Check out my other blog: Arugula Addict! I'll be writing about my journey to becoming a healthier person.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Herein is Love

Are you finding value outside of your work? she asked. I looked at the thin black lines on my computer screen, their meaning for a moment as obscure as Egyptian hieroglyphics. Why was she asking me that question? Who gave her permission to peel back a layer of the thick woven barrier I kept tightly wrapped around me? I had to answer her.

No, I'm not, was my honest reply. My value was derived from my work, my studies, and my position as friend, sister, and daughter. I worked hard to keep it from devaluing, doing household chores for a family member, buying thoughtful gifts, anticipating tasks, doing extra credit homework even when I had 100% already, and presenting quality projects.

Take all of that away and what do you have? Me. A woman who is doing her best to be the best only because she's afraid that someday, someone will step up on a stage and say You didn't try hard enough, therefore you won't get it, it being a promotion, health, a spouse, stability, or joy.

I am being very honest, not because I want to be, but because I have to be. Who I am has to be found in more than a career and even more than relationships, precious as they are to me. It must be found in knowing I have value because I am God's daughter, adopted into His family, saved by Jesus' blood and guided by the Holy Spirit.

When two people fall in love, they no longer see the defects in their beloved. The blotchy skin, the extra weight, the nervous tic, the trembling hands. Everything is perfect because the one they love is perfectly loved. Just like God sees me. Perfectly loved in Him.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Paved Road; The Cobbled Road; The Dirt Road

This is a year of decisions, of thoughts swirling through my mind, of stirring and simmering and occasionally lifting the lid to breathe in the aroma of what is to be. Hence the many posts.

At another crossroads, I ponder what is important to me. Family or having my own. Career or ministry. Knowledge or experience. Leading or serving. Stretching or living. Studying or baking. Each word symbolizes a completely different world; neither of them are necessarily wrong but neither are they necessarily right. I can throw in more dichotomies. Safety or adventure. Solidarity or uncertainty. Aging or renewing. Testing or remaining.

I made a bucket list 5 years ago. I think I've accomplished 3 of the 10 items on it. I have my green card, I kept my place tidy for more than a week (don't quote me, or send hidden cameras to document this), and I've been involved with a community depression recovery program for two years now. I don't foresee becoming a marriage and family therapist but I am finishing my MA so I just took a somewhat different route.

Am I confined by my bucket list? It wasn't a 5-year plan (thankfully!). As I explore and grow into who God created me to be, will I find that volunteering with a nonprofit is more important than visiting Austria? Or will I be too terrified to step out into the unknown by myself? Will I decide that earning a PhD is more important than having a healthy body? Or will I halt my academic endeavours and spend evenings watching reality TV? Am I still in a holding pattern, waiting for the control tower to say "You're cleared for landing" before I feel I can really live my life?

Will there be regrets?

Last night during vespers I listened amused as the speaker illustrated his point for optimism by talking about someone who would earn their PhD, then run a school on each coast. I knew they were dreaming for me and smiled but my heart did not yearn for its realization. Tonight, I got my nightly text from my temporary deaning job, letting me know they were in for the night. I smiled and for a moment thought, I am nearly old enough to be their mother.

Some dreams we can realize ourselves; others we dream in silence for years never to come true. Some dreams we build out of dirt and water; others slide down the end of rainbows into our monochromatic lives. Some dreams we follow; others find us dreaming and in that moment we know. We were created for this.