I’ve thought an awful lot about fulfillment lately: what it means to be fulfilled; the difference between fulfillment and contentment – if there is a difference.
• “the state or quality of being fulfilled”
• “the act or state of fulfilling”
• “to carry out, or bring to realization”
• “to perform or do”
• “to satisfy”
• “to develop full potential of”
I realized not too long ago that I’m not currently fulfilled in what I’m doing. I’m not satisfied, don’t feel like I’m living up to my full potential. I’m bored. I feel that God demands more from me. I have learned a great deal in cardiothoracic surgery, but I don’t feel used, don’t feel I’m living up to my full potential, don’t feel fulfilled.
Texas has been good to me in many ways, but it hasn’t been all that I had expected it to be. Different truths than my previous expectations don’t mean it has been bad or not good, just different than what I had expected.
Church has been hard. Very very hard. I’m not sure what I’m looking for, not sure where I belong. I believe that American churches aren’t really designed for single people. It’s not intentional or purposeful, but church compliments families and single people sometimes just don’t fit. You’re supposed to grow up, get married, have children. When you don’t people unconsciously wonder what’s wrong with you, wonder why you’re different. Married women my age with children are busy raising a family. Married men my age are hesitant to talk to me, because, of course, I’m looking for a husband and may attack them. Older people want to send me to the college class because that’s where the single people are (even though we are in very very different places in life). Older women want to think of every single man in church and begin planning a meal where they can invite both of us for a “friendly” dinner. Or worse than that, people just simply don’t talk to me. I become invisible and don’t matter. It’s no wonder so many people stop going to church when they move or get divorced or grow up different (single, not married).
I’ve been to 12 churches since I moved to Dallas. I will eventually find my place. It just takes time.
There are moments of fulfillment, of joy; even at the most unexpected times and during the most unexpected activity (like when I’m inflicting pain).
It was a Sunday. I was not at church. I did not speak the Spanish. I was more fulfilled though and more spiritually moved in that moment than I had been in quite some time. Sometimes church is found outside of walls and in small rooms with people who speak the same language as you, the one of love, of hope, of thanksgiving.