When my ex-husband and I were registering for our wedding we made the conscious decision to register not for the life we had, but for the life we wanted. We lived in a typical New York City small one bedroom apartment. Absolutely no counter space in the kitchen, zero storage, and only two small closets. I knew we wouldn’t be in New York forever. We had both decided when we had children we wanted to raise them outside of the city. Buy a house. Get out of the craziness that came with city living. Therefore, when it came to registering for our wedding, we registered for the future. We registered for our dreams. We registered for the blessed day when we would have more space.
To add another layer upon my registry plan…I’m Southern. This means I had big plans for china. I had big plans for serving pieces. I had big plans for linen. My type A southern lady personality was ready to host any baby shower, engagement party, or family gathering that came my way. I fantasized about giving my future children the kind of life my mother gave me. Themed decorations for every holiday, a fancy mother-daughter afternoon tea, elaborate birthday parties, the works! I think a lot of young couples feel that way. They have high hopes for their lives together. They see themselves many years down the road hosting a family dinner, preparing for a holiday, or even decorating a new home. Why shouldn’t they think ahