Hopeful Living in Questionable Conditions

Lovely picture courtesy of:
Julia Manzerova

For some time now we've been in a limbo that has caused us to ask a lot of questions about our wants and goals in life.  Many of the things we had planned for our lives over the past two years have not come to pass and some might argue we've endured a good deal of hardship, but compared to others we are really quite well off.

We are involved in our local church and we try to hear and understand God, like most people, and hope for the best.  Sometimes, however, you really wonder what He's doing and like many other historical figures we've asked Him things like, "Hello, up there, if you don't mind too much please don't forget about us." and we're probably really meaning "...don't forget about our dreams and plans we made for ourselves."  I think that is how I feel sometimes and to tell you otherwise I'd be a liar.

I have wondered quite a few times over the past year and a half since we returned to America why others seem to make plans and pursue them and they accomplish their goals.  I cannot say that they do not endure difficulties but they do accomplish what they have set out to do.  For me, I've started to wonder why others are able to accomplish what they've planned to do.  It's almost funny, but whatever I plan has a way of failing fantastically, and in a way that I had no control over.  I wonder what I'm doing that's so special that I get blocked so often?  

Please bear in mind that I'm just thinking out loud.  It's not that I doubt God, but it's more like a healthy questioning of why we're being redirected so drastically from our plans.  Most assuredly we know that they are our plans and even those who could care less about God know that we plan and we don't always have the luxury of achieving our goals.  

There are a lot of good reasons for all of what we're experiencing now but it is something else to be in the middle of it and not know the result.  I feel very strongly about what I love and want to do and when you hear people talking like "Just give it all to God, man!  He'll work it all out!"  I cannot disagree, but I can tell you that letting go of what you hope for makes you feel like you're dying.  I really want to be alive and to experience all the richness of culture and language the world has to offer me together with my wife.  

Everyone deals with similar internal struggles and they almost always turn out well in the end, of course, but how do you get through the hard parts?  I'm certain it is as simple as asking God "Why?" but He doesn't always just pull up a chair and remind me of the good parts of the story so far.  I have to remember those myself--that's why it's important to journal!  

For those of you who do not believe in God, what do you do to get through times of uncertainty?  These must be the sorts of times that make us all human.

**A couple of days later I've had the pleasure of a great analogy, courtesy of my job**
I'm a programmer and work often with ordinary computer users.  They sometimes place demands on system requirements that are very bad ideas.  I design systems so it's hard to argue with a system architect about what is necessary and what is not.  It is difficult not to be frustrated with others when their goals for the system seem so short-sighted in my mind.  I realized that I must be the same way about my own destiny in relation to God.  I want what I want, good or bad.

Inspirational Songs:
Josh Groban's "Don't Give Up".

With Collaborative Imagery From:
Julia Manzerova: Flickr.


  1. I'm not a non-believer, but I don't rely on God to pull things through, so maybe what I have to say counts.

    I take it in. When times were hard you look them in the eye, you hope for the best but sometimes you can't have it. Me, I would keep positive. I'd write down what I wanted, recite it daily, keep positive images around me. Posters on the walls had the things I wanted (a tranquil beach beach) and any negative or violent art on the walls were taken down. Just completely submerge yourself in as much positive as possible and eventually you'll feel things looking up. At least for me. Every time I'm in a similar situation I do it, and things work out. Maybe not how I planned, but still in a way that I find myself happy.

  2. Whatever your beliefs, it's good to hear from you again. :)

  3. I agree with Jay! even if you don't have the time to blog regularly, it's nice to hear from you! ;)

  4. Agreed, D4. It's extremely important to keep positive about the situation. I think I'm doing better by getting some of it out, but also remembering the past year like it was some sort of nasty mountain. Mountains are nasty going up, but you get some sweet views. The tranquil beach imagery sounds fantastic. We were hoping to get Hawai'i if the military thing worked out but we'll see about getting a beach anywhere. You know, it's funny you mentioned that, we actually have beautiful beaches in Wilmington, NC. We just want to go someplace else? I'm starting to sound a bit crazy, even to myself.

    I was hoping that this post could show how I actually feel about the situation and how it relates to faith. People make it seem as if it's a sin to even ask questions but that's the only thing that helps us sometimes.

  5. Jay, I am glad you were able to stomach it if it wasn't quite your flavor. :) I think that people tend to not share their faith but it seems like it's one of the most interesting parts of people's lives.

    You seem to say so much through the photography we might be able to paint a picture of you! I was never much of an artist outside of expression--and only that on days when I'm not dyslexic. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Thanks, Shutterbug! I'm working towards making it a part of my Saturday morning routine. If I don't there's really not many opportunities during the week. If my week were a buffet I would just get another plate and keep going... my week is not a buffet so when the plate gets full I just have to stop adding to it. :)

  7. positivity is important and keeping things in a bit of perspective. But then I'm a believer so I kind of believe nothing is put in your path that you can't overcome.

    Good to have you back blogging

  8. You haven't updated your blog in aaaages. Hi Andrew. It's the blogger from Risk of Rain. I've moved URLs now and the blog is very different now. Hope you've been well.


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