My younger, 18-year-old, idealistic self imagined a wide one lane highway stretched out to the horizon, with clearly marked milestones along the way.
College degree… Marriage… Career… Children…
Instead, my life has looked more like this:
- Decide that I don’t want to do anything related to my bachelor’s degree and take a job out of college in a different field. Sharp left turn.
- Decide half way through grad school in that new field that this is not it either. U-turn.
- Marry a man who is an adventurer and a dreamer. Take the scenic route.
- Have my first child. The car goes out of control and spins off the side of the highway into a ditch. I’m not hurt, but the car is totaled and my head is spinning. (I actually experienced a real car accident like this.)
- We move to a new state for a new job. We aren’t in Kansas, I mean California, anymore, Toto.
Maybe this is just my life. But maybe it’s yours too. It’s not cut and dry. There are so many twists and turns, dead ends and forks in the road. For me, a lot of those have been vocation related. For others, sickness and death of loved ones, mental health issues, or a million other life experiences feel like they throw us off course. Life is unpredictable.
An Inner Journey
The pastor who officiated my wedding ceremony understood life’s unusually winding journey and chose to highlight the story found in Scripture of Abraham’s journey for our wedding sermon. It could not have been more relevant for us. Abraham’s story is the one in which God called him to leave his father’s country and go to the land he would be shown. And so Abraham went, “even though he didn’t know where he was going”. It predicted the next few years for us well. We have seen several moves and new jobs in our seven years of marriage, as we both have wondered where we belong in the world. But the truth is that our outer wanderings, and even Abraham’s story, reflect a deeper inner wandering that is not uncommon to the rest of the human race. We are on a journey of discovering, or rather uncovering, who we really are, what is our true identity.
For my husband and me, our inner wanderings have often manifested as a search for the “right” vocation. For others, it may manifest itself in relationships, or in religious or non-religious choices. As we try on new things, we learn bits about who we are, and maybe a lot about who we are not. It feels frustrating at times. It can feel like running in circles. And sometimes it devastatingly feels like failure. Ask me how I know. But as we move forward, more and more pieces reveal themselves and we start to delight and engage in who God has created us to be. I know this because I have tasted it.
Come walk with me.
With all the social media platforms out there, it can often feel like we are the only ones that don’t have things figured out. But the secret is, a lot of us don’t, and I would venture to say, that none of us did at some point. We all must go through a journey of discovering who we are and learn to live from an authentic place. Because not many people are very open with this struggle, it can feel lonely. To have a companion on this journey can make all the difference.
I would love to walk with you. In this blog, I invite you to discover your true self, your child of God self, as I do likewise. As we discover who God created each of us to be, and climb out from under the fear and control, shame and guilt, we will come more and more alive and enjoy life in increasing abundance. This blog will focus on several major topics that I have struggled with as I’ve searched for my true self: parenthood, spirituality, personality, and vocation. Will you walk with me? Please feel free to share in the comments where you find yourself along the journey and what topics you might hope to hear about from me.