GET A JOB

JUST EXISTING IS NOT LIVING LIFE, IT’S JUST PASSING TIME UNTIL ONE DIES

My 50th birthday is coming up in October. So I’m contemplating what the second part of my life is going look like. I have three different pictures of the direction of my life. The first one is to keep doing what I’m doing now and what I’ve done for the last three years, just staying home and existing. Existing as in not really doing anything important, significant or meaningful. The thought of doing that for another 20 or so years does not seem very appealing. Just existing is not living life, it’s just passing time until one dies.

I’ve thought about selling our house, all our stuff and heading out to the open road with our 5th wheel trailer. Stopping to flip a quarter at every major intersection to determine our direction. We have seriously considered doing this and were pretty close to actually making it happen. The excitement of traveling, going where we want to go and doing whatever we want to do seems very attractive. But eventually the traveling will get old and we would have to ask the question “what we were actually doing with our lives?” Do we really want to spend 20 years or so living in our 5th Wheel? Going place to place without any real purpose or direction? Establishing short-term relationships because we know we were only going to be around for a short period of time. Then head out again and show up somewhere different to start all over again. While on the surface it sounds great, it lacks purpose and significance and in essence is still a form of just existing.

The third choice is to reinvent myself for the second half of my life. Having a direction, a purpose and knowing I’ve accomplished something of significance is very important to me. I don’t want to look back on the second half of my life and say all I did was exist and avoid life. From the time I was young I felt a calling from God to minister to people. To be someone who cares and someone who seeks to meet the needs of people. I am called to a life of service and ministry. I’ve found myself this year dissatisfied with the current course of my life. The last few years were necessary for me to heal. I’ve learned to use the coping skills that are so important in living with PTSD. But It is now time for me to move on and start living life.

So I have decided it is time to go back work. When I started seriously thinking about working again, I thought about getting a part-time job. One that would get me out of the house and hopefully doing something I might enjoy. That seemed appealing until I went for a job interview for a part time job. I was offered the job and was told I could start the next day. But on the way home, I started feeling discouraged and by the time I arrived at the house I was pretty down. I was thinking “is this what I really want to do, have a job that just gets me out of the house?” “Will I be happy with a job that does not even come close to providing me a sense of purpose or accomplishment?”

IT IS TIME I START LIVING MY LIFE DESPITE THE CHALLENGES OF LIVING WITH MY TRAUMA

So I took inventory of my life, my experiences, and my previous jobs. I thought about what jobs provided me with the most purpose and significance. The most fulfilling job I’ve had is pastoring churches or chapels. Pastoring is what I love and it is my calling. Serving others and ministering to needs of others is what brings me the most satisfaction. So I’m going to be true to my calling and lay aside my concerns, fears and questions and seek a pastorate. I am not saying I am cured from my trauma or I no longer have PTSD. I’m saying its time to start living my life despite the challenges of living with my trauma.

So my resume and cover letter are ready; they are updated to reflect what I bring to the table as a civilian minister. The military vocabulary, which carries significance in the Army, does not translate very well to the civilian world. So I am learning to translate my experience and skills to effectively reflect the skills and experience I offer to a civilian church. In essence, I am learning to speak a new langue. I am now ready to set off in a new direction and move forward with the second half of my life.

I would like to thank the Wounded Warrior program for their help and assistance in preparing my resume and cover letter. Without their help, I would be overwhelmed with trying to translate my military chaplain experience and skills.

Author: Chaplain Doll

I am a retired 21-year Army Chaplain Veteran, I am the founder of "Healing The Storm Ministry" an outreach for veterans and those suffering from PTSD. The focus of "Healing the Storm Ministry" is to help people find spiritual peace in the midst of their life's storms.

6 thoughts on “GET A JOB”

  1. I am praying for you as you begin this new journey in life. These past few years have not been wasted years, they have been the training ground to equip you for ministry that you would not have been able to do otherwise. I am reminded of the story Preacher tells when he found out that his dad had committed suicide. His first reaction was to hide it and never tell anyone, but he knew that would never work. Soon after he told the congregation, he received a call from a church family who had just discovered a family suicide. One of their first words were we called you because we knew you know what we are going through. I am proud of you that you are choosing to face the fear of the unknown to once again fulfill your calling and passion. And the 50’s club isn’t bad at all, especially when you can start asking for a senior discount half way through! The only time it is bad is when the senior saints walk in the gym Mon- Wed- Fri, and they advertise for anyone 50 and older to join them….

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    1. Well I get a military discount so i’ll just stick to asking for that instead of the senior discount. Thanks for the support and for being my sister. Together we will see what God has in store for both of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kevin, it sounds like you have put a lot of time and effort to come to this very important decision and it looks like this is your next step toward moving forward to where God is guiding you.
    A good question is – are any of us ever truly healed from past problems or do we decide at some point that we do have to make the step to move on with life with all the help we receive from our religious beliefs. It sounds like that is where you are at this time and I agree that your calling was decided when you were a very young boy and you are doing just what The Lord wants you to do! Good for you and all prayers and wishes for you to continue along the road you were meant follow.
    If you had not be told you have PTST you would still have eventually retired from the Army and would have to decide what you would do with your life after the Army.
    You certainly have a lot of us standing with you in what ever you do. Love, Aunt Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Aunt Sharon, your words have meant a lot to me since I started this blog. Sometime I feel as though I had let you and Ralph down a bit by never getting a chance for promotion to Colonel. But your kind words have encouraged me so much and has been a big motivation to get me move forward again. I love you both.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kevin, it sounds like you’re at a crossroads and good for you that you’re contemplating your choices. I think ministering to others would be so fulfilling and I’m interested in how this works out for you.

    I have to admit that the thought of traveling sounds wonderful. My husband and I have already talked about what we’ll do when we retire and traveling is the plan. Who knows what the future will hold though. It’s nice to have the choice though. 😉 Great post….

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