Dear Lord, where's the window?

Some days you're the cheerleader, other days you're the pompom.

As a recent grad, a primary focus of my life right now is job hunting.  I've lost track of the resumes I've sent out and the interviews I've dressed up for.  I've applied for everything from administrative work, database management, marketing, communications, and heck, grocery store associate.  My dream job is working in Catholic publishing, so I can work my way up to editor.

So far, God has been closing a lot of doors.  There's no window yet.  It seems like every time a hiring manager appears to be interested in me, they end up offering it to someone else.  Well, except for the grocery store, but for a grad with a BA, that's small consolation.

The Crusaders' war cry was Deus lo vult: God wills it.

Into your hands I commend my spirit.

Unfortunately, because so much of my life revolves around finding a job, this relentless discouragement is seeping in to other areas of my life.  It's rather debilitating, as I lose confidence in my strengths and skills.

This isn't the first time I've been in this dark corner.  Last fall, I dealt with a terrible emotional blow that set me back for most of a semester.  Somehow I pulled through, although my friends will tell you that I was not myself for a few months.  But there are people who deal with worse than me, and somehow keep a smile on their faces.  Do you ever look at those people and think "How do they do it?!"

I know how.  Intellectually, I know, and emotionally, I'm groping for that clue through the labyrinth.  The key is joy.

No, not mindless fluffy positive thinking.  Not Pollyannic optimism.  Not blindness to the reality of evil in the world.  Not perpetually singing "Everything is Awesome."

Joy is looking beyond the puzzle pieces and seeing the picture.  Joy is trusting that even when the path is clouded and not even the next step is clear, there will not be a cliff.  Joy is understanding that when you're stuck in the blender of life, at least someone will get a smoothie!  Joy is realizing that sometimes, life sucks.  But also sometimes, it really is awesome.  Joy means humbly remembering consolations received, and turning back to those bright moments.  But most of all, joy means realizing that you're not in control, but Someone else is.  And even in the depths, He is listening, embracing, and guiding.

In thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me never be confounded: deliver me in thy justice.  
Bow down thy ear to me: make haste to deliver me. 
Be thou unto me a God, a protector, and a house of refuge, to save me.  
For thou art my strength and my refuge; and for thy name' s sake thou wilt lead me, and nourish me.  
Thou wilt bring me out of this snare, which they have hidden for me: for thou art my protector.  
Into thy hands I commend my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth.  
Thou hast hated them that regard vanities, to no purpose. 
But I have hoped in the Lord: I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy. 
For thou hast regarded my humility, thou hast saved my soul out of distresses.  
And thou hast not shut me up in the hands of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a spacious place.
~Psalm 30