You Are Unlikely To Progress….

Another email silently lit up my screen. I already knew what it would say. It starts off – ‘It appears your application has an update….’ That always means the words to follow will be ‘Unlikely to progress’.

In this moment sadness, rejection, disappointment floods my soul. Am I not good enough? Why can I not even get an interview? Have I done something wrong? What can I do better? When will I get a job? What is wrong with me?

Again and again hope dies. I need to pick myself up to keep applying. I need a job. I need to provide for my family. I never thought I would be in this position.

I know I’m not alone in this. With Covid taking the world by storm, so many of us are feeling the pinch. So many unemployed. Losing hope. So many faced with rejection after rejection after rejection.

I tell myself this is not the end. This won’t last. I will be fully employed again. I’m thankful for some current casual work, and at the end of every week I seem to gain another. It’s daunting and scary because each week could be the end. I could be back on welfare. But I’m thankful for each day I get.

2020 was always going to be a turbulent year for me. I knew this going into it. I’ve never felt so unsettled. Everything I’ve ever known has been tossed into the air and is coming down in chunks. Some hitting me hard, others scattering across the landing zone.

I’ve just started reading Alyssa Terkeurst’s book ‘It’s not supposed to be this way’. She talks about how we live for outcomes, and how often we are in the space in between.

I haven’t read enough to know her answers – but I do believe God is a God of the in-between. He is in-between relationships. He is in-between promotions. He is in-between the fires of life when we feel burnt out and are giving up. And He is there in the in-between of the job crisis.

So, if you are like me and are unsettled. Don’t give up. Keep going. This too shall end. What we go through, how we feel, these are temporary feelings, temporary situations. Keep moving. Remind yourself you are loved and loveable. Remind yourself your inability to land a job isn’t personal.

So, if you get an email saying you are unlikely to progress – remember – God is in your today. He is already ahead of you in your tomorrow. His ‘unlikely to progress’ means you are closer now than you were before.

I’m thinking of everyone out there struggling through this. Keep going and stay strong! ❤️

Healing

Healing can be a painful process. Sometimes you cut deep. Sometimes you are surprised by the truth you find when you search for it.

Healing means being brave enough to feel the emotions and strong enough to allow yourself time to process them. Healing doesn’t happen overnight. It is a journey. It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to be honest with yourself. It’s ok to grieve, to cry, to be angry. It’s ok to feel defeated.

You only have to put one step in front of another. Take one moment at a time. Show yourself tenderness. Be kind to your soul. Keep walking. Trust God even when you can’t.

One day you will think you have healed, another day you won’t be able to see past your puffy eyes. But… healing will come and you will be changed…. a little lighter, a little more compassionate, a little more raw, open and kinder.

Embrace the season through your pain because your journey becomes your story.

Dear Christian Friend…

I value you, or I wouldn’t have shared my story with you. I love you because of your beautiful heart and love for God. I treasure you because you make me feel known by you. Or you did. Until now. Until I told you I left my husband.

I shared my story, I poured out my heart and you said you would pray for us. I knew you would, but please don’t pray for reconciliation. There will be none. My only prayer is this does not happen. I am scared of being forced back into a marriage of loneliness, control and where my soul dies every day.

I thought you knew me, but I find myself wondering. You send me words and yes I hear your beautiful heart for Gods best – but don’t you think that is what I have searched for? What I have strived for? The reason I have put so much energy and so many years into this marriage?

Do you think I have left him on a whim? Do you think I haven’t spent 25 years hoping God would truly be the foundation of our marriage? Do you think I haven’t used up 100% of my emotional, mental and spiritual energy?

Friend – I am exhausted. I have been bullied, disrespected, unloved, and made to feel invisible. I am giving by nature. Do you not think I have given all I have and more to this?

Dear Christian Friend – when you say you pray we get back together I hear you saying it’s ok for me to be treated badly. You are saying it’s ok for my health to suffer. You are saying it’s ok for me to be unloved. When you say God wants us back together, I hear it’s ok for me not to matter, and it’s ok to live a lie.

Why is that? Is it because if we stayed married it makes you feel better? Do you think it will make God love us more? Or does he love me less now? Does it make us better people because we ‘hung in there’. Do you believe that God can restore me as an individual or will I forever be a let down because I will be divorced?

I know you mean well, but dear friend, please do not heap more shame, guilt and failure upon me. I have put enough on myself. I do not need your judgements or your ‘Godly’ advice because my heart is broken that God was only talk and not action for the past 25 years in my marriage. Do you not think I want to honour God too? Why does it appear to bring more honour to God by living a lie, than it does by being honest?

Dear Christian Friend, I can acknowledge my own failings. I acknowledge I am not perfect and I have messed up more times than I can count. But right now, I stand in front of you a shell of the person God created me to be. I stand in front of you tired and worn down. I stand here without hope. I stand here needing your loving kindness, not your ideals.

So dear friend – please change your language. Please try a different way to communicate with me. Maybe say:

‘I know if must have taken a lot for you to get to this point. I am sure it has taken massive amounts of courage for you to make this call. My heart breaks for you. How can I be of most help to you? How can I pray for you?’

My friend, I love you. And right now I am sensitive and vulnerable. I need your support. I need you to show me that God still looks at me tenderly. I need your prayers. More than ever I need you to pray for healing and gentleness for me, my husband and my children.

My Dear Christian Friend…. I have been you. I know you mean well. But you are hurting me. You may not be able to walk a mile in my shoes, but please, please open your arms with gentleness and love. Please love with tenderness and compassion.

Your reaction is more important than you know.

Love me,

Your friend who is separated and searching for God in the shipwreck. ❤️