I miss the days of Little League and rat pack soccer. I miss the whistle blowing every four seconds while I watch 9 to 12-year-olds run around and play field hockey. I miss Discovery Zone and, as Bill Cosby calls them, “idiot mittens.” I miss three little helmeted “bubble heads” skiing down the side of Attitash Bear Peak. But, I love having adult children. They make me laugh, and make me think, and they challenge me.
Tonight, in yet another hospital bed, I read my son Joshua’s blog at The Sixty Percent and it made me think.
I’ve been doing a fair amount of writing and thinking about what it means to have God write his story on my life and what my part is in that writing. Josh’s blog made me think of the future and what part my decisions will play in my story.
The following paragraphs are what I wrote in a comment reply to his latest blog post about seeing options as doors to either push through or ignore.
“I think it’s been a long time since I’ve thought about seeing any doors. Right now my options are the fewest they’ve ever been. Yet, I still have a lot of possibilities, numerous doors.
There’s the door that my heart aches to go through. It’s the door that I left the safety of my last job to push through. It’s the door that establishes a brutally honest community of friends pursuing what it means to follow Jesus. I was stepping through it when it suddenly slammed closed and broke my nose with news of my needing a liver transplant.
More than anything I still want to go through it but I’m confused if it’s the right door for me. I feel like I’m still going to walk through it but just not right now. Like the apostle Paul when he sat in a dank stone prison, I need to learn to be content no matter my circumstance.
I believe it is door ‘right’ (correct), but it is not door ‘right-now’ as I want it to be. Has God allowed me to be where I am right now because I have to finish this part well in order to move through that door? I really don’t know.
I know I’m here for a reason although I’m not too happy about being here. Finishing this chapter is part of his plan for me, if I skip it I miss an important part of the story he’s writing in my life.
There are several other doors; being a photographer, a web designer, working in an office, being a life coach, being a writer, going back into full-time church work, or just staying where I am.
I think a couple of those doors are going to be included in my making it through the door I really want to go through. Maybe I have a couple of sets of French doors leading into the same room?
It was a full four years before I left my last job when I first got the itch to leave the room. I had no idea what room I wanted to go into, I just started getting a stirring knowing that leaving was in the future.
It was like I was driving down the road with my hazard lights on just to warn people behind me that up ahead I was going to turn maybe left or maybe right but I just wanted them to be ready and know ‘something’s gonna happen.’
Driving down that road was just a necessary part of the trip.
I haven’t thought much about opportunities lately. Thanks for making me think.”
I can still see my little toe head with his huge blue eyes looking at me and now he’s a man helping me consider my life decisions.
I’ve had times when the Lord has put me in rooms where I really didn’t want to be. Out of high school I wanted to go to Bible college but that door was nailed shut. I ended up at the almost opposite of Bible college, our State University to major in marketing and journalism. It was not the room I wanted to be in, but looking back today, from this room where all I can do is write, I can see why God, in his providence, guided me there. When I look at my beautiful wife of 28 years, who I met and married in college, I am definitely glad that God directed me there. At the time I was very angry at him.
I’ve learned that during the times I’m in an uncomfortable room where I am not real happy, I need to trust God when exit doors do not open. Hindsight has taught me that he has allowed me to be in rooms to prepare me for my future.
I’m glad to be in the room that I’m in now but I also do not like it much. It’s a tough room. It’s hard and I’m ready to leave and press on. Recovering from a major organ transplant is not an easy process. But, I believe I will look back on it and know that God, in his providence, allowed me to go through this to prepare me for a room I will enter in my future.
What room are you in? Broken marriage? Chronic pain? Depression? Unemployment? Or are you in a room that is brightly colored where you are so happy that you’re about to burst? No matter what your current room is like, I believe that God is allowing you the opportunity to pick up tools for rooms you’ll enter in the next phases of your life.
Josh is right. Doors will appear and you may well have multiple options. No matter what door you choose, you’ll have the tools you need.
Well, I’ve been following this most recent journey of yours from a distance, my friend. Praying for you and doing what I could, but with this blog I had to post my thoughts. What you said about doors is soooo true. I’ve had many doors/opportunities in my past and have not always chosen the ‘right’ one, in hindsight, but once I’ve entered the room I’ve known that My Father in His infinite love for me has used it to teach me something that I know prepared me for the next ‘door’ choice.
On a separate note, I know exactly what you mean about having adult children. I look at my girls and cannot believe that they are at the stages they are. I hear the voice of see the thumbprint of the the Father in their lives and the wisdom that comes out of them. I know it didn’t come from anything I taught them…haha.
May these recent challenges in your transplant be resolved quickly and may you have the opportunity to walk through the ‘door’ and get out of that ‘room’ with all that He has in store for you in His perfect timing.
Hi Scott. I have known Michelle and Rob since Eastern University, and been reading of your journey for quite some time. “Thank you” does not seem to fully express my gratitude – witnessing your journey, with all of the pain, dueling thought processes, finding joy in the moment, and your transparent honesty, have tattooed my heart. I took a piece of what you wrote in “my kids are adults” and posted it as my status, giving you he props you deserve. Peace for the journey. – Melanie Blood
Thank you for your encouragement.
I also just left a job, the struggles there were mind bending and confusing. i prayed for 2 years about it. My husband wanted me where i could have insurance if needed, I loved the job but hated the people I worked for. They limited me from my education, from the wonderful world of caring for my patients by making my position with less contact. I found peace eventually and settled in to a move to a different facility with less contact in person but more on the phone, when I gave my notice after HIS peace to take a lesser paying position in a new company, that gave me freedom of schedule for school AND daycare issues, with no weekends for church. I am happy with it all and them least amount of stress i have had in over 7 years. With my notice i also got an offer for per diem status so I will not lose my seniority until after i graduate. ( coming to graduation Scott?) <3. God does what is good for us
Oh, this blog entry speaks to me and reminds me of a situation I was in 4 years ago at my past job. I was sooo miserable and wanted out and sought the advice of my Pastor in what to do. I knew he would tell me to leave. Well, what a suprise when he told me to stay put. He went on to tell me that if I would stay I would grow and become more confident. 2 years later that is just what happened and as I was going through the most dark and miserable place I had been. What a gift when I came out on the other side and what a “ah hah moment” when my Boss told me that she was so impressed with my “growth and self confidence” as the had developed and grown over the past 2 years. It was if God was right there in that moment saying “Peace be still”. and one month later when my liver diesase progressed were I had to leave my job it was so peaceful when I closed the door on my job and moved on. A prayer I prayed for those two years though was “Let me know thy way and walk there in. Build a Hedge around me Lord and Fence me in.” That is just was I believe God did for me and while it was not easy and not with in the time frame I personally wanted I grew personally from that experience and the strength I felt from God during this low time in my life was profound.