Friday, April 2, 2010

Confusion and Uncertainty

Life is very confusing right now.

I'm seeking Gods guidance. I just feel lost. My life is so uncertain, from my stupidly human point of view. I know that God isn't surprised by anything that happens, but I sure am. So my uncertainty is coming from the following:

1. Huge confusion as to what to do about Mom. She desperately wants me home, and I'm going for about 5 days later this month. It kills me to be here, it's ridiculously hard to be there. It's awful, because part of me thinks that if she's going to be here for a while - a couple of years - then perhaps it's not too bad for me to be away. But the thought that she might not be here in a year makes me feel like everything else is vanity.

2. My paychecks stop near the end of May. After that, I have nothing. No summer teaching job, uncertainty as to whether I'll have a teaching job in the fall.

3. I just got yet another in a LONG line of grant rejection letters. The continual rejection for funding makes me wonder if I'm ever going to be able to finish my dissertation. I can't write it if I can't get the research, and I can't do the research if I don't have funding to go to and live in Spain. I haven't had an outside grant in almost 3 years. So my one chance to go to Spain this summer is gone, and I have nothing for the fall, either.

4. I have had this growing feeling like I'm not doing anything to serve God. I know that serving Him doesn't have to mean full-time mission work, but I have been feeling more and more like I have been exerting ALL of my time, energy, and self to things that ultimately don't matter. I'm too exhausted from grad school to go anywhere, do anything. It's not just that I feel like my life is stalled - though I do, in some ways - but I feel like those eternal things we're to set our minds on have been pushed aside by the stress, pain, and demands of this phd program.

All of these combined have left me feeling like perhaps it's never going to happen. That perhaps it's time to move on. That maybe I need to go take care of Mom and find some new direction. The problem is I love teaching. I love it. But the PhD thing... it hasn't gotten any easier. I feel like I've been fighting for every spare penny, but I'm out of options. I don't know if maybe, for some reason I can't see or understand, God's plan isn't for me to get my phd? That maybe it's time for me to do something else?

I'm so confused. I love teaching. But I don't know how to write the dissertation, or get back to Spain. I don't know how to pay rent after the next 8 weeks. I don't know how to pretend like I care about Spain in the 1920s when Mom is dying. I don't know how to get out of this non-life - the non-life that is filled with work, loneliness, and not much else. It's no wonder guys run away from me...

I don't know who to talk to about all of this. I've been praying about it for a while now, ever since I got back from the East coast. But I want to talk to someone who will be able to understand a little. My coworkers and dissertation advisor all tend to think that the only thing that matters is the dissertation and nothing else. But my life in Christ isn't like everyone else's. Our lives in Christ have different priorities. We have Someone to direct us. I wish I could talk to someone who understood that and could help me seek His guidance.

I just feel lost. I saw last fall that perhaps I didn't get the Fulbright because I wouldn't have been able to come home to be with Mom. Now I wonder if I didn't get this most recent grant because I need to be here this summer? To be with Mom? Or for something else entirely?

I'm confused...I claim God's promise that He will give wisdom when we seek it. I know He will answer. But I still have to write this out, so at least I feel like I'm sort of "talking" to someone.

I should stop rambling. I seem to have the flu or something else equally awful-feeling. My head is a wreck tonight.

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