At the Crossroads and Frustrated

You may have noticed I haven’t been exactly present on this site for the past week. Some great comments were left on my post Should Adults Wear Shorts? and I didn’t respond to any of them. (Just so you know, message received: wear shorts, stop being a jerk about it.) I’m not totally sure why I didn’t respond, but I think a lot of it has to do with the incredible amount of frustration I’ve been feeling lately.

This is gonna be tricky because I don’t think the time to get into specifics is right now. Basically, I’m at a crossroads.

In all of the most important ways my life is better than it’s ever been. My wife and I have always been strong partners and very much in love, but now, even after 12 years of marriage, we’ve managed to discover a new peak. Our kids are fantastic and healthy. The emotional stress and confusion and doubts that have been with us ever since our daughter with special needs was born have largely subsided. Honestly never thought that would happen. New responsibilities at work have given me a new sense of purpose there. I love my calling at church. They actually made an Avengers movie. And it’s good.

So what’s the problem? Sorry, that’s just for me. Suffice it to say, the dissatisfaction and lack of direction in another, critical area of my life is leaving me frustrated and, at times, angry. Great change is coming, for good or ill, and I’m at the very tipping point. Plans I made have not worked out like I thought they would and I’m facing an undesirable alternative I’ve been avoiding for a long time. I thought I was on the path I was supposed to be on. It is hard, now, to see how things could possibly work out in my favor.

I’m being vague, but it doesn’t really matter what I’m talking about.

I seek God’s counsel continually. I thought He was backing me up on this one. Crud, I thought it was all His idea in the first place. Am I mad at Him? Of course not.

This is where my true frustration is coming from: underneath the disappointment I feel for my situation, I’m more disappointed with myself. How many times in my life have the dark and grim things later revealed themselves as just steps on the path to something great? Many times. Many, many times. God tests our faith continually, but it’s pretty much always the same test.

So, I have to wait this out. But waiting at a crossroads is pretty much the most stultifying thing a person can do. Instead of moving forward or backward or left or right, I’m left at the fork in the road to ponder and pray and scold myself for being so dissatisfied when I have so much that is so great. In the moments of my deepest frustration, I feel unworthy of the blessings given to me. There’s nothing I hate more than ingratitude, both in myself and in others.

I know this is only a moment in my life. I guess I just wish it was over by now.

More than that, I wish I didn’t wish that.

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11 comments

  1. I could easily say “We’ve all been there” or “Don’t worry this too shall pass” and either of those statements would be true, but they would also threaten to diminish the gravity of how you sense the situation you are in with your own personal crossroads. So instead I’ll just say that for me personally God has led me to many crossroads and those moments have showed the strength of my faith and resolve. I used to try to force the path before me with my own blind doings and forge ahead with what I thought should be the path only to find that the path came to a road block that was either impassible or painful to go through.

    Waiting on God to show me the path he wanted me to take through prayer and patience served to become frustrating at times but in the end created a path that provided me with the desired results God needed me to have, not what I needed necessarily. You have, what sounds like from your posts a very strong and supportive group of allies from your family, friends and church body that I know will be your pep squad no matter what path God leads you down next. So don’t feel bad for feeling frustrated or ungracious of things due to the situation that is in front of you, just don’t allow those feelings to cause you to lose sight of everything you have. Just remember that this path that you are travelling now that has just found these crossroads started from crossroads somewhere in the past and God brought you to where you need to be, so he will again.

    I’ll keep good thoughts for you and lift you up in my prayers while you wait to see where the next path will lead.

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  2. “Just remember that this path that you are travelling now that has just found these crossroads started from crossroads somewhere in the past and God brought you to where you need to be, so he will again.”

    That’s the key right there, isn’t it? Our past informs our future. Or, at least, it should.

    Thanks, Todd. Thanks for getting it.

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  3. While you wait for God to illuminate your way, a few things to consider:
    1) Is one of the paths something you thought you’d never even consider doing at all, under any circumstances?
    2) Does one of the paths (not the same path as #1) seem to be easier, quicker, more seductive?

    #1, as repugnant as it may seem now, might turn out to be the path you’re directed to take.

    #2, the quick & easy way, is almost always the wrong one.

    My two drachmas worth…
    Cheers!

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    1. Alexander, in some ways, that very much is an accurate description of my two most likely paths. And you’re absolutely correct–the more difficult one is often the more rewarding and right way to go. You’ll forgive me if I hope I don’t go that way, but I can’t deny my greatest lessons would probably be learned on that path.

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  4. You’re right, you know. It doesn’t really matter what you’re talking about because the principle (and accompanying hurry-up-and-show-me-your-cards-Lord feelings) are universal.

    So many times I’ve been led to a place by Him, and then things don’t work out and I’m left wondering: “where did you go? this wasn’t even my idea in the first place, remember? is this part of the plan or a sign that I’m not supposed to be here?”

    Is one expected to forge ahead because that’s the test? Or is the learning supposed to come from being still and remembering that He is in control? It’s never the same answer…..or maybe it’s ALWAYS the same answer…..either way, I haven’t learned it yet.

    I guess that’s not helpful to your situation, but I just thought I’d throw out my empathy. As much as I have faith, I also do my fair share of murmuring about the speed of which things happen. Or don’t happen. Have you ever seen a picture of the Lord? How He’s got white hair? That’s from dealing with me.

    Good luck.

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    1. You made me laugh out loud.

      That continual push-pull between the thoughts of “Is this a test?” “Is this not a test?” is one I’m overly familiar with. What keeps my faith churning along just fine is that hindsight enlightens my struggle in a way the present just cannot. I know one day this will all make sense, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing it made sense right now.

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  5. Since I haven’t heard much one way or the other about your “crossroads of destiny”, I’ll assume you’re still working on it.
    This is not a Bad Thing. But the time will come… as I’m sure you know… when considering your options stops and you pull the trigger.
    Then you WILL know for sure.
    I trust you will choose well.

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