What If Your Gift Is Your Burden?

 

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Picture courtesy of Dashinthemiddle.com

 

This has been quite the week. It has been filled with 2 particular ups and a few downs. I’m not sure where the overall rating of it would fall. Perhaps a 3 on a scale of 10? I don’t know, I digress. The point is that it hasn’t been one of my finest. Through the week I’ve struggled with many thoughts and feelings and the thought that I had today, while walking to the dumpster with arms full of trash (I live a glorious lifestyle) was one that I thought many people have had and could probably relate to.

The low points in my week have been the anniversary of my beloved horse’s passing. That was Monday. And also, realizing that I am so very fed up with working all week long and getting $0.00 of my paycheck due to student loans. Let me repeat that last part: STUDENT LOANS. Not foolish credit card bills. Not consumer debt to my eyes. Not paying for a lavish wedding. STUDENT. LOANS. Do you have them? Do you hate them as much as I do? This week I have been thinking that going to college has been the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. I graduated with a B.S. in Language, Literature and Writing. My minor is in journalism. With that I have done nothing astounding. In fact, I’m a glorified secretary. Albeit I work for a great company and wonderful people, don’t misunderstand me on that point. I wouldn’t change or trade the friendships I’ve made for anything. BUT do I feel like I want to fulfill something bigger? Yes. Do I want to earn more money? Who doesn’t?? But the ironic part here is that even earning more money won’t make me more comfortable until my loans are paid off, as they will just take a higher percentage of my pay to pay them off. I am a prisoner of my loans and I have nothing to show for it.

The high points to my week have been 1: I got my W-2 and my 2 1080s. This means, I can keep my appointment to file my taxes without having to go through the hassle of rescheduling while I wait for my paperwork to come in. Yay adulthood! That means I can also file sooner and assuming I get a tax return I can pay for my modest wedding dress that is sitting at the boutique waiting for me. It won’t go toward anything that really matters, like my student loans or my car, but a dress. A dress I’m in love with but wouldn’t even dream of buying because my linear way of thinking wont allow it until I have paid off something big. I am my own worst enemy. I know that about myself. High point #2: we had our first marriage class and we did very well and it was fun. No major conflicts brought up and we both left holding hands. I feel that’s a victory.

Now here’s where the original post stemmed from. As I mentioned all week I have been battling some personal weight. The constantly snowy “death trap of a road” weather has done NOTHING for me but make me feel like a prisoner. And last night was a total flop of an escape because Buffalo Wild Wings ruins everything and I loathe them with most of my existence; the other part of that loathing being reserved for incompetent adults and people who have to touch you when they talk to you… and games. I pretty much hate games. Anyway, distracted… again. So this morning I came to work and sat at my desk with the weight of the week sitting on my shoulders. Feeling sorry for myself as I angrily ate my crappy instant oatmeal for breakfast when my fiance texts me about being in a car accident. He was alright but his car was not. And after a few other details were ironed out I jumped to action. We made a game plan for the evening that included me staying late at work so I could pick him up before I head home. Then taking a second detour to take him to his parents so he could borrow the extra vehicle. I would pick up dinner this afternoon when I ran to Starbucks for the boss and then we’d be comfortable and absorbing the day’s events before 8:00. I swallowed everything that I was going through in a minute to contribute to helping and nurturing someone close to me.

I was rolling this over in my brain most of the afternoon while I was at my desk when it occurred to me on my trip out to the dumpster that I wasn’t through being upset yet. Forgive me but I didn’t get any flowers I didn’t get nurtured or taken care of this week. I don’t often do in this scenario. I have slept on the couch most of the week because I’m not tired when Steve goes to bed. I have still done all my normal responsibilities. I haven’t asked anything extra of anyone or played the pity card and yet no one has offered to chip in any little extra for me. Yet, when something happens to someone else I’m all over it and I’m expected to be. It feels like a knee jerk reaction, one I can’t help. It’s like I’m on autopilot. When asked to move furniture to switch rooms (a ridiculous request but honored nonetheless) I said, fine. I’ll make myself available for 10 minutes by taking a 30 minute drive, one way. When someone needs something from me, I don’t ask “why” I just do it and usually offer more of me than what I probably (I’m finding out) should.

Here’s the hard part to swallow. God gives each of us gifts or talents. It’s up to us to decide how to use them. I prefer to use them for Him, if I can. I want to give glory to Him. So it occurs to me that in all of my service it’s been nurturing and caring. I have helped very frail and ill children, senior citizens, people financially worse off at food pantries, kids getting started in 4H with no knowledge of horses, sick animals, etc. I’m a nurturer and care giver. But what if I don’t want that to be my talent? What if my talent is always hindering my mental health and stability? I know God gives us the talent that He sees fit but some days I just don’t know if that’s what I’m cut out for. I would like a chance to feel my feelings too. I would like a chance to not always have to put myself aside for others. I am rough around the edges and I kind of like that about myself.

What if we recognize our talent or our gifts as a burden? I am a product of my atmosphere. I was raised to step in and solve problems for certain people in my life that weren’t quite at that point in their life yet. I was raised to be a second mom to both of my siblings. I was raised to be more mature than my age called for. I was raised to have a rock solid pyramid of priorities and to never deviate from the path I’ve put myself on, whether it be to financial freedom or education or independence, you don’t rest until you’ve succeeded. Is this really the talent that God had in mind for me? To constantly put others ahead of myself? To never have that “carefree early twenties” lifestyle? I don’t know what He has in mind for me, but this week, this particular awareness isn’t to my liking (as if it matters). Sometimes I just wish I had more of an answer than “be still”. Sometimes feeling like I’m talking into space for only my health and sanity makes me even more crazy and desperate for an answer.

 

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