I hung up the phone and sighed. ‘We’re not looking right now but are always accepting applications; due to the number of applicants, you will only be contacted should your qualifications be the best fit for this position.” The list of rejection phrases was slowly etching itself into the walls of my mind as their pathetic variations on the same sentence tugged, once more, at my heart.
The phone rang then, and feeling utterly disheartened, I answered in defeat. It was my best friend calling, my best friend who was fighting cancer. Instantly guilty, I tried to force some positive energy into my voice. Another friend of mine was going through a similarly difficult situation, being abused by her husband. My fight was, after all, not terminal and would hopefully end in re-employment, not loss of hair, self-esteem or life. These opportunities were such lessons … and an opportunity really. Although I felt utterly helpless in fixing or comforting my friends completely, it was my being unemployed that offered me the time to be a supportive friend.
My friend was calling to see if I had received her mail. Hanging up, I ran out and opened the mailbox with anticipation, and instead found an envelope from the house appraisers. More bad news: my home was appraised at less than half of its value.
My heart returned to its sunken state. Wishing I could turn to and lean on a “man of the house” I was only reminded of my presently challenging love life.
We all have moments when we feel buried in and overwhelmed by a sea of emotional turmoil. Life’s challenges can be debilitating, and my present experiences generate many unexpected emotions. These emotions, then, bombard my mind with questions to which I have no answers. My world was so frequently a towering stack of “maybes” these days.
The reality is that most of our days start and end with uncertainty. When the circumstances are unavoidable and sudden, perhaps the only flexible factor remaining is our perspective.
Can I help it that my daughter and I are undergoing a phase of poor communication? No. Can I be grateful (rather than begrudging) that I have her today and may not be blessed with that same opportunity tomorrow? Yes.
Focusing on a changing perspective, what some like to call the “silver lining,” helps me consider every experience as a gift from God rather than simply an emotional storm. Can you imagine surviving a typhoon and, in the aftermath, discovering a treasure chest filled with invaluable gifts especially for you? Inside, pearls of wisdom, lockets with the keys to life’s mysteries, and a black box including God’s voice recording your purpose in life?
When the circumstances are unavoidable and sudden, perhaps the only flexible factor remaining is our perspective.
This is the only way I can describe my epiphany after being faced with my most recent flux of emotions. It wasn’t until I faced my present reality that I defined my present journey: helping the people I love face their own uncertainties. And as I discover more of who I am, I understand that the purpose of life in this season of life is not punishment but education.
Becoming at ease with uncertainty is the beginning of my separation process, breaking from the old (and comfortable) viewpoint and awakening to the new. Accepting each moment unconditionally is like earning wings that allow you to soar when you’ve only known how to walk. Refusing to at least attempt to climb beyond one’s comfort zone is like walking the deserted island (post-typhoon) in search of food and shelter, having ignored the treasure chest as nothing more than useless scrap and rubble.
In the end, I realized it isn’t uncertainty that bothers me, but rather my tendency to get caught up in my feelings about it. Tomorrow may not be easy for me or it may fulfill me in ways I had never imagined. I must accept that I am powerless to alter what tomorrow brings; however, I can decide how I will respond to, learn from and humbly move toward the acceptance of God’s gifts and endless possibilities.
Today, I feel a lot better than yesterday. I gracefully accept uncertainty.
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