Exhibits 1-6

I haven’t clicked the “write” button up on the top of the WordPress homepage for a while. And part of that is that I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be writing right now, which sometimes leads me to not write at all.

This is surprising, because I kind of thought I’d be a blogger for a long time. Perhaps it was a season that is ending.

My Saturday mornings are often times of reflection. It’s when I can rake up all the thoughts that have fallen to the ground during the week and examine them before I put them in the yard waste container or press a few between the pages of a book (YES that is a fall metaphor, because there is no better metaphorical season and I’m milking this for all it’s worth).

Seth and I went to the driving range last night, which is in itself such a strange sentence. Mostly because I never pictured myself as the kind of girl who goes to the driving range on a Friday night, much less dates a guy who wants to take her to the driving range on said Friday night, EVEN LESS enjoys going to the driving range and was the one to suggest it.

Who am I? What have I become?

I picture God chuckling as I think these things, because he’s surprised me so many times over the past few years, taking the vision I’d cast for myself and blurring it. Then he redirects my focus, sometimes gently, sometimes not. And here I am. I imagine the same will be true in a few years. This is the life of faith.

I’d like to give a list of all the things I’m surprised by in my life right now. It’s a way of reminding myself how little happened that I wanted/expected but how the disillusion of those plans brought me here.

  1. If I expected to be working in publishing, the last place I expected to find myself was in a Sales department. My year working Phonathon, short stint as a cold caller, and dislike of upselling or trying to get someone to open a credit card at my retail job all pointed me away from that field. Yet, here I am, working in sales support and both enjoying it and doing a decent job.
  2. As a teen, I found my church to be less life-giving than I wanted. I was ready to move on, even though I really loved a lot of the people there. I wasn’t growing there and thought, after college, I’ll go find somewhere else. Well, God both changed parts of that church and changed parts of me, and here I am, helping lead worship at the church I started attending when I was 8, with a lot of those same people. Totally unexpected.
  3. Speaking of leading worship, I learned not to see myself as a leader after high school student government burned me out. I do not like wrangling people. It exhausts me and feels fruitless. This opportunity to lead at my church, however, though it involves some volunteer wrangling, has been life-giving. It has also been difficult, stretching me and requiring me to adapt and let go of my need for human approval. Among the many things in my life that aren’t about me, leading worship tops the list. Partly because I didn’t expect to be doing this, I didn’t expect for God to refine and shape me in ways that equip me to lead people in worship and to work with a team of people to do it. I’m amazed as I look back just a year at all God has done in our group of leaders and in our church.
  4. Speaking of that group of leaders, this may be the thing that has surprised me the most: I DID NOT expect to meet a single guy at my church, based on the demographics of young marrieds and older marrieds and older singles who propagate my church. I was resigned to and pretty much content with not meeting someone at church. Like, who was there to meet? Also, it’s fine if the rest of the world is a hunting ground for a spouse, but like, really, I should be focused on God at church. And isn’t it just so nice to get to develop these wonderful relationships with the people who are there? These were my thoughts. The church in general does not (typically) attract singles, even less single guys around my age. Also, I find very few single guys in the church that I’d want to be with. (To sum up, there are so very many reasons why this should not and could not have happened) But there he was, at my church, interested in being on a brand-new worship team and offering up his many talents. There is a much longer story to tell here, but reader, I’m dating him. And still amazed at God’s good work there.
  5. On another note, I did not expect to still be doing laundry at my parents’ house. I was going to be more independent than that. I was going to use! quarters! and be! independent! But $$ add up when you wash a lot of towels and clothes and sheets. And sometimes you just need to go see your parents and have an excuse to stay there and get sound advice while your clothes are in the dryer.
  6. I also didn’t expect that I’d still deal with anxiety. This could be a much longer conversation, and the ways God has taught me and refined me through this are many. Most days it’s hardly there and the things I’ve learned about coping and thriving bring me through. Some days it rears its ugly head. I take the meds every day, and sometimes I remember to try to cast my anxiety on the one who cares for me, even in the most irrationally anxiety-producing situations. God has made me brave, not the kind of bravery that looks like bravery, but the kind of bravery that looks like normal living.

I could go on. I will, I’m sure, at some point.

This is not to say that I wasn’t disappointed that some of the other relationships in my life didn’t work out or that I wasn’t dismayed to find I needed to go back on my meds or that I didn’t cry a few times from the stress of starting something new and feeling like a failure.

All of that happened.

And more.

But this hindsight into the ways God has shown his grace and worked in my life to bring me to a place where I am growing and learning is helpful. Because the dreams I have right now might not come about. But I know that God is faithful. He’s faithful to guide the path and bring us to the place where he wants us.

And he has to be the one to do it. If you need proof, see exhibits 1-6 above.