Last year about this time, I was hopeful. I'd just left a roommate situation that made me want to spend more time out of the apartment than in. I moved close to work and the church plant I was involved in was just getting off the ground. And man, I was going to move mountains. Maybe that vision I'd had the year before, hallucinating on Percocet, where I was flying over the city, seeing everyone touched by God...maybe that would soon be coming true. (Note to reader: don't try to numb a broken heart with Percocet)
And then the shit hit the fan. I broke my toe, which brought out all my minor frustrations with the kids in my job. I had a performance review in which my supervisor basically told me that I was in danger of losing my job if I didn't shape up. The roommates I thought I would be living with spent nearly every night away from the house. I started looking for another job, and I found that the Bosco House, a Catholic Worker community with a mission to house single mothers and their children, needed a live-in staff person. Perfect! I thought. I could get away from my supervisor and actually make a difference in the world.
But it wasn't what I'd planned on. I knew that my social life would suffer somewhat, but I didn't count on having to spend everyday from 4:30-11 sitting on my butt waiting for residents to get home so they could come home and tell me about all the drama they'd gotten themselves into that day. I couldn't spend time with my aging grandparents or my new baby cousin. It turned out to be a former Catholic Worker house, one in which a former worker had damaged ties with the outside community of support. My coworker was negative about the residents and it rubbed off on me. My church continued to meet in a suburban living room instead of a downtown retail space that used to be a strip club. I got grumpy, cynical, bitter, everything I didn't ever want to be. I started to say to myself what I hoped just a year before I would never say, "There has to be more to life than this." I honestly felt, and still kind of feel like God ditched me.
So what really happened?
This Sunday, my church talked about when Jesus going out to the desert for 40 days. Wallowing in my funk, I just sat through it and listen because it didn't seem relevant to me at all. Who sits around talking theology when they're dying inside besides like, David? But one person said "Maybe Jesus didn't know that he'd only be there for 40 days. Maybe he went out there knowing that he had to experience trials, and never knew when or if it would end." That spoke to me. I don't know when I'll finally learn some skills to deal with times when I'm depressed. I don't know if I'll ever not feel lonely. I'm not really ok with that, but recognizing it somehow makes me feel better. I don't know what I believe about God and Jesus at this point. But I know I don't like feeling bitter about being good to people. It's hard to think of people as beloved creations of God when you feel like God has cursed you, but there's a crack in that, and it gives me at least a little ability to wish.