I want to go somewhere, go somewhere in search of something. Something real, something enduring. I want to seize hold of life…” _Shusaku Endo
Yesterday, the 14th of May 2016, was the marked day for my departure to Laos. Was. Planned, packed, and nearly ready to go, one day in April I was informed that my marketing job (the one that would financially support my plans for Laos) was coming to an end that month. Oh. Great. The blow struck heavy and took a few weeks to process. Once again my plans had been forced to cede to plans greater than my own. I was at a crossroads that I had tried to avoid for years: I would have to lay aside plans for Asia and invest in staying stateside for a little while. My 3 hour daily commute to work would not stand for long term, neither would the car I was borrowing. This meant buying a car. Next, renting an apartment closer to Dallas and my job. This meant investing in staying. In the span of one phone call, my life had swung completely the opposite way in which I was hoping, forcing me to walk down a path I was wroth to even consider. Staying.
If my dreams were matter, the lifestyle I am currently living would be anti-matter. Acidic to alkaline. Black to white. Sahara to Siberian tundra.
When the screaming of my heart gets a little too loud, I go running. I hurdle myself along the treeline, ducking past vines and birds, splashing through last night’s rain-and then I stop. I close my eyes and breathe deeply. I pray, trying to make sense out of confusion. Then I listen. God’s been showing me how this-this wall of opposites, this pile of choices I was trying furiously not to choose-is an adventure in its own right. For all of my passionate love of a good challenge, I despise challenges I don’t want. I like to choose my fate, thank you very much.
In society, if you are 27 and neither a wife/mother nor a career woman, you are a waif. A possible failure of an adult. I can only have a certain control over these things before they’re totally out of my control…so what does one do? Well my answer was to try, and try, and try, and try very hard and with much passion for a lifestyle where I didn’t need to be a wife or a corporate woman. One that held my passions for the world and its cultures and Jesus. However….I’m fighting and I’m failing. There’s a brick wall in my way and I cannot move it, or move past it yet I’ve kept on fighting until I’ve reached my utter end.
Slowly, God is unfolding His plans in front of me one tiny corner at a time. Mostly, He is showing me that Life is not some greatly awaited prize of a future I’ve dreamed of. Life is here and now and it can be such an adventure to take on the challenges of living in the moment. Wow, earth shattering epiphanies. I wish I could tell you that I’m going to Taiwan in the fall, or Mongolia or China. I’m nannying until the fall, and then perhaps I’ll find a non-profit organization to work with that works with children. Perhaps I can marry my artistic abilities with my maternal ones in some sort of career. Honestly, I’ve given up trying to guess my future. I can’t even tell you which part of Dallas I’m moving to yet.
So while I’ve had a heartbreaking few weeks, mourning the loss of dreams, I’ve also had some transformations. The person I was up until a few weeks ago was a person curled up and braced, wincing for change. I was curled around my dreams protectively, eyes shut until the moment I would be catapulted out of this country and into another. Then I would open my eyes and start to invest in living. But since that isn’t happening, I’ve slowly had to unfurl myself and open up here in this place. It feels like a hand that’s been curled for too long in sleep and now tentatively each finger has to be stretched open and flexed. I’ve decided to put my war paint on and scope out the unknown land of Staying, honoring it for the adventure it is
So life lessons are plenteous and dreams are…..well dreams are still dreams and a sore subject, but they’re also turning into lessons. God, who knows my fighting heart to its core, is my brick wall. His utter Grace keeps me from decisions made in haste and poor judgement, It listens patiently to my arguments, holds me when I’m defeated and redirects me when I’m ready to listen.