It was November 2020. Each day the hours of darkness grow while the hours of daylight recede. The house was dark when I sat down in my home office and again when I would shut my computer down for the day. I would make my way to the kitchen around the 5:00 hour to grab an unhealthy, processed, instant food to heat up in the microwave or pizza oven and I would finish the day on my recliner where I would polish off a bottle of wine while staring at another [television] screen to occupy my boredom and exhaust the remaining hours until bedtime. Awakening to a pot of bold caffeinated coffee to do it all over again. Day after day I kept thinking, “This isn’t living”.
The pandemic was doing what any extrovert dreads – isolation, lack of social connectedness, limited variety in activity and repetition. Feeling depression growing ever deeper within me, all I wanted to do was sleep. Sure, I could exercise, but only to, yet, another screen. I could bundle up and get some crisp, fresh, cold November air, but why would I do that? It’s cold, it’s dark.
So what do you do when you feel life draining from you? Out of desire to reverse the dark hole I was finding myself digging day after day, I took a personal assessment and questioned myself, “What do I need right now and where can I find it?”
I need people!
I need physical activity!
I need to stop trying to satisfy the void in my life with wine, unhealthy foods, watching depressing news and binge shopping on Amazon.
My conclusion? Get a second job! So I did. A part-time job in the evenings at Fedex Express!
My husband doubted I could do it because the criteria was having the ability to work in extreme temperatures and lift up to 50 pounds. His doubt was enough for this old farm girl to give it a try and here I am, a little over one year later, in cold, frigid Wisconsin February, with $15,000 less debt, an entirely new circle of friends. Conversely, I feel GREAT, blessed, motivated and proud. I even took off a few pounds. #WINNING!
God is so amazing. He used my discomfort, debt, depression and discouragement and gave me a whole new perspective on life. I can’t tell you how much I now see the world in a whole new way through this experience. First and foremost, I will no longer underestimate how God can use our grim circumstances to plant us right in the middle of somewhere that gives you so much more than you could ever ask or imagine. Secondly, how much we need to appreciate people who do what they do so we can get our products conveniently delivered to our door. Be sure to thank a delivery person!
Another way God amazed me is that He gave me a mission field. I don’t have anything to lose by talking about Jesus at Fedex so as we’re stacking boxes, unloading trucks, loading the big plane or tackling a project together, we get to know one another. I get to hear about their love for video games, pets, kids, cars and music. I learn about some of their dating, family and health challenges and a subject near and dear to my heart, their hurts, habits and hang ups; otherwise known as addictions. I get to pray for them, and I do, daily. My Fedex team has become a very important part of my life and I am seriously dreading the day when God redirects me to somewhere new. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about leaving, but we’re still waiting for Covid to be declared an endemic so I’m actually very happy to spend my evenings with my new found friends.
The moral to my story is this: I know people are out there whose mental health has taken it’s toll be it from isolation, stress, fear, darkness, boredom, debt. I know that what you are dealing with is very serious and it is real and it is hard. Do a self assessment like I did. What do you need right now and where can you find it? Then pray and ask God to guide you into something, some place, some where, that will lift you up, transform your life and bring fresh perspective to how He can use you, grow you and above all restore you. Maybe it is a second job, maybe it’s a new hobby, activity or volunteer opportunity, but a ministry. Our God works in mysterious ways and there is no question that He knows what we need more than we do.
So let me end with this…
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:6-8