For over six months, as I’ve been grieving and single parenting and walking around in a fog and having good days and go on fun vacations and navigating lonely days and nights, I have consistently felt God was telling me to rest and let him take care of us. So after much prayer and seeking much counsel, I resigned.
I don’t know God’s plan for the season but I know I am being called to rest, be still, and let him take care of us.
What are you doing next?
Every time I tell someone new about this I get tons of encouragement and two questions. I don’t know what I’m doing next. One of the most important parts about this time has been entering it without knowing what is next. Somehow it felt like if knew what was next it would be a distraction. I would just be taking a break between jobs rather than being in this new season I’ve been called to enter.
When Shah died I read a million books by widows and talked to as many grief experts as I could find. Everything led me to believe there may be a time later in this process when I needed a break more than right after I died when I was still in shock and the familiar was comforting. Plus everyone advises you to not to make any major decisions a for a year after the loss of a spouse. So when possible, it is best to keep going for the first bit of time. For that reason, I set money aside specifically for a time like this when I just don’t think I can go on any longer without a major collapse. We don’t get benefits because Shah did not work long enough according to Social Security Because he stayed home with Zoya a full-time for a year, so she does not get any benefits. There is a lot that doesn’t make sense about that. But we have been blessed and have put money aside for this purpose.
So what am I doing in this season?
I don’t totally know what I am doing in this season of rest, but I have a few general guidelines I think will be important.
I don’t mean I need to stay at my house, per se, but I think it’s important I don’t spend the entire first month traveling. It’s easy for me to be happy living when I’m traveling. I need to learn to live life here where I am. I may travel a tiny bit but I’ll mostly be living a normal stay at home mom’s life, just without also being a working mom at the same time.
For me distractions are a way to numb the pain of being home without Shah. During the class I’m taking on spiritual disciplines I realized how specifically my most distracting obsessions are triggered around times I am at home. I don’t numb with wine or pills. I know I’m looking for a cute little girl dresses, binge watching Parks and Rec, and recently Candy Crush. In some seasons of grief some amount of survival distraction can be beneficial. Sometimes that distraction helps you push through and do what has to be done, especially in the short term. It’s why I didn’t stop watching Parks and Rec while I was pushing through my last weeks of work. It made me laugh and got me through. But during this season, I want to learn every lesson, think every thought and cry every tear. I don’t want it to slip away while I turn off my brain.
DON’T THINK ABOUT WHAT IS NEXT
The idea, in the beginning, was that I would spend a month thinking about nothing employment related and then spent two months trying to figure out what to do next. Nothing about that plan is something I feel is God’s guidance per se. it really is just my way of trying to put some parameters on what I do feel he is calling me to do, rest and let him take care of me.
The name of this blog has always been God Provides for Us and while it doesn’t look anything like the story I thought this blog would tell when I started writing it as a new wife and mother before my husband was killed, it’s still as true as the day I wrote it so full of different hopes and dreams. God continues to provide for us.
While the one month followed by two months is just the thought in the back of my mind, I do think I need to spend a month focusing on REcreation, rest, stillness, moving slowly, and growing closer to God, and try to avoid the strife motivated thoughts of trying to figure out my next job. I have a million ideas but until I’m rested and healed and my mind fog clears I don’t think I could prioritize them correctly anyways.
So how’s day one?
Day one is going very well. Last night my plan was that I would catch up on bills and emails that I’ve been putting off for weeks while I finished work, then go take a class at the Y, then take Zoya swimming, then meet some friends for a walk…. I was nearly as stressed going to bed as I was any Sunday night. I knew I was not doing this right. So we had a slow day today gardening, blowing bubbles, building sand castles, swimming, and cleaning. I don’t know what a month will feel like but today it feels like it will be way too short.