Our prayer today: Welcoming Prayer
Our prayer today: Welcoming Prayer
Honestly, I’m not sure how to end this series on the ending of Midday Connection (a women’s program on Moody Radio). And, I feel a little selfish (indulgent?) about posting this with all of the pain and sadness in the world. I’ll write more about that soon.
More and more people are commenting that it’s time for me to move on from the pain of my job loss. Really? It’s been 2 months since my job ended. Two months. Am I to have all my grief processed, confusion settled, fear assuaged, doubt resolved in that amount of time? I suspect that people mean well by encouraging me to “move on” and I know that people process grief and change differently.
So, I’m moving to a more quiet grief and processing. This will take time and the days when I feel lost in my own life is NORMAL. If you are swimming in the depth of grief and others don’t understand, know that you’re not alone. You’re not crazy. You are human. Our fast-paced and results-focused culture usually only allows time for a quick, light skimming on the surface of grief. It’s hard on the people around us to stay with us in our pain. Confession: I get it. I’ve been impatient in the past when friends have gone through deep grief – weary of hearing about the sadness. So, it takes work and wisdom for us to stay engaged in the healing process with God – without becoming consumed by it, losing perspective, or denying it.
Here’s the deal. I’m becoming more grateful that I didn’t slide right into another job right away. If I had, I suspect that I wouldn’t be digging in to this deeper work that God is doing in my life. I feel that I’ve been given a gift. A gift I don’t really want, but alas. That’s part of the trust work God is doing in my life.
Our prayer today: Reflection on Hands
This podcast will be available on iTunes soon! In the meantime, I wanted to give you something to listen to right away. You can hear the first prayer experience here.
Here it is!! The very first prayer experience on the Everyday Prayer podcast! I’d love for you to set aside 8 quiet minutes and have a listen… and give me some feedback! I’ll have the podcast up on iTunes soon, too.
Everyday Prayer is about setting aside some intentional time to creatively, quietly, reflectively spend time getting to know God better. Some of the prayer experiences that I offer in the podcast might be new to you and might feel uncomfortable. I encourage you to give it a try – glean what you can and discard what doesn’t fit. I’m praying that you gain a greater love for God through these prayers.
While processing the loss of Midday Connection (a program that aired for 20+ years on Moody Radio), my team, and my job, I intentionally worked on being present with the grief – in the moment. This messy blog is part of that process – the story isn’t tidy. I read Janet Davis’ book, “Sacred Healing” for inspiration (she wrote the book while processing the grief of her son’s brain cancer). I am determined to grieve this well. Plus, I have a history of panic attacks that came from not addressing deep grief in the past and I knew that I didn’t want any more of those!
From the very day that I learned Midday was ending, I tried to engage in good self-care. Sleep, eat well, drink water, exercise. What I really wanted to do was sit on the couch, eat cheese curls, and drink coffee… but I tried to make some good decisions.
Even with the focus on taking care of my body, I still experienced insomnia, forgetfulness, restlessness, fatigue, depression, and… well, let’s say it delicately: “intestinal woes”… for months (oh, and to calm any fears you might have about my health, I’m fine now! #unemployment).
I was asked to do more work while wrapping up the last days of Midday. My initial internal response was, “Oh no…”, but I pushed that down and tried to think logically. Maybe I could do that project… maybe I could do just a little more work… that seems like the good and nice thing to do. But my body just recoiled at the thought of doing more while my program was dying. I listened to myself, my “gut”, and said, “no”. That was surprisingly difficult to say. I want to be helpful and a team player, but I just couldn’t do it.
I’m learning to honor my humanity – my limits, my frailty (Ps 103:14).
How about you? Do you ever find it difficult to listen to yourself, to what your body is telling you?
The other day, I was down in the dumps. While I want to remain honest in my grief and discomfort, I try to stay positive and forward-thinking. On this particular day it hit me full force: I don’t like this unemployment piece. I don’t want this. It’s uncomfortable and scary and disorienting. “Make it stop, God! Fix it!”
A new friend helped me frame it a bit. As we chatted over lunch, I told her, “It’s kind of a new revelation to me – I. Don’t. Want. This. I don’t want to be unemployed. I do know that God is doing a deeper work in my life that I probably wouldn’t have had access to if I’d slipped into another job right away. But, this stinks.” She said, “Oh! You’re living the Saturday!” She went on to explain that she had been reading about the Paschal Mystery – Christ’s death and resurrection. On Friday, we observe Christ’s death. After Jesus died, Saturday was full of confusion, despair, uncertainty for the disciples. That’s where I am.
My friend suggested that part of the difficulty in living the Saturday is that there often aren’t definitions. I can’t stamp a job title or role on this season. There are questions and it’s messy, and there are no easy answers. Honestly? I hate that! You know what, though? I bet the disciples hated Saturday, too!
I’m finding some comfort in remembering that a death has taken place (the loss of my job, fulfillment in my work) and now I wait in the questions and pain… trusting that there will be a resurrection. That resurrection might not look like I’d hoped it would and it probably won’t come in my timing. And so, “we wait, we hope, we trust, we know His face we soon shall see.”
“Why did Midday Connection end?”
I’ve been asked that question more times than I can begin to count.
When I was told that Midday Connection (a women’s program on Moody Radio) was ending, I was given a few reasons. None of the reasons really satisfied me and I’m sure that none of them would satisfy you either… so, I won’t be sharing the reasons I was given here. I’ve come to peace with the possibility that I may never know all of the factors behind the program ending.
Of course, I believe it was wrong to end the program (How could I be the Senior Producer and Co-host of the program and NOT think that this is a big mistake?? 🙂 ) and it’s been hard to know the best way to let it all go. To stop fighting the decision and just release the program (my baby!) and step into the future. I might not get to see the purpose in this until I’m face to face with God – and I’m sure I won’t even care then. Isn’t is still so hard, though? Sure, I’m thankful for the hope that God can redeem our stuff… but, I’d sure like to see the resolution and reasons now.
It makes me think of “Farewell, Four Waters“, a novel by Kate McCord. When I first read that book, I was struck by the confusion that the main character was thrust into when she suddenly had to leave the mission field – she was doing such good and important work, why in the world would God remove her? I have a hunch that the confusion she felt and I still feel may be a rather common experience (Isaiah 55:8).
So. We move on. Midday Connection has ended (though, there are repeats being broadcast until the end of December 2015) and it won’t be coming back. (sigh)
Have you ever had to release something that you believed in? A dream? A desire? How did you work through that?