The older I get, the more time flies by.
I get flashes of the past. I see Clay drumming on his car dashboard late nights after I should have gone in my house. I see arms surrounding me when I disclosed my habits with self harm. Alex driving his car down the wrong road, belly laughing that somehow, we would get to where we were going. I see Nicole on my computer screen as we swapped dating stories. Running a motorized shopping cart into a wall, laughing hysterically with my friends.
They were the days that felt like the sun shone just for me. And I wonder how much time I wasted feeling inadequate. How many times I waited until it was too late.
Some day, you wake up and your life doesn’t look like anything it could have been.
People will tell you that you get to write your own story. It’s true – to an extent. You have the power to make decisions and each time you say yes to one thing, you say no to something else.
But you can’t force someone to love you.
You can’t will yourself into any job you want.
Cancer happens. Loved ones move across country just when you’re getting close. You get fired. Your wife walks away from her faith….and you.
As much as we would like to believe that we are masters of our own destiny, there are a million other lives and nuances intertwined with your life and regardless of how much we say we already know this, the world does not revolve around our wants and needs.
A man’s heart plans his course but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Imagine running down this course and so far everything is going your way. You got that degree, the job came just in time, you got the girl perfectly suited for the life you want. You think, I am walking hand in hand with the Lord. Favor overwhelms me.
And then you lose the job. The girl walks away. Everything you had has left you and you wonder if somehow, you did something wrong. Maybe you didn’t hear God right. Maybe you took a wrong turn.
Your education tells you God is sovereign but your heart is deceitful. It lies to you at every turn.
I was sitting with a new friend today for lunch and telling her my life’s plan at 18. I was going to be a missionary overseas, adopt a little girl, lead a quiet life with just my daughter and myself.
But God closed that door a few years later. Mission organizations don’t send people with disabilities overseas. A devastating blow but I eventually moved forward.
It’s easy to look at the good old days and wonder what your life would look like if just a few things had gone differently.
What if the destruction of the life we thought we wanted to live is what brings us to the other side of His sovereignty? What if, by saying yes, we were brought to the life He intended for us?
I remember moving to the Valley, my curly hair sticking to my face as I made it here with $30 in my pocket. It was the scariest time in my life and also the best. Truthfully, I wish all the time that I could redo that first year. I wish I had found a doctor. I wish I had gotten diagnosed sooner. What a life it could have been.
But what a life it is.