My Island of Misfit Toys

My life has changed significantly since September. My kids are all in school full time.  My marriage is a barely manageable co-existence.  I carry my volunteer “office” in my car.   Visits with my family of origin feel like traveling to a foreign country where I don’t know the language (so I conveniently lose my passport and don’t visit if I can avoid it).

I struggled with my identity when I left a paying full time job to come home to be with my kids. I had wanted that, but in addition to that change, my husband insisted on a move. Away from my support system and all my friends.  Back to enemy territory, the same town as my family who really doesn’t like me. It was really hard to re-connect s in this community.  It only took a year to find opportunity to really serve using my gifts – friendships took longer.  Two young children, isolation in the country, fragile income source from my self-employed spouse and keeping an eye on my unbeknownst-to-us-at-the- time, Alzhiemer’s afflicted mother-in-law.  Whew!

That was eight years ago. Grandma is in a nursing home. We added a daughter to the mix.  My health tanked on me.  And marriage went from passable to worse.  We struggled with a special needs kid and eventually gave up home-schooling.

But now life has changed again in a different direction.  It was something I had looked forward to but am finding a hidden threat in it.  I feel adrift.  I have plenty to do with ministry and writing.  Homework challenges and dinner and keeping the dishes and clothes clean.  However, we could seriously use an income as my spouse has added financial abuse to his list of control mechanisms.

But there are no jobs out there in my field.  Writing is happening, but no agent yet, much less the coveted contract for a book.  I avoid being home to avoid being around my spouse.  So I literally am “adrift”.  Even at home I have really no spot to myself (with the exception of my computer which is why I’m on facebook so much!).  I feel rootless.  I have to set my own agenda and I do get things done but don’t feel as productive as I would with my own “space”.  We are supposed to be moving but I’m not sure where or when (I’ve been in a holding pattern on this for YEARS!)  Does this make sense?  I feel like a misfit in every aspect of my life.  My marriage, even my family of origin, ministry (although there is a gift and passion fit), my writing “career”.

This brought to mind the story of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and the “Island of Misfit Toys.”  We all want to fit in don’t we? (No, I’m not trying to anticipate Christmas here!)

I read on a website somewhere that misfits are the leaders of the world.  Maybe that’s so, because we are not following the prescribed paths.  But know this – it’s not because I don’t want to. I would love a spouse who adores and supports me and provides for me and my kids. I would love to come home to a house that I loved – and create a space there to work and live and entertain friends.  I would love an income from a job (or financial support from my spouse would suffice).  I really wouldn’t mind my family appreciating and applauding my choices in life.  *sigh*

I’m not trying to have a pity party here. I’m simply struggling to come to grips with a new reality for my life.  I crave security and stability and my life is anything but that.  The emotional dissonance of what I want and what I have is creating some friction inside. An unsettledness. It’s new. It’s not fun.  And I’m not really sure what to do about it but keep on with the tasks God has given me and hope He knows the answer and will reveal it in His perfect time. I’m seeking to find my stability and security in Him. . . but it can feel so intangible. In spite of that, I’ll keep pressing on in pursuing Him.

Are there any areas of your life where you feel like you don’t quite “fit” the mold?


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