Life right now is a series of severe trials. It seems like many I know are going through extreme hardship for one reason or another--employment, finances, relationships, family problems, health. Certainly these things go on all the time, but it just feels worse than usual right now.
Very rarely do I hear the Lord speaking to me in an almost literal fashion, but a few years ago He asked me: "How deep is your faith?" I've been struggling to answer that question since then. Okay, let me just be painfully honest--I've been avoiding the question since then.
But I believe He was preparing me for the trials I am facing now. And I am finding, unfortunately, that my faith, my spiritual maturity, is lacking (still feeding on milk instead of solid spiritual food). Instead of trusting God to bring me through it, I whine and moan and groan. But I need to trust Him to bring me through it; to trust that there is a reason for all the current suffering.
But what I wanted to focus on instead is that sometimes, encouragement and joy come from unexpected sources. And for me right now, that unexpected source of joy is...HTML.
Yep. You heard that right and I'm not insane (okay, maybe I am, but...). On September 21st, I began taking a class on Creating Web Pages. I knew that regardless of my career choices down the road, any self-employed or freelance work I chose to do would require a website, and I simply can't afford to pay someone to craft a website for me. Which means learning to do it myself.
And I am finding that I very much enjoy learning HTML. It requires extended periods of concentration, it requires creativity AND logic, and you have something tangible to show for your efforts when you are done. It truly is like learning a new language, techno-geek style.
Just as God allows trials in our lives for a certain season & reason, so too, He brings other things into our lives at a certain time. Taking this web design course now is a way for me to focus my energies on something where I can actually achieve results, where I can sit and concentrate, where I can learn something that will ultimately help not only myself, but help others too.
It is very labor intensive--I spent about 4 hours today brainstorming what I want my future author website to look like, and another 3 hours on the latest class lesson, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I felt fulfilled. Like I'd actually accomplished something worthwhile. That is a feeling that has been missing in my life for a while.
I like the course so much, I've already signed up for the Introduction to CSS and XHTML class to build on the skills I'm learning now.
Other things in life may at present seem dark and ghastly, but I'm so grateful to have this class to feel productive and to have skills that will come in handy no matter what I tackle in the future. I'm thankful this class came my way for just such a time as this.