Paralyzed.  Paralyzed by questions. People ask me a lot of questions these days.  And I can handle one, but when they start to string off a lot, I become paralyzed.  At least that is what my brain feels like.  Like it can’t complete the full thought.  I can still only think a few days out.  Maybe the month.  Others try to think for me or put thoughts in my head… and I can’t process all of that.

Paralyzed. Paralyzed by culture.  It has been odd at times feeling like I still don’t belong.  The culture is moving at such a pace and I can’t keep up.  And it is overwhelming to the point where I just give up.  It seems like so much has changed.  People’s lives.  How they relate.  What their priorities are.  As well as mine.  The causes that people choose to support.  The whole political state right now.  I cannot immerse myself in culture, because I do not feel as if it is my culture any more.  I cannot follow conversations.  And I cannot remember things that used to come easy.

Paralyzed.  Paralyzed by decisions.  In the grocery store there is a whole aisle of chips.  And I like 50% of them.  I avoid that aisle.  Because I can’t decide.  I have come to be accustomed to about 10 chips to choose from, seven of which are too spicy for me.  And so I always choose the same one.  Then there’s the decisions that matter.  Like where to look for jobs, what to do with my time, who to focus on, where to jump back into life.  Do I grow roots again and make friends, or am I just touching down again.  These are the decisions that paralyze me as I over analyze.  I feel as if I am still to sit.  And wait.  That God is preparing that for me and it is not available yet.

One place where I have not been paralyzed was in the classroom.  I had the opportunity to teach middle school woodshop, which I have been doing since I’ve been back.  And I have been grateful for so many things that happened during this time.  It helped to unparalyze my brain as I was able to create and had purpose and use the artistic side of my brain.   Students asked me questions about spacing of nails, types of sandpaper, and staining techniques.  I designed projects and even taught myself how to change sanding belts and saw blades.  I liked the challenge and it allowed my brain to function in having vision and being able to problem solve.  One girl asked me how I knew so much about wood, and I chuckled.  Because I probably knew more than her, but I am no expert.  I truly look at this time as a gift that God gave me, reminding me of the love I have to teach others and encourage them when they feel they are unqualified.

And so as I focus on what is still paralyzing to me and areas that I need to explore, I am pressing into what God has for me. Listening to His voice.  Knowing that this is a journey, and that God has led me to this point, with purpose.  I need to be able to slow down. To not immerse in the culture.  And to be whom God has created me to be.

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