What I Want

I want to travel the world and live in different countries. I want to be unencumbered from stuff.

I want to have a lovely home. I want to decorate it and take care of it. I want to bake things and cook things. I want to host people in my home. And let people live here for a time, if they need to.

I want to blog professionally.

I want to teach English for a living.

I want to learn a particular language to a near-native proficiency level.

I want to learn every language that enters my ears.

I want many friends.

I want a few friends.

I want quiet.

I want lots of interaction.

Most of all, I want to be inside of God’s will for my life. There is no converse of that statement.

I just have no – NO – idea how all those other things will fit inside His pleasing and perfect will for my life.

Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

**This post was inspired by the thought that I would like to have a rolling pin. Then, I thought that I won’t need a rolling pin, if I move to another country.**

A Letter to My Face

Dear Face,
I am really trying to rejoice in the Lord, even in the midst of very difficult circumstances. Heart can praise Him and make music to Him. Even Voice can speak of His wonderful works. To be fair, Voice is not doing a great job either. With every word, Voice pushes a few more tears over the brink.

So, Face: I really need you to get on board with everyone else! Your drooping eyes and frown are not doing much to conceal my pain, nor bring glory to my God. And you already know that when people ask how I am doing, I’m inclined to tell the truth. Please, for the sake of everyone involved, could you make some sort of effort to look cheerful, without coming across as totally fake?

I thank you in advance for your prompt cooperation.
Sincerely,
Highly Sensitive Christian

My Prayer

Last night, I prayed that God would let me not be an HSP anymore.

I know he made this way for a purpose, but to me, it just feels like I can’t have a productive life:

Feeling exhausted, because I lying awake all night from sheer excitement over who knows what.

Not being able to eat, because my stomach is tied into a knot. Again, for no reason that deserves that much stress.

Not being able to hide or turn off emotions in public places. This is fine when the emotion is a good one; but being in heart-wrenching pain does not wear well on the face, I’m realizing.

How am I supposed to work, feeling like this? What kind of job allows you to come in earlier or later, depending on your previous night’s sleep? Which job allows for interaction with others, but gives enough space for unwanted tear leakage?

The Lord will give me strength to get through this. The Lord has an answer to all of my questions.

I must trust Him more.

Job Questionnaires

In the past, I’ve had jobs where I taught people skills they need to search for and get a job. One thing that we always taught:

Leave your personal problems at home when you go to work.

Although this was before I’d ever heard of HSP, I felt like a complete sham when teaching that to my students!!

I mean, really. You’re asking me to compartmentalize my feelings? If something is bothering me, it magically stops bothering me, just because I’ve changed my geographical coordinates?!

You’ve got the wrong person.

To be clear, I understand that a level of professionalism is needed, particularly when a job requires interaction with coworkers and/or the public. I understand that you can’t spend your working hours on the phone arguing with a boyfriend, family member, or whomever. I get it.

The problem for me is that what is in my heart and mind is also plastered across my face. There is not a lot I can do to change that – try as I might. I can (and started to) avoid discussing problems with coworkers. However, my face will reveal my problems, whether I want it to or not.

So, today, I was completing an online job application for a seasonal retail job. The application included a questionnaire that asked the same questions about 3 times each.

Easy, right? I used to teach people how to complete these questionnaires!

The difference is that I was teaching them how to answer with their personalities, not my own. So, when the questionnaire repeatedly states things like

My coworkers cannot tell what I am feeling;

I hide my feelings;

I do not become emotional at work,

What on earth am I supposed to say, to avoid looking like a lunatic?! In the interest of being honest, I put “disagree.”

Unfortunately, “disagree” is not actually honest, either. There were also options for “strongly disagree” and “completely disagree.”

So, I don’t look like a lunatic, but I did withhold the truth a bit. I did misrepresent myself.

In addition to being an HSP, I’m also pathologically honest. I don’t know too many people who are as honest as I am. I mean, I even read skim the Terms and Conditions before I check the box that says “I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions.” This may be a bit obsessive, but it is a misrepresentation, if I assert that I read something, but didn’t even look at it.

By the same token, how can I say that I disagree that I am emotional, when I truly know that I completely, unequivocally, adamantly disagree?!

I pray that the Lord will point me to jobs that don’t ask that question!

I tried to go back into the questionnaire to change my answers, but it wouldn’t allow me to do so.

So…in order to prevent lying, what am I going to do?

I’m not going to submit the application at all.

