Do you ever wonder if you're on track in the life you're living? Is this what you're supposed to like, where you're supposed to be living, what you're supposed to be doing, when you're supposed to "dream big" or "be realistic," why your reality is the way it is, and how you're supposed to make changes? I'm sure it's natural to question (notice I covered WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW because I'm "good like that"...LOL) without the questions being a crisis in faith necessarily.
When I was teaching high school history (which sometimes feels like forever ago, and other times feels like just yesterday), one of the motivational posters I had displayed in my classroom said, "Shoot for the moon...even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." I was just outside with my fur babies (aka Logan and Lexie, the dogs that have adopted me) and noticed the chill in the air, the smell of burning leaves (which is intoxicating among other favorite scents) and the stars with crescent moon in the night sky. The thought occurred to me that I don't really remember or understand all the science about the moon or stars, but I can appreciate them for being there just the same. It's like a glimmer of light providing a glimmer of hope that there really is a universe beyond my comprehension with a God that rules and understands it all.
Then I started the mental playback of some recent conversations I had. Each of the individuals was encouraging me to "reach for the stars" or "shoot for the moon" and not to sell myself short with who I can be, where I can go, what I can do, why I generally thrive even in less than ideal circumstances, how I can succeed with future plans, and when the "master plan" will come to pass. Of course, I'm also thinking about the MASTER's plan too. How do you know when it's right and when you're just out of God's will? Does putting yourself out there with your plans mean you're shooting for the moon, reaching for the stars or falling out of orbit?
Pretty much everybody knows my life verse is Jeremiah 29:11-13, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not harm for you, plans to bring about good for your future." That doesn't mean I don't plan because, well, quite frankly, I'm good at planning. I've planned my education and career, as well as planned corporate and family/friend events, parties, weddings (even my own--which may have been a waste of time, but it was fun to think about details anyways), etc. I'm not where I thought I would be at age 32 (yes, I admitted it, so I hope you were sitting down when you read this blog entry Brianna and Mama Jo) when I was planning my future back in the days of high school and college. I'm not who I thought I would be either...in some instances, I'm a better person and in others I'm far removed from the woman I want(ed) to be. Life is not how I imagined it...it's more real than ideal. How the romanticized optimism has remained over the years is questionable/laughable.
The biggest question is WHY DO I WANT WHAT I DON'T HAVE instead of living more in the moment?!?! I am alive. I have a family that loves me, even if they don't understand me. I have friends who brighten my world with who they are and how they support and challenge me. I have two dogs who think I'm awesome enough that they haven't run away even when they escaped the house before I had the leashes connected to their collars. I have a roommate who is responsible enough to be on time with his share of the rent and utilities. I have an amazing career where I can make a difference, grow as a professional and person, interact with stellar educational leaders and work alongside very talented faculty/staff. I have a rewarding opportunity to serve my community thanks to my commitment to Victoria Fire & Rescue as a volunteer EMT-E. I have a family of faith that extends beyond brick and mortar of one particular church building and am blessed to worship and study God's Word at NCF or VUMC. I survived bulimia, two abusive relationships, and addiction to alcohol. I am stronger, braver, brighter, funnier, prettier, etc. than I give myself credit for ever. Why do I focus on the one thing missing in this picture of my "perfect world"? I have plenty of love in all of the above. I need to accept what is with more of God's grace and trust in His plans and timing for that special someone and the higher education goals too. I need to stay grounded in (and grateful for) reality, but shoot for the moon so I can land among the stars. The future really is as bright as the promises of God!!
Love and prayers,