Today is my birthday. I've made it to twenty-one. You can't help but reflect over the past year and life what you wanted and what you have on your birthday. I certainly am doing that today. There are a lot of good feelings and bad feelings and that's okay. Life is full of the beautiful and the difficult.
A few weeks back I was looking through my dresser and found one of my many journals that I thought I had lost. I wrote an entry 10 years ago on my 11th birthday about who I wanted to be at 21. Here I am sitting in front of my laptop 10 years later on my 21st birthday pondering my then hopes and dreams and wondering if I have lived up to the person I hoped to be.
"In 10 years I will be 21 I want to be different in many ways: I want to serve God with all my heart and act in a Godly manner, I want to be a Virtuos women, I want to serve the church.
Let's put it this way: I'm not "there" yet, but I am closer, I keep moving in the right direction, and so for that I am hopeful. Better than I was, but I still have a long way to go.
As to the sentence I crossed out. I had a very difficult and confusing few years at home. My dad was not the best dad by a long shot. I suppose I must have scribbled that part out in an angry moment. I could go into that some more, but that's another story for another day. I just don't have the energy for it now.
Twenty-one. Wow. If you look at the bottom of the picture you will see that I doodled a stick figure of myself, a dust pan, a broom, and a vacuum. The words spoke of where I wanted to be inwardly and spiritually, the doodles told where I wanted to be physically. I had great and many domestical plans, my whole life was mapped out. I was to be married by my 18th birthday. By now I should have at least 3 children and be a foster mom. I should have moved from Florida and be living in a old, creaky house somewhere where there are seasons. Married homeowner with kids. Hmmm.....
And then there are a lot of things I did not plan for. I never thought that on May 21st it will be 8 years since my family had to flee from my Dad. I never thought that it will be 3 years since I last saw him. I never thought that I would be working full-time to help support a family of five. Or that I'd have dealt with so much crap in my lifetime, leaving me a little broken and a lot confused. Life doesn't always go as planned.
Maybe that's a good thing. I'm fairly certain that had I gotten married before I turned 18 I would have screwed it up pretty badly. Babies and children are wonderful, but growing up before you have them is even wonderfuller. Maybe I will leave Florida someday, but I had to learn a lesson in contentment and to "bloom where I'm planted" first. I don't really understand why all that happened to my family happened but I do know that freedom from my Dad saved my life. That is not an overstatement. It's a messy thing: divorce. I hate it vehemently, but sometimes and in certain situations it is the only option and in my case it really did save my life. I still don't know how I feel about working full time...is it possible for me to resent and hate it but at the same time totally love that I can serve my family in this way? I oscillate between loving and hating work a million times a day.
Where I am physically is not what I had intended and not what I would have chosen. But, still I am overall happy. Happy with me. I can't remember the last time I was able to say this. I have much that still needs unlearning and relearning and breaking and mending and reshaping and bulldozing and all that fun, sanctifying stuff. But I'd be remiss if I didn't recognize the evidence of grace and the growth in my life. God is good and He is faithful and has done and is doing a great work in me. I am gentler, slower to speak, kinder, happier, more content, purposeful. Guys, I am not naturally any of those things at all. But somehow, miraculously, I am becoming that and I love it.
So, that's where I'm at this May 11th, 2013.
Also I am re-reading for the umpteenth time this blog post. My thoughts exactly.