How To Feel Alive In a World That Only Promotes Existence…
For the past five years (at least) I’ve struggled a lot with depression – nothing ‘official’ – and I’ve always managed to pull myself out of it. These last two years have been increasingly difficult as I struggle with where our lives are going and what the point of everything we do actually is. Each decision we make is shaping the life experiences of 5 people! With knowledge of God beside me, It is entirely our children – and my driven dedication to them – that has been my strength to get up and go on each day. I’m told God has a plan, but not knowing or not understanding the whole picture can be a heavy grievance.
My husband and I have two very different visions for what makes a ‘successful’ life. He envisions ‘the American dream‘ – a great big show worthy home with a white picket fence at the end of culdesac with plenty of cushion in the bank. I’ll admit this sounds lovely, and if I were my more shallow and naive 13 year old self, it would sound perfect! However, I’m afraid this is not my vision… no matter how appealing it seems, the road to get there appears dark, lonely, empty and pointless. The destination appears equally hollow…
I can’t believe for one second that this is at all the way God had envisioned a human life to be lead out. I understand that finding a plot of land to seclude to isn’t really the whole package either. God wants us out there with the rest of His people, but I believe He wants us joyful in his creation not wallowing in it’s corruption.
I want a life that isn’t just a schedule someone else has laid out. I want to travel to other parts of the world – or even just other parts of our own country! I want to learn about other cultures, taste new foods and experience the different opportunities life itself has! I want to bask in the sun, feel sand between my toes, climb over a mountain and sleep in tree! – OK, that’s a little extreme, but my point is – I want to enjoy my life and my children!
Right now, I feel like we’re always struggling! Struggling to pay the bills – in a house that no one wants to live in, with amenities no one really needs… Struggling to pay for fuel- to put in a car that’s falling apart and typically only goes to buy groceries that are half wasted and could be freely grown, take children to school where they learn only how to survive in a shallow society and not how to actually live in the harmony God intended, and then to the one extracurricular activity which – that too – is a huge struggle to maintain but I do it because it is one thing in our oldests life that gives her a sense of purpose, something to be proud of – something she enjoys immensely, and despite it’s ‘meaningless’ place in our money driven society, to me – that is the only thing that matters!
The sad part is – this is normal!
Right now you’re sitting there reading this, thinking I’m so ungrateful! ‘She has a roof over her head, food on her table, clothes on her kids backs and a little leftover to support an extracurricular activity’ – what is she complaining about?!
Maybe you’re right. Maybe there isn’t more to life… maybe we really are just existing for the sole purpose of dying and going on to the otherside.
Do you really believe that?
I grew up knowing about God. We weren’t an overly religious family – in fact most would say we weren’t at all. However, I do remember attending church – Sunday school actually – around the age of 7. It’s not a very detailed memory, but I recall it being part of a routine we had that year. I don’t recall ever attending again after that until I was placed in a private school at 14 and personally chose to attend their church service each and every Sunday for the next two years. For me, learning about God was somewhat a curiosity, but mostly an excuse to find a close family-like welcoming relationship in others.
When I was 16, I cried out to a God I didn’t understand and ‘ended’ that relationship.
I’ve struggled for the last 11 years of my adulthood with what my part in this world is, and I feel it’s only become increasingly more disheartening since reconnecting with God two years ago.
My husband and I have been together for 10 years and parents for 9.
As I’ve watched my oldest’ ongoing struggles in our public school system – not academically or socially, but with focus, interest, and peer-influenced choices – I am regretting more each day on not sticking to my original instincts to homeschool, and the more I look into what they are teaching and what is actually meaningful to know…. I understand our ‘responsibility’ to prepare our kids for what society has deemed ‘acceptable’, but in schools – this is being taught at the expense of creativity, ingenuity, individuality and the ability to live outside of just maintaining ones own existence!
I don’t actually need to travel the world, and I don’t really need to live on an acreage. But I need to live.