“ ‘Get leave to work—
In this world tis the best you get at all,
For God in cursing gives us better gifts
Than men in benediction.’
So wrote Elizabeth Barret Browning— and truly. It is hard to understand why work should be called a curse— until one remembers what bitterness forced or uncongenial labor is. But the work for which we are fitted— which we feel we are sent into the world to do— what a blessing it is and what fullness of joy it holds. I felt this today as the old fever burned in my fingertips and my pen once more seemed a friend. Leave to work! – one would think anyone could obtain so much. But sometimes anguish and heartbreak forbid us the leave. And then we realize what we have lost and know that it is better to be cursed by God than forgotten by Him. If He had punished Adam and Eve by sending them out to idleness, indeed they would have been outcast and accursed. Not all the dreams of Eden ‘whence the four great rivers flow’ could have been as sweet as those I am dreaming tonight, because the power to work has come back to me. Oh, God, as long as I live give me ‘leave to work’. Thus pray I. Leave and courage.”
–L.M. Montgomery, Emily’s Quest
This is an excerpt from my new favorite book series, which is actually quite old, from the author who wrote Anne of Green Gables. It was fitting even a few weeks ago as I started to get out of a funk produced by idleness and received some inspiration for a writing project, but it is even more fitting now as I begin my new job tomorrow after 6 long months of searching, praying, and waiting. It was rough on me at times (as some of you can relate to), but God sustained me and I know he accomplished some good things in my life during that time. Like patience, for one thing! And fostering my desire to work, rather than just wanting a job because I’m supposed to get one. And some growing up as I encountered new adult responsibilities and my finite ability to fulfill them at times, leading me to both grow in discipline and learn to rely on God more deeply. My experience also led many people in my life to pray for Ben and me, which I greatly appreciate, and I don’t know that all of them are people who pray regularly, so that right there makes it worth it. And, I guess I got to have one final summer “vacation”, didn’t I?
Maybe more of this will come into perspective as I start working (actually my first real full-time job ever), maybe not. And although I am emerging from the battle somewhat emotionally tired and battered, I’m also a little bit stronger. I’m sure the new experiences I am about to have will also grow and stretch me in new ways, as well.
I better get some rest for tomorrow, since I now have leave to work!