Have you ever felt like you’re living the same day over and over again? Sure, you’re doing different things, but it’s essentially the same…
You work really hard, eat, sleep and do it all over again.
That’s what the entirety of 2019 has been like.
- What does this e-mail even say? The whole screen is blurry and I can’t concentrate.
- I need to make a call, but I feel like I’m going to throw up in my cubicle.
- I can’t work like this. Will I ever be able to keep a job? How are we going to survive?
That’s what life was…. making it through the day.
I had started working a 9-5 corporate job in January and I was exhausted. I prayed that God would get me through each hour, finally made it home, and I’d either cry or sleep the next 10 hours just because I was so tired. I spent my weekends trying to rest up to be able to do it the next week all over again.
After 3 months of this back and forth battle, Sam and I began to have serious talks about what it would look like to move back in with our parents. I didn’t know what else to do. I just knew after having to leave a wonderful job in 2018 and starting a corporate one that was taking a toll on me… this wasn’t working. I had had a low-grade fever all week and woke up the following Sunday morning and rushed to the toilet. My body was having a visceral reaction to my life’s circumstances and I knew then that it was time to leave. So I did.
We didn’t have a plan, but Sam knew my health was more important than making x amount of money. He kindly encouraged me to leave.
It was hard to put out content during all of this. It just didn’t feel genuine. I tried to put out videos that didn’t require me talking about anything going on in my personal life or about how I was feeling, but I just felt like a fraud. I was supposed to be helping people feel better and I was a hot mess. (Which I now realize is dumb because I have never claimed to be the perfect picture of health.)
I didn’t know how to talk to people in real life either. I didn’t want to hear:
- Oh, well, do you have a budget? This is what emergency funds are for.
- You just need to pray about it.
- Stop being so negative.
- What do you mean you ‘can’t’ work? If your parents were dead, what would you do then?
I don’t know… be homeless I guess?
I probably should’ve given people more grace to not understand everything I was going through. The world doesn’t revolve around me. But I just wanted to be loved through it. I think that’s what everyone wants.
I shut down. I became bitter that no one seemed to care what we were going through and I just didn’t seem to care about anything anymore. It just sort of felt like I was existing. Even God felt like this far away concept that I couldn’t wrap my head around. (It’s hard to spend consistent time with God when you have brain fog. It’s like when you read the same paragraph over and over, but no matter how many times you read the words, you can’t attach any sort of meaning to it.)
My first day of unemployment came and went. I was very much at peace with whatever plan God had for us. I wanted to stay where we were, but if that meant moving back home, I was okay with that too.
I had heard about VIPKID a few years ago because a good friend of mine was working for them while she was getting her Master’s Degree, but she was an education major and I hadn’t thought too much about ever teaching myself. In fact, I knew I had NO desire to teach at all! I am a hardcore introvert and I was not crazy about the idea of being around kids all day. (I’m not really a kid person either, haha!)
I had the strangest prompting that this was something I needed to apply to. So I did!
Working with VIPKID would give me the opportunity to work remotely, set my own schedule, and teach sweet Chinese students English. Although I am not necessarily a “kid person”, I loved the thought of getting to start my day by encouraging and serving someone else. I just felt so alone in everything I was going through and I wanted to be the encouragement to VIPKID students that I felt lacking in my own life and community (this great piece of life advice came from mom, of course).
When you feel an ache in your own heart, serve someone else.
So, I jumped in! I applied and was accepted to move forward immediately (a computer passes you through and you just need to have VIPKID’s basic requirements). I watched Youtube videos, studied the curriculum, and practiced “teaching” the demo lesson for my first interview. I was terrified to “teach” a pretend class to an adult. I felt like I was auditioning for my big debut as Molly from Molly and the Big Comfy Couch. Thankfully, the “audition” went well and I heard back that I passed the interview a few hours later!
I won’t bore you with the rest of the details of the hiring process, but the Lord helped me get through that too.
I signed my contract with VIPKID on April 27th and I taught my first class (and was fully booked for the following week) on April 29th.
This whole experience and the beginnings of 2019 have made me admire God and His Sovereignty in a whole new way. I am so grateful to Him for being able to be fully booked right off the bat. I’m thankful He brought me to the right people and mentors online who helped me learn how to be the best teacher I can be. I am thankful His ways are higher than mine and that He, ultimately, has a greater plan at work.
This isn’t the plan I would have chosen for myself.
A chronic digestive disorder.
A job I thought I was no good at.
Battling with a deep loneliness and anxiety.
But God allows it still. Why?
I don’t fully know. I’ve learned that spending all of my energy on “why?” isn’t always productive for me. I’m not one of those people that needs to know everything. I just know that my suffering and my questions bring me closer to my need for Jesus. And I am VERY thankful that working for VIPKID allows me to do more than just survive. It allows me to take care of myself, so I can have the mental clarity to study God’s Word again, to have a conversation with a dear friend, and to stop feeling like there is a dark cloud hanging over my head.
When you’re just “surviving”, you don’t feel like yourself.
And I get it. It’s hard to do anything more than “survive” when you battle chronic health issues. If there is anything the last 4 months have taught me, it is to prioritize your health (physical and spiritual) above trying to make it work. To take breaks and time to rest. You can’t pour from an empty cup. You can’t control everything. So work hard at what you can, give yourself grace, and give the rest to God.
You won’t worry yourself back to feeling better.
I’m still not a perfect human being. I am still dealing with hurt and feeling poopy, but I can actively work on forming better habits now. If you’re even 1% curious about VIPKID and if it can give you the time and financial freedom you’re looking for, just check it out!
Thanks for keeping up with my health journey. I feel loved by each of you lovely readers. I’d love to hear more about your story and how you manage to work with chronic illness in the comments below.