When you pray to die and God gives you a Tuesday: the other side of hope

I couldn't get up from laying flat on the floor this morning. It's what I do when I feel forgotten, confused, frustrated and directionless. It's my way of extending the white flag to God, letting him know that I'm surrendering to whatever it is He's doing in my life. I went from having a great last week to feeling like I had no reason to get up this morning, get dressed and find a place where I can do some job searching without someone seeing the "I'm a counselor" sign on my forehead.

Just yesterday, I was sitting at a Panera when a 24 year old male asked me if it was okay that he sit next to me. He appeared friendly and asked me how I'm doing. "I want to be no more," I wanted to tell him, but my social work background of never offering too much information as a counselor, led me to just reply, "I'm doing fine."

Out of courtesy, I asked him how he was doing. I noticed quickly his disheveled attire, slurred speech and what appeared to be a block in his thinking. I mentally ran him through a psychosocial assessment  as he began to unload his emotional baggage.  He had a hospital bracelet on his right wrist that confirmed the first and last name that he gave me in his introduction.

In a matter of minutes, John (his name for this post) shared most of his life story with me. I learned that he had a strong appetite for lsd and alcohol, hopped around from one music festival to another and hadn't seen his father for many years. He explained how he makes a living from selling personal art and hammocks made by a close friend. It was his birthday and he had just been released from the hospital after being robbed of 600 dollars while sleeping standing. "I didn't graduate from college but I'm fortunate enough to live in a way that most people cannot afford to," he shared in between his "the world is against me" soliloquy.

Like a good and compassionate counselor, I listened intently to John's stories and expressed empathy. Meanwhile, I'm, thinking, "How did I get sucked into this?  Did I really let him use my cell phone to call the friends he claims abandoned him the night before?"

I counseled John on his need to find grounding and shared how his luck avoiding sentencing related to drug possession may soon run out. I guess the only thing I got from hearing John speak, was that having money doesn't solve all of life's problems and formal education doesn't open all doors. The latter I've  figured out in this over a year job search.

The other less compassionate side of me wanted to scream, "Wake the hell up, John! You mean you have all of these skills to be self employed, have 600 dollars laying in your wallet and all you can talk about is what's been done to you?"

Damn! Damn! Damn! "Snap out of your woe is me festival John. I don't even have enough today to splurge on the chips and snapple you're stuffing down to cope with your drug induced munchies."

I decided to pack up my laptop and head to somewhere  I can just cry. I felt part of me die as I enoucraged John.

He gave me a hug as I wished him happy birthday. "I feel much better now," he said as I began to run for the exit.

I made it to the Macy's around the corner and ran into a fitting room. I dropped my bag and began to cry uncontrollably at how unfair life seems to be. Why did I spend so much time investing in the business of education? Did it do me any good to graduate with honors everytime? Here I am in the great city of Chicago, account in the negative and wavering between purchasing tooth paste and soap to last until the end of the week.How is it God, that some people get to just float through life and struggle seems to be my last name? (Damn! John transferred his negative energy to me)

Yesterday night I climbed into bed and prayed to God to take me home if He's not going use me to fulfill some purpose here on earth. Perhaps purposeless living is much worse than living for the wrong purpose. At least John has a high he can look forward to. He can afford to hop to and from festivals. (I'm JUST THINKING out loud!)

Popping pills and excessive drinking won't cut it for me. Education was suppose to be my fix.

I did get up from the floor today, only because a dear friend called to say, "embrace process"  and Luciano's "Sweep over my soul" healed some inner part of me.

In my getting up and making it out of the house, a movie producer sat next to me at a Starbucks and gave me his contact information. He directed me to a website of a dynamic youth mentoring program led by an executive who left his lucrative job as a business man to become a missionary in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

"This meeting was divinely ordained," the gentleman stated as he walked off with his two sons.

I hope so.

Today wasn't so bad. It feels like a coin of hope was dropped in my lap.

Thanks for Tuesday God....





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