I suppose another alternative would be to delete what I have completed of the application so far and start a fresh one. Then, they can make an informed decision as to whether or not to hire me.

Recently, I’d started writing a post about my job search. It’s been pretty limited, because I am looking for a job for which I am qualified and that won’t exacerbate my HSP tendencies. Those are few and far between, let me tell you. By “few and far between”, I mean “non-existent.”

I came upon an administrative assistant job yesterday, too. It’s not something I’d be terribly interested in, but I really need the income. There was a section that described the type of supervision this position received. It said:

Responsibilities do not usually require using independent judgement.
Requires direct supervision.

Um. To me, that basically says, “Check your brain at the door.” Honestly, I don’t see how any job doesn’t require some sort of decision making.

Job search is not easy; and being a pathologically honest, HSP extrovert, who does not do well in jobs that don’t require thought, is making it that much more difficult!

I need to trust the Lord to provide.

Closer to My Lord

Today, I started out feeling fairly good.  Then, that changed.  I just started feeling down and wanted to cry.  There was a reason, but I won’t get into it, because it truly wasn’t a reason to want to cry.

With about 40 minutes left before time to leave for work, I started to cook something for lunch.  I’m horrible at just throwing ingredients together and coming out with a delicious meal.  So, I knew that whatever I concocted today would stand a pretty good chance of missing the mark.

I tried to throw together a curry, using tomato paste – from a tube – and a spice mix someone shared with me.  At no point did my bootleg curry ever taste like any kind of curry, no matter how stuff I threw into it.  Oh, and my rice turned out a bit mushy.

With almost no time left, I packed up my lunch and prepared for the disappointment of eating it later.  This made me want to cry even more.

At that point I did two things:

1.  I just begged God to help me trust Him more.

2.  I texted a particularly encouraging Christian sister and asked her to pray for me.

Sure, these are two things that I do with some regularity, but today was different somehow.  When I cried out to God today, it came from a place of really knowing that He heard me and knowing that He would be my comfort.  I would like to think that’s where I always cry out from, but after today, I could tell it hasn’t been.

The friend whom I’d asked to pray for me is a person who, after a double surgery, is praising God and praying for another community member in the ICU.  She is an amazing encouragement to me for many reasons.  Facing another possible surgery, she says, “I know my Jesus has a plan for my life.”  She always says “my Jesus,” and I do believe that she treasures her relationship with Him.

This prompted me to think about the depth of my relationship with the Lord.  How much do I trust Him?  How much do I want Him more than anything else?

When I got to work, I  saw that I’d received a reply to an email I’d written earlier.  The person mentioned the word “idol” as it related to my view of marriage, not once, but three times.  This was slightly frustrating, because I’ve never really heard an understandable, practical definition of what it means to idolize something.  I’ve only heard, “an idol is something you want more than God.”  Oh, really?  Well, how am I supposed to know whether I want marriage more than God?

This is something I may discuss further at a later time.

Anyway, this idol thing caused me to just do a Google search for “How does one know if marriage is an idol?”  I did find more frustrating definitions, but I also saw some good ones.

As I was working, I just realized that my heart was wide open and full of worship for the Lord.  It’s been like that more often lately.  And it hasn’t been like,

“Okay, now…feel worshipful.  On three.  Go!”

Believe me, there are those times.

I wondered why my heart has been feeling so much more open and excited about the Lord.

This may seem silly, but I’m sure this is why:

I haven’t been on Facebook in almost a week.  Well, I’ve been on there twice, but for a very short time each time.  I’m not doing it as a spiritual exercise; or at least didn’t start out with that in mind.  It’s just that I’ve got a lot to figure out in my life right now.  When I get on Facebook, I get sucked in fairly easily.  Then, my mind gets over-stimulated from all of the information, and I feel like I don’t have the brain power for anything else that I want and need to accomplish.  So, I thought that logging out of Facebook and Instagram for a week or so would help me refocus my mental energy.

Even the night that I made this decision, I felt more calm somehow.  My brain didn’t feel like it was going 1,000 miles per minute.  Usually, when I decide not to use Facebook for a day, I still feel like I just really, really want to check it.  I haven’t been feeling like that these past few days.

Not being on Facebook has not fixed my life.  But it sure has added a level of peace that I didn’t at all expect!  In that peace, I’ve been able to sense and appreciate God’s presence and His love in new ways.

For me, this gives new meaning to:

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.  1 Kings 11-12

God does call us to still ourselves at times.  I am the worst one of them all, when it comes to this.  But what joy and love have I found by finally making a decision to do so!