walked myself into the children’s ministry office and asked to be put to use for the upcoming vbs. Not expecting the powerful outcome that was to come, I figured serving to be a great way to refocus my attention on things that really matter, and what better of a time to put myself out there than now. I had avidly dodged most social interaction during the pregnancy, but now it was time to change that. It was time to be part of a community. As the days leading up to it came and vbs went, the blessing of being surrounded by hearts that love Jesus came full circle. For so long I had desired this, but sadly when it came time, always seemed inconvenient to me and going back to what was comfy, simpler.

 

Who knew my world would be so rocked by this experience!

 

Reflecting back on this week, I can honestly say by making that choice, I am just in the beginning stages of the community God has in store for me. Not only were new and dear friendships sparked, but I got to be part of blessing over 300 children, or should I say, the reality was them who blessed me. Watching them interact with the pureness of life and friendship they freely gave one another helped me admire God’s beauty on a greater scale. Children are an absolute wellspring of joy, simplifying life to exactly what it should be, loving Jesus, loving each other, and fearlessly embracing the changing times.
With love, I pray you too find community and the beautiful childlike spirit just waiting to burst out.

 

“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.”  Isaiah 43:19

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Pen to Paper

Pen Paper Writing Blog

The blinking of the cursor on a blank document was something I had been looking at for days.

Multiple times I attempted to start writing another blog. For some reason though, I was stumped and sure had hoped I would never reach this hurdle. Writing out the adoption story had flowed so effortlessly, but this time starting was a struggle.

Where do I go from here? What could possibly be as amazing as what I had started with?

After that two week mark, everything slowly began to change. The adrenaline had faded, the story was written, and reality struck like lightning, fast and furious. It was probably a mix of accepting what life was now and that a new chapter had truly begun. Along with a dash of healing hormones, I felt my grip slipping on my emotions.

An irritating impatience began to creep in. Many times throughout the day, my prayers would be filled with asking for mental clarity, joy and a gentle and quiet spirit. The almost unrealistic peace I had experienced seemed to have vanished. My brain was in a fog. Home life was tense, car had broken down, a new college class been started and I had an 8th birthday to throw in a week, not to mention the hormonal waves that would express themselves randomly, there seemed to be utter turmoil stirring up within me.

I genuinely felt at a lost for words.

Survival mode. Ok. I’ve got this.

It wasn’t until one of my nightly walks I had taken and cried through shamelessly behind my sunglasses that I realized where I had yet again, humanly gone wrong. I obviously don’t have this. I, like Peter, had launched myself out in faith, took my eyes off Jesus and in a split second, began to sink.

A quote by Beth Moore had put these past two weeks perfectly into perspective, “The path to peace is paved with knee prints.”

It was not my duty to worry about the words. It was my duty to pray. It was my duty to give it all to God. It was my duty to make peace with my family. To humble myself, borrow the $1100 dollars from my dad, and get my car fixed. To give my very best effort in school, throw an awesome party for Noah and simply be content with the now.

Ugh! FINE!

Just kidding. I humorously envisioned myself in the presence of God having the nerve to respond with a scrunch of my nose and a stomp of my foot like I really knew better. It was though with a big sigh that I came to terms with the fact that the only thing I was to do now, was to continue to let go and let God. A gentle whisper instilled three words, pen to paper.

It was time to write.

Not that the stories would be anything like the adoption story. Or, even be as easy to write about. It was God nudging me to simply write. To follow His lead. To be real. To continue putting the words He gave me out there.

When faced with the wide variety of days life likes to dish out, there is a certain healthiness to search out ways to make sense of them. My secret weapon, besides God of course, has been writing. Whether good or bad, male or female, writer or not, speaking the words to a phone, typing them, or going old school with a pen and paper, documenting what is in your brain exposes what is in your heart. It shapes a new reality, perspective and harvests a deeper understanding.

Revealing unexpected truth, it brings nothing but a sweet gift of relief.

Starting my journaling at the age of eight, most of my first journals explained, in great detail might I add, what happened throughout that day or week. Then, over the course of the years, my writing began to develop into an outlet. Almost like a savory conversation with a dear friend, a bond had been created. Writing slows down time, allowing me the chance to breathe and think while shifting what seems to be a discombobulated brain into balance .

I find I write my way to peace. Paired with a good cry at times, my heart pours itself out, in joy or sorrow, my brain reboots and moving forward is only made easier.

Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Because most humans fight stillness, or have been programmed to categorize being still as too much work, time and energy to get to, there is a missed opportunity of experiencing a peace that surpasses understanding. Personally, brain emptying in yoga or zoning out on tv don’t seem to be real sources of stillness, but one of many quick bandaids. To discover one that fills the soul with rest, the brain with clarity and gives real relief to the heart, take the chance to get to know yourself on a deeper, sometimes scarier level.

Write when you’re mad. Vent when you’re angry. Write to the person that hurt you, tell them why, then throw out the letter. Write about your day or something that stood out in the week. Document your vacation. Note on your day planner what you remember in a dream or a line from a movie. Write what you’re thankful for. Or jot down a bucket list. Write about writing. Write whatever comes to mind, unfiltered. Don’t write though if it feels like a task, or pressure yourself into it, but find time, whether 5 minutes or 5 hours, once a week or once a day, devote them to experience a time of stillness in writing. Allow yourself the opportunity to get to know who you really are from the inside out.

Through being still you bridge the gap between you and God. Through writing, you better understand why you operate the way you do. Put the two together and discover not only a wellspring of unexplainable peace, but a sweet relief to all that’s been building inside.

 

 

“May the Lord bring good to you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be kind to you. May the Lord show favor to you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

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