I often wonder if anyone ends up where they thought they would end up in life. Is there anyone who is in the exact place they thought they would be, doing the exact job they thought they would do, with the exact people they thought they would be surrounded by? I’m obviously not where I thought I would be, and I think there is some kind of stigma attached to saying that out loud. Like if you admit this isn’t what you dreamed about for your life, you’ve failed in some epic way. So, everyone goes on pretending they are perfectly happy with the way things have fallen into place, instead of admitting that life isn’t actually perfect at all. God forbid we all be honest with each other.
So, I’m laying my cards out on the table. This isn’t what I dreamed life would be like for me. Obviously. I worry about finances WAY more than I did when I was married. I never know when or where my next job is going to come from. I spend my “day off” sending off submissions trying to find more work. I’m far away from my friends and family. I don’t own a house. The dream of having children becomes more unrealistic every day. I’m constantly hoping my car will continue to hold out for a few more years. I try my best to make it to the gym and count calories, because I know it helps my chances of getting hired. And my ex-husband is vacationing with his new girlfriend. So, no, this isn’t where I thought I’d be at 32.
And on the other hand…I make my living doing what I love to do best in the whole wide world. I have work lined up until March of 2016. I own a car. I can afford to pay my bills and feed myself. I am a healthy girl. My family loves me and checks up on me often. My best friend just drove 7 hours to see me in a play, then turned around and had to drive back 7 hours the next day. I have a nephew that I think is the best thing God ever created. I love my job. I have a wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ. So, here I am, this is me at 32.
In the end, it’s all about perspective. And, as my Aunt Bec likes to say, it’s about having a grateful heart. We are about to enter into a season of Thanksgiving. It’s so easy, while everyone else is sharing the amazing things they are thankful for, to get lost in what others have and what we don’t have…and I certainly don’t mean material items. I mean those things our hearts desire, but aren’t within our reach. The challenge I see for myself is to constantly focus on the unexpected joys that God has brought into my life. Joys I wouldn’t have had if life had ended up the way I wanted it to end up. Joys that surprise me and overwhelm me. Joys that flood me with humility and remind me that God is in every aspect of my life.
Sometimes focusing on the blessings can be difficult. Sometimes I find myself crying out “God, what do you want me to do? Please tell me what to do!” Sometimes I feel completely lost. And then I go to work and thank God for that opportunity. I talk to my mother and thank God For that relationship. I go to the gym and thank God for my health. Because, whether this is where I thought I would be or not, the joy comes from having a grateful heart.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”