I’m not a very good Christian. My faith is and always has been very weak and I have a couple of bad habits that no amount of praying or study or anything else has been able to break. My antisocial tendencies keep me from forming real relationships with just about anyone, and even the people who are close to me in my life struggle to deal with my constant gravitation to solitude. I’m unemployed with no real prospects for a path forward, and I have absolutely no idea what to do and I can find no peace in asking God what I should be doing. I am completely lost.
For the last few months since I lost my job, I have been praying and asking God for an opportunity to move forward into a new chapter of my life. I returned to doing daily Bible studies and reading the material I purchased back when I was participating in the Iron Man Disciple’s Path course I took when I first became a follower of Christ. From the very beginning, I felt like I was being told to just be patient and wait, but as I near the end of my monetary safety net and approach the point where I have no way of paying all my bills anymore, I’m starting to wonder if I was just telling myself what I wanted to hear because I’m desperate to get away from the kind of work I’ve been doing for the last decade.
My anxiety grows every day as I look at my bank account and wonder what’s going to happen in the next couple of weeks when the money runs dry and I still haven’t found solid employment. Am I going to lose my trailer? My truck? I don’t care about my credit, but I also have a fairly expensive personal loan payment that I still want to pay off so I don’t end up stealing from the bank I borrowed the money from. I have duties and responsibilities to meet, and my upbringing and time as a Marine has bred an intense desire to be true to my word.
And of course there’s the fact that I have people depending on me to help provide for them. My kids live very far away from me now, but I love them and want to do my part to help make sure they have a roof over their heads and food in their bellies and a decent life to live while they grow up into whoever it is they end up deciding to be. And while my fiancée doesn’t need me, I can’t feel like a real man if I’m not able to provide at least my portion of the family income, if not more. How can I be the head of a household if I can’t provide anything at all?
I hate the idea of going back to work for yet another construction company, spending my days processing useless paperwork that only exists because a bunch of regulatory people decided it needs to. There is no real world benefit to anything I do. It simply participates in a process that checks an imaginary box that the government has decided is required. But at this point, though, it’s the only skillset I really have. I can’t afford to start over in another field making close to minimum wage. I’m stuck.
One of the biggest dreams I’ve had, aside from the obvious flying and sailing options I wish I could figure out, is just finding a way to start a business that makes enough money to meet my financial needs. I yearn to be my own boss and not beholden to someone else’s profits and schedules. I’m the kind of person that will work almost obsessively on something that I find interesting and actually care about, and I can only imagine what it would be like to start developing something that supports me and my family into the future.
The problem is that I just have no idea what to take the risk on. Starting a business isn’t just something you get up and decide to do one day, especially in this overly regulated world we live in today. I thought about trying to use my personal truck for some kind of business, but all of the options I think about require more money than I have available to me, and a loan at this point in my life isn’t feasible. Other ideas have regulatory roadblocks that require a certain amount of experience or have onerous additional requirements that make taking the leap in those directions just not worth it.
This is the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been living with for quite a while now. I yearn for something better in my work life, yet I just don’t have the kind of focus in my life that allows me to zero in on an idea and actually run with it. I’m living with analysis paralysis with everything in my life, and I just don’t know what direction I should be going. I want the best for me and my family, but the honest truth is that I have absolutely no idea what that is.
As I’ve come to realize that I don’t know what it is that will actually make me happy, I have turned to God to ask him to tell me what to do. The unfortunate part for me is that this isn’t something that comes easy to me, and I still have issues in my life that get in the way of God being able to tell me anything. I’m still stuck on my own heart’s desires, and no amount of prayer has been able to overcome that. You can’t hear Him if you’re deaf to His words.
So the question I have to ask myself is: is God being silent to teach me patience, or is He speaking and I’m just too deaf to hear Him? What do you do when it feels like God is completely silent? When you believe that He can make things different, but all you get is more and more waiting? When you’re all alone but you can’t figure out how to be alright with opening up to anyone else?
All I want is to be able to make a living doing something I find satisfying. I have ideas for what that might be, but without some kind of guidance it’s just never going to happen. The only things I’m passionate enough about to really go after are things that are just financially beyond my reach. So what is it that will finally become the thing that fulfills my soul? What is God’s plan for my life?
The honest answer is: I have no idea.