Friday, November 14, 2008

Dead Cat Bouncing

This week, I learned about a term used in the investment world known as the 'dead cat bounce'. Now, the visual is pretty harsh (I don't like thinking about dead cats bouncing... or dead cats at all actually...), but the term describes a falling stock market that rapidly rebounds, only to drop again.

Well, this week I felt like I had my own dead cat bounce. Several weeks ago, I had a very spiritual experience that brought me closer to God, and gave me a bit of peace for the first time in a while. Compared to the darkness that loomed over me for the last several months, I was on the rise.

Then, a sequence of events happened at work. Because of circumstances beyond anyone's control, I saw my career progress screeching to a halt for the unforeseeable future. Between drops in the market and losing a staff member permanently, I no longer have the speedy timeline I was hoping for. No big deal, except that the entire financial aspect of my 2009 Plan was dependant on the immediate progress of my career.

I felt like I was just starting to pull myself out of a hole, when a big hand came down and flicked me back in.

Mostly, I felt silly for believing that this was really it, that things were actually going to change. Now, I know change will come someday, but I hate not knowing when. I'm a planner... so much so that I chose it for a career. Why am I so great at planning everyone else's success but my own?

So many times, so many plans, so many years, and I'm still waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting. So many "if this, than finally that", praying for the if's and never seeing the that's. I wonder if I read all my blog entries over the last few years, how many 'plans' I wrote about that never worked out. Depressing.

And that's why I don't read old entries!

Anyway, on the day when my plans came crashing down (a bit dramatic, I know), I drove myself home from work in tears. Because of my recent experience gaining comfort through spiritual music, I threw in my Jenny Phillips CD.

A first, I resented every word she sang. I didn't want to hear it! But I kept listening and soon a song I had never heard before began to play...

Like a ship that's worn, with a sail so torn,
drifting out to sea,
the wind is blowing in, and you're tossed again.
Is it time to leap behind the ship,
and walk to Him?

The anchor's gone, you're moving on
further from His arms.
Go to Him. Face the wind.
If you trust enough, His mighty love
will get you through.

Do you believe that the seas
will hold your feet if you go?
Close your eyes, feel Him in sight,
walk to what you know is true.
And He will not fail you.

Give up your fear. Let go of doubt.

Lay down your load. Let it go.

As I listened to the words, I imagined the Apostle Peter and the incredible faith he had as he stepped off that boat onto the water, and walked toward Jesus.

Right now, I don't have the faith to step off that boat. I am still clinging to the edge: scared, doubtful and tossed around. But I am working on it. Someday, I hope I can let go. I can imagine how wonderful that would feel.

In the meantime, maybe 'dead cat bounce' is not the best way to describe this week. Maybe I just took a tumble and had a rough landing. If that is the case than someday, in true cat-like form, I'll have to land on my feet. Right?

And the journey continues...


Life and its troubles can do one of two things.
It can make you better or bitter.
I have experienced both,
and better is better.


Brenda said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. With all my plans that have come and gone, I have begun to redefine my understanding of the word "faith." I used to think that faith was the "confident assurance that what you hope will happen will come to pass." This was actually written on a card given to me by my MIL and now taped to my mirror. I now think that faith means "trusting that God will do what is best for you, despite what you think about it." Not as elegant, but more accurate I think.

In another analogy, perhaps you don't have to "let go of the boat," but rather be carried. Through all my emotions in the last 3 years, I have begun to really believe that God is carrying me through all of this. Because Lord knows, I couldn't do it by myself.

Hope that you land on your feet soon...

Emily said...

Sometimes these unexpected turns take us to an an entirely new destination. Here's hoping the end result is better than you could have ever imagined.
Stay strong...

Brock said...

We need to sit down and chat!! Ditto is the only thing I can say right now... I love you.

Amy Nielson said...

Michelle - I'm so sorry. One of the things in this life that I understand the least and is so frustrating to me is WHY young, unmarried girls can get pregnant so easily and so many wonderful ladies, like you, who would make a good home for a child can't get pregnant and has to go through so many struggles along the road. You have probably wondered the same thing many, many times. I hope that one day, when you have lots of kids :), you can look back at these years and have a little understanding of why you had to go through all this.

Shannon said...

Beautiful post. Thank you for that.

Luna said...

So insightful. What great perspective. It is always so nice when things align a little and appear to lighten up a bit.

I really needed this post right now.

Amy said...

I'm a planner myself. Over the past few years I've had to slowly let that go. It hasn't been easy. I like to control my surroundings. But God has shown me time and again I need to give Him the control and let Him plan my life. It's not easy by any means, but I know His plan is so much greater than my own. Good luck!