So this is my last year of missionary service. In March I will leave this job and find gainful employment elsewhere. I know I still have some time, but I've been thinking about the future lately, and realizing how terrified and ill equipped I am for it.
Up until now, while lonely, I've never really been on my own. In college I had the financial support of my parents. Now I am supported by my missionary program. While I live alone, I'm not on my own. There are people to help me and take care of me when I need it. In March that will be over.
I have already decided I am not returning to America at the end of my service. I love Japan. I want to stay here. That has never been a question in my mind since arriving here. But the only way to make money in Japan for me is to teach English. (I have a very large student loan debt hanging over my head that makes the move away from church work necessary...) While I don't hate teaching English, I don't love it either. Now, of course, having the perfect job is not the prerequisite for happiness. Nor am I naive enough (any longer) to think that I am entitled to the perfect job. The problem comes when I realize that I will still be living alone.
Now of course I live alone now. But I have a job I mostly enjoy, and a sense of purpose to guide me through that. ( I also have a band that get's me out of my house every weekend and social time) But I fear the thought of living alone, having a job I don't like, and just surviving here. What's the point? What's my reason for living? The band can't support me in a situation like that. (I think right now the band is a substitute for family for me.) But I'm moving past the point where that level of support is going to carry me through. I need something more. I need a purpose.
I see other people who live alone, and what it is that motivates them. For some it is their music. Maybe it's art. But while I love both of those things, they aren't what drive me. I want something more. Something bigger. Something that will keep me moving forward, even when I want to stop. Something to fight for.
Am I still being naive? I don't know. But these are the thoughts that are coming to me now as I'm looking forward. I've prayed about this, and now I'm waiting for God to show me His plan.
If anything, it's comforting to have words to put to the problem. Now I can trust and wait for God to guide me and teach me. While I'm still afraid, I'm less uneasy now than I was before.
God is good to me.