peace with a side order of joy, please

over the past few months i've been seriously considering leaving my job. my job is difficult. it is draining, it is tedious, i am most probably under qualified for it, and there are times that the stress makes me physically ill. (no, i'm sorry we aren't hiring right now.) what is surprising is that it isn't the heartbreaking client stuff that makes my job so difficult. which is amazing, really. so what is it that stresses me more than my dvr cutting off "scenes from the next 90210"? it's the relationships with my co-workers and volunteers. honestly, there are a couple of them that are real pains in my butt.

and while quitting seems like a no brainer, i've just felt a total sense of unrest about the whole thing. because although some of the above is true, i believe in what we do and even think that i'm getting better at my job. which unfortunately means i have felt NO PEACE about turning in my resignation. even on the days when i have been the most fed up, it just hasn't felt right to quit. the pull to stay wasn't about misguided loyalty to my boss (who i pretty much love), or a fear of change (there is no question, i've quit better jobs than the one i have right now). it was about something bigger, something less easily defined. i feel called to be there. and frankly, that pretty much pisses me off. because a calling probably trumps a bit of discomfort. my counselor (yes, i was so distressed that i sought professional help) has talked me through my realization that i need to stay. believe me, i was as surprised with the decision as you are. i'm not really known for my sticktoitiveness.

but here's what i'm learning. work, by definition, is not fun. if work did equal fun, people would say, "honey, i'm home from fun." or, "hi, ho, hi, ho, it's off to fun we go." work IS... wait for it... work. most jobs are difficult. that is precisely why our bosses need to pay someone to do them. so having the expectation that my job should be as fun as a surprise sale at urban outfitters is probably a little off base. second, often the problems i have with my co-workers are partly my fault. gasp. it takes 2 people to have a painfully unhealthy and (arguably) caustic relationship. and there are things that i can learn about myself and ways that i can grow that will make these relationships less icky. and third, and this one is the worst of them all, Christ never promised that we would always be "happy" with our circumstances. He does promise joy and peace if we trust in Him and His timing. which, really, for an impatient, self-centered Christian like myself seems like horribly bad news. i mean, i'll suffer for a great pair of heels or for perfectly groomed eyebrows. but suffering to develop my character and to serve my community!?!?!? that's a bit less appetizing. and suffering to answer a very real and about as audible as it's gonna get (short a burning bush) call... ehhh, that i'm not so sure about.

but i gotta tell ya, since i've come to the realization that i'm staying, i've felt peace despite my continued displeasure with some of the circumstances. that's right, honest to goodness peace. and there is joy in knowing that this job is where i'm supposed to be. which i guess is pretty cool. not easy... not always fun... but cool nonetheless.

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