No, it does not have to stay this way

I am not meant to sit in a cubicle day in and day out.  The fact that I am miserable doing this, and vocal about being miserable seems to illicit different responses from people.  One being that I am too negative.  I agree and I am trying to work out how to change that.  Another being that it is just a part of life.  “It’s just life, you do what you have to do.” They say that about me having to leave my baby with other ladies 40 hours a week in a day care too.  I disagree with them.

Tonight I watched a show that touched me so deeply because it reminded me of people.  Not paperwork or bankruptcy or law or offices or 9 to 5, but of people.  It reminded me of how I felt out on the streets in Bournemouth over those 2+ years working with Jon (the then nightclub chaplain), spending hours walking the streets all through the nights, meeting people, building relationships with the bouncers, seeing people crying, sitting with the drunks, seeing the fights, seeing the sick, laughing with the drug addicts, seeing THEM.  I loved them then and I love them still.  I loved their stories and I miss them so much tonight that my heart is aching.

What I was born to do is a difficult question for me to answer. What I was NOT born to do is easier for me to answer right now. I was not meant to sit in a cubicle. That is why I am miserable.

Now, when I explain this conclusion that I’ve come to to people, as I’ve said, they tend not to hear what I am saying. I have a few theories on this. One is that their experience is that you do what you have to do. You sit in a cubicle for years, you work hard, you live unsatisfied in some ways and you enjoy your family and the weekends until you retire, if you have enough money to retire. Even though I do not agree with them, I honor their ability to put their heads down and plow through the long days in whatever job it was that they did not enjoy. I have said before that I tend to lack what most people have: the strength to endure something that makes me unhappy.  Something in me fights and writhes and hurts and I am too weak to keep on going in it. I admire the stronger people. I am always having to look for more. A lot of the time I wish that wasn’t so, but then I wouldn’t be me.  Two is that they feel that they are unhappy and have settled in life and so should everyone else. I reject that 100%. Just because they were told that doesn’t mean it’s true for me.

So, anyway, it’s late and I’ve written out a lot (not all, but a lot) of what was swirling around in my head concerning all of this.

If I do have to work in a cubicle until I retire or die, then I will not love my job, but I hope that I will do a better job at loving people.  But I am going to fight when I pray for things to change for me so that I can live life satisfied in more areas than one or two. I believe God’s will is for us to help him tell His story in the unique way that each of us was born to.

Elijah woke up for his late night feeding a few paragraphs ago and while I held him and cuddled him and fed him I got overwhelmed by joy. That is the best feeling and the biggest blessing in life ever. If I do end up fighting against the tide my whole life, at least I’ll have a great big spot of joy… having Elijah and Patrik and my three beautiful nieces. It’s with them that I have enjoyed love and life the most so far and I am learning that with my stepsons too.  Joy is beautiful and it makes me whole inside. I know God when I know joy… it reminds me the most of Him in this sometimes long and lonely journey. If you do not know it yet, I hope that you will find it and receive it. I will pray that you do. If it is there, but you haven’t seen it, I will be praying that you see it. God’s heart wants us all to know love, and that is the bottom line. I don’t ever recall Jesus telling anyone “you just do what you have to do.”  He told them and He’s telling us, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” And, man, I want truth and life to the fullest.



7 thoughts on “No, it does not have to stay this way

  1. Shannon, I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile (well you know, since you posted it) and I really believe it doesn’t have to be like that! All I can think of is the vision I had of you “Joan of Arc in City Market”. Joan of Arc wouldn’t sit in a cubicle. Know what I mean?

  2. Yeah, that’s the frustrating thing… I believe that. And people say it to me, but there’s no other way to make money to eat and pay rent. So, even though you say that… what’s the alternative? Got to feed the family and pay the bills! I’ve been praying for years! I hope I get some inspiration and direction.

  3. Shan… I agree with Jen re: Joan, etc. And I understand your frustration in it all. You know that I did the corporate bit FOR YEARS and felt like I was dying from the inside out at times. It honestly p*sses me off that you’re stuck in that damn cubicle. Really. It’s like you’re Paul in prison. I too ask the Lord – WHY is Shannon stuck there when she could be of better use somewhere else?! You have SO MUCH MORE TO GIVE.

    I saw this quote on someone’s blurg the other day: “There is nothing better for a man than to love his family, eat his food, love his toil, and praise God. For that is his lot.” I KNOW you’re doing all of these… and I am going to BELIEVE alongside you that cubicle work will not be your lot forever. But in the meantime, how can we help you LOVE your lot, Shan?

    Thank you for being REAL. You encourage me to be transparent and honest and true. I love you, friend. And I cannot wait to see you and The Fam in 3 weeks! We will get on our faces before our Heavenly Father and pray about this, okay? Until then… I am praying with and for you now.

  4. What I meant was “LOVE YOUR TOIL”. Somehow TOIL doesn’t muster up a lot of LOVE in any of us. I guess that’s where Jesus intervenes… But what does that LOOK like? I do not know.

    • Thank you Alaina and thank you Jen!! Let me think about how you could help me love my toil… that’s a really good question… one to ponder and YES!!! THANK YOU for praying and believing in me and for me!!!!!! YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!!!!! (and by the way, my middle name is Lorraine and it means little fiery warrior because that is the province in france that joan of arc is from) (and also, do you think I’ll have to be burned at the stake like she was? Let’s hope not, unless it’s a really cold day…)

  5. I think you can get off from being burned at the stake. Although maybe it might be in the form of effigy or a personal sacrifice? Just a thought!

    I don’t know how it all will play out in day to day life Shannon, but God is love and God gives us the love we have for others and things we enjoy. You don’t have passion burning inside you to sit idle, you have fire burning to live and we see that and we love that in you!

  6. HERE! HERE! I agree with all what Jen said. Well put, Jen.

    Shan, our human eyes and limited understanding cannot make sense of this Train Stop where you are currently parked. And it is just that… ONE STOP on the journey that is your ENTIRE LIFE. (Geez… so sorry I’m gettin’ all “Guidepost” up in here!)

    The cubicle is underneath your skin for a REASON… let us help you figure out what that reason is and MOVE ON. Dunno if we’ll have many answers this side of Heaven (re: REASON), but how can we help you MOVE ON prayer-wise and practically speaking (i.e. getting your tail outta there in THE NATURAL)?? Do you wanna brain-storm some options when I’m in Savannah? If I’m pushing too hard for change – let me know.

    Most importantly – know that JESUS ADORES YOU and doesn’t want you to rot away in an office. He has you in that Mission Field for a purpose… and it IS just that – a mission field. Though not as glamorous as being a Night Club Chaplain in the UK or sharing Jesus with folks all over Europe… it’s a place to be a missionary nonetheless. I know you already know this 😉

    You, Shannon LORRAINE, have the passionate fires of Christ BURNING in you and it literally turns people’s heads toward NOT SHANNON, but JESUS. I know this cause Jesus changed my life THROUGH YOU!! I was dead in my Elder Brother ways and Jesus turned my world on it’s head through Shannon Lorraine Byous Ruddy. TRUTH. Keep seeking Christ’s face, bathe in His Word, and let Him guide you, Dearest. I know you already do, but I wanted to encourage you in the new day. I LOVE YOU, SISTER!

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