Monday, February 24, 2014

Adversity and Joy

I have a dozen different thoughts tumbling through my brain tonight. And as usual, my inner monologue wants to work out my problems by writing and blogging them out.

I was in Roanoke, visiting my family and friends, for the weekend. This is only the second time I've been back since I moved away last summer. I never expected to take this long between visits.

Naturally, as expected, lots of people asked how my job is going and how my life is turning out to be. It should be such a simple question, right? With a nice canned positive response ready to go!

But for me it isn't such an easy question. I try to fake it and give a happy answer the best I can, but it's hard to do.

Today at church the lesson was on adversity. (As usual, I chose to attend the young women's class with my "Baby Ducks.") The teacher did an excellent job teaching on the subject. She made a interesting and poignant point that the joy we feel after extreme adversity in our lives is a wonderful, sweet relief. After we have endured so much adversity, we can feel the joy so much more than every before.

She shared some scriptural references that illustrated nicely the concept that we must endure the pain and sorrow in order to appreciate the joy. I thought she did a really good job.

But something has gnawed at me all day since.

Because I don't feel that way. Not yet.

After my long term unemployment, I have yet to find that joy or sweet relief. And I think that lack of joy and relief amplifies the starkness of reality. I want to feel that joy. I keep waiting for the relief. But the truth is, I didn't get a job, and all of my problems were solved overnight.

The difficulties march ever onward. If you thought a paycheck would cure all my problems, you weren't alone, but you would be wrong.

I didn't move and instantly make a dozen fabulous friends. Six months after my move and I'm still struggling to meet people and make friends.

Life is still a constant struggle between peaceful solitude and aching loneliness. And being around all my loved ones this weekend, only exasperated the loneliness.

I still dream and hope and wait for the joy to come after so many years of adversity. I have faith that it will come. I just hope I will recognize it when it comes.

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