Bossy, bossy, bossy. As a three and four year old I couldn’t stand the way I got bossed by my five older brothers and sisters. Being the youngest was no picnic and I prayed quite diligently for a little sister who I could boss. My prayer was granted and later was added onto with another couple of siblings.
From the time I began to take an active part in our daily chores I would make up games to go along with the work I did. My imagination was constantly brimming with ideas and I delighted in pulling my siblings into the fun with me. Seemingly half my childhood was spent acting like I worked at a retreat center. I am now head cook at a private retreat center.
Tenth birthdays were a big deal in our family. Stay-up-all-night-and-eat-all-the-ice-cream-you-want big. I looked forward to that day for years, then I was greeted with a glorious autumn day and the stomach flu.
Going to Peru, South America for several months to help some missionaries was top of my list from the time I was fifteen and onward. Then, right after I turned eighteen, I found out there was a chance for me to go. With scarcely two weeks notice, I was packed and was on my way to South America.
Having Lyme disease from the age of fourteen until I was in my twenties wasn’t what I’d dreamed of. The pain, aloneness and misunderstandings seemed to stretch on forever.
When I was a child I thought this day would take forever to come. Twenty-two was an age fixated in my little-girl brain since before I even dreamed of being a writer. It’s alluring factor dates back to the day when I asked Mom how old I had to be before I could get married and she answered with the magical number of twenty-two.
Of course at that age I thought life was simple and steady. Mom said I wasn’t allowed to get married until I was twenty-two, so of course that meant I’d have my wedding all planned out, an engagement ring on my finger and then just calmly wait until my birthday arrived so I could have the wedding, right?
Looking at my life I see a quilt of hidden dreams brought to life, yearnings left unfulfilled, desires granted, fantasies crushed and goals realized. Some of those silly daydreams I dreamed up? They’ve become my reality. Some of those scarily-huge requests I prayed for? They’ve been stamped with approval. Ideals that were a big deal to me have faded into the background. Tear-inducing petitions have been answered no. The glitter of previous aspirations have turned dull.
Life has a way of changing us. Changing our outlook, the way we see life. The word important takes on varying shapes and forms, morphing over time and emerging as something more real than before.
If you had told me as a child that at twenty-two I would be a published author, I would have been giddy with excitement. If you would have told me at the same time that I wouldn’t be married or have any plans of getting married in the near future, I probably would have thrown a hissy fit. Today? It doesn’t bother me a bit. I know I’m where I’m supposed to be and I’ll gladly continue on this path until God shows me a new direction to take.
If you would have told me as a child that at twenty-two I would have been to South America, Asia and Europe, my eyes would have sparkled with the sheer delight for the upcoming adventure. At the same time, if you would have told me that I was going to be sick for seven years, I would have wilted with panic. Today I look back and I see how God sustained me through everything. How He gave me strength when I needed it most and helped mold me into the person I am today.
Life isn’t always easy. It isn’t cut and dry. It doesn’t follow an exact science. Life is about trusting, leaning, learning and growing in Him. At times I’ve wished I could see into the future. I want to know what to expect, what to prepare for. In reality though, I don’t want to know. Living one day at a time provides the need for faith. I serve a God who can see into the future. He isn’t bound by time, space, or the law of gravity. He is and that is all I need.
As I slip and slide into the twenty-second year of my life, I’m excited about the future, amazed with the past and in awe that I get to live a life guided by the God of creation. It’s scary, but what’s life without a bit of adventure and uncertainty?