[0] I downloaded the “Day One” journaling app years ago before it became a paid app and I’ve used it over the years to type prayers out when I am too distracted to sit and pray in my head. Over time, it evolved to be a place where I stored all my prayers of desperation, sadness, and confusion whenever I felt that I couldn’t maintain my sanity unless I processed out my thoughts in written form. My own little book of (depressing) psalms, I think of it. I turned to it tonight and recorded yet another cry to the Lord, wrestling with the thoughts that make me wonder what kind of person I am to be feeling and thinking these things. This little password protected app of mine is a minefield of depressing thoughts, anxious insecurities, bitter complaints. Yet, sprinkled throughout the dark entries are pockets of light. Somehow, the Spirit is able to turn my groaning into praise. Interspersed between my laments of grief and cries for mercy, there is a rallying statement of remembrance: “But, you, oh God, are my only hope.” Always, eventually, the Lord reminds me of His faithfulness and when I go back to read over my previous entries, I am greeted with a sense of peace. Peace that comes from knowing I have been sad and confused and angry before and the Lord has always, always, comforted and healed me.

And so yet again, I feel a small seedling of hope take root in my heart as peace makes its rounds within me.

[1] when people ask the standard “how are you”, “how’ve you been”, “how’re you doing?”s, I always pause before I can answer. “I don’t know,” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind but it’s probably the most accurate answer I can give. Instead, my mind blanks and my heart takes over; turmoil, confusion and disorganized chaos. So I either stutter or mumble or do some sort of impression of a dying cat and respond with, “ehhh strugglz”. Which is also quite accurate.

Life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs since I last posted. I feel on top of the world one morning and then down in the dumps that very evening. Then there’s other times where I just feel okay. There’s no telling what mood I’ll be in. Yet, I would say that the average of my every day dispositions would be: just okay.

However, I’m finding that I don’t mind this too much. In fact, I’m starting to feel “normal”. A year ago, I thought it was the norm to feel consistently happy, over the moon, head in the clouds and if I felt anything less than that, something was wrong. Now, I am realizing that life will always involve these moments of feeling downcast, disheartened, discouraged but that doesn’t mean that these feelings stay for the long run or that anything is necessarily wrong with me. A life of faith includes all these things and it would be quite strange if I did not experience these emotions. For now, I am learning to lean into them instead of running away. For now I am experiencing the strange joy of falling asleep with a rock in my chest, yet feeling light as a feather when I wake. For Jesus is turning for me a new page every morning, a new hope every day and I am learning yet again that God is so faithful. That my days or seasons of weeping can be used to write (literal) songs of praise in the healing.

I’m rambling now. I’ve always hated my emotions, hated that I could feel them so viscerally and be so adversely affected by them. There are times that I’ve felt so ashamed for being such an emotional person, so easily upset and tortured by a tiny, petty thing. But, those emotions bring me so close to the Lord.

And I think that’s what it comes down to…what do I chose to do with my emotions? Will I let them drive me into a pit, or into a state where nothing can reach me when I’m on a high or in a low? Or will I let them lead me into Jesus’s arms?

[2] I will forever struggle with being a Martha and doing too much and missing what is most important. That’s why I get so judgmental and feel so bitter towards people when I feel like they’re not living as they should be for the Lord.

“Why didn’t you do that? Don’t you love Jesus?”

Yet, I should be asking myself, “why did I do that? Do I love Jesus?” Because if I’m being honest with myself, most of my doing is not for the Lord, it’s for my own peace of mind. It’s for my own self glorifying. So I can pull up a list of things I’ve done “for the Lord”. Not because I love Jesus.

Because if I truly understood what Jesus wants from me, I would be able to sit at His feet, doing absolutely nothing at all, and still trust Him to love me.

[3] le sigh. About a month after I quit my job, I wrote down a list of requirements for my future job. I broke them down into needs, wants (preferences), and extras (would be really nice but really not necessary). I prayed over this list and asked the Lord to provide for me a job that would match what I was looking for. At this point in time, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I thought about teaching, counseling, marketing, starting my own business, etc. I even researched grad schools at one point to pursue a career in social work. I interviewed my friends in their different careers and asked for their opinions and felt myself becoming more and more confused. I had no idea what I wanted to do, nevermind actually being able to take steps to find another job outside of accounting.

A year and a half later, here I am with an offer letter from a start up company in the heart of Philadelphia, checking off every one of the needs and wants I noted down in my list. God provided everything that I was looking for – and I didn’t have to lift a finger.

I didn’t apply for the job – my friend referred me and I was in. The CEO didn’t even look at the portfolio that I spent countless hours working on. In the end, I didn’t even have to interview (aside from an informal meeting with the CEO at the start of my internship in which I’m pretty sure the primary purpose of the meeting was to make sure that I was not crazy). Two months of interning later, I was offered a full time position.

After all of this, I suspect I am still somewhat in a state of shock. How I got from public tax accounting to UX design is an interesting story, woven together only by God’s providential grace. I remember the nights I laid in bed, gripped by anxiety and doubt. “Why did I quit my respectable, decent paying, hard earned job? Why did I throw away the countless hours and effort I spent attaining my CPA? Did I make the biggest mistake of my life?” Thoughts of what in the world I would do once I burned through my savings (by the by, the Lord allowed me to survive this entire near two years completely on my savings, thank you, Jesus), the anguish I had when I thought about going back to accounting (oh how my chest grated when I thought about it), and the crippling toll rejection letters took on my self esteem as I applied to other UX jobs.

Yet, here I am and I have nothing to boast about except for God’s faithfulness. He brought about a job for me (in something I’m delighted to work in and I feel matches my gifts and affinities so well) in such a way that makes me know for sure that this was all Him. I had nothing to worry about; this was something He had prepared for me long before I even quit my accounting job.

And so as I think about the other avenues of my life where I am faced with uncertainty and doubt, I can look to this stone of remembrance, my list of needs and wants, and remember that just as the Lord faithfully provided for me the job I had been seeking for the past two years, so will He continue to be faithful in His provision for me for the rest of my life.

There is much hope on the horizon for me and it lies with Jesus.

[4] on to a new day and a new chapter and a myriad of new adventures. I am hopeful for tomorrow and what it will bring for it holds Jesus and all His good promises to me.