A Story Unwritten…
Many times I ask myself this question: “If when I am old and gray, looking back on my life, what would I say about it? How would I feel? How many preventable regrets would I have? Where would I have found my greatest joy and accomplishment?”
Believe it or not, that is not a fun question for me. Quite honestly it triggers a feeling of emptiness and guilt for me. I have always been one to keep regret at bay and run full speed ahead into anything that seemed like the best thing. I usually dictate decisions and answers based on a feeling or how it tugs on my heart strings. Since becoming a mom over nine years ago, all of my decisions are first met with, “How will it effect my children? Will they be okay? Will they thrive and be happy? Will they encounter opportunities that will allow them to grow and be impacted in a positive way?”
These seem like good, motherly concerns. Obviously I am putting them first. Any move, or decison my husband and I make always involves the good of the family unit. But about a week ago, I was pondering a choice I was about to make, I had been struggling very deeply because when I make a choice and begin a process, I determine to give it 100% and see it through until the end. That being said, I knew that if I chose to begin this certain thing, and it progressed, I would have to pursue it. I kept wondering and worrying about how this process and potential outcome would ultimately affect my children. Being the maternal caretaker that I am, I just want to shield them and protect them, and often times I neglect the things that I know I am meant to do because I cannot control how it will impact them. It was in that moment that God said to me: “Are you putting your children before My will? Before Me? Trust me, and allow me to take care of it”. Wow.
Sometimes when you are trying so hard to do the right thing, and taking all of the necessary steps, it is easy to get distracted by all of the “what ifs” and details that are just simply out of our hands. At the end of the day, I had to ask myself, “Why?” Why am I doing this? Sometimes making a choice to do something is an intentional step of faith. Knowing that some things are simply out of our control and in the grand scheme of things, a simple yes or no can determine the rest of your life. It is just finding the courage to say it.
As I said before, so many times I made decisions the wrong way. I have an intense hunger and thirst for adventure and one of my biggest fears and something I have determined NOT to do is become “stuck”. Living a life that is “safe” and “predictable”. God doesn't put us on this earth to live a predictable, controlled, risk-free, unsatisfying life, within the safety net of what we have always known. God gives us passions, desires, dreams, abilities, and a will. How will we use them? Of course, I have always believed you can be used anywhere as long as you are willing to be. You can open yourself up and bloom, or you can pull the petals back over your curled up self and lie dormant somehow hoping a sheltered prayer is enough to get by.
Sometimes moving in a different direction, when one has already been laid out for you just doesn't make sense. It was in a ‘now or never’ moment of clarity, and fear of becoming isolated and stuck that empowered me to make a choice. There was something very different this time though. Instead of leaping into the moment with the thrill and excitement of all of the potential adventures and freedom this choice could bring, it was cautiously laid before the feet of the One who I trust with every choice I make. It was taken back a few times, but quickly laid back down. Sometimes you have to release what you think you want to really know. It is amazing how much you can grow and what you can learn when you become unafraid to take a risk. You may not get what you think you want, but you will always get what is best for you. I am learning that living, really LIVING, is about growing. You cannot be unwilling to grow or you will miss out on so much.
What will come of this choice? We have NO IDEA. Maybe nothing. But everything that comes I know, will not be a result of a life story written by us. It will be a completed by the Author who has known the ending of our story even before we took our first breath. So, what would I say if I were an older version of me? I failed miserably at so many things. I endured my unfair share of happenings. I loved my children well and always tried my best to put them before myself. I was a wife who was stubborn, but eventually learned to trust and respect in a way that blessed my husband. I was determined not to be “stuck’”, but take every opportunity by the reigns and courageously live. I was a dreamer who sometimes lived with her head in the clouds, but the view from there was always better than the view from inside a closed up flower that never had the courage to take a risk and bloom.
Moral of this story? Don’t try to write your own. Sometimes just when you think you have your next chapter figured out, you will be surprised that it may or may not go how you thought it would. Or should. It is very unlikely that you will regret nothing. But the greatest regret of all is not sucking the most out of this life and being unwilling to allow moments of opportunity to go uncaptured. Do you have a choice to make? A dream you want to try one last time? Pray about it. How will you ever know the outcome if you don’t allow God to show you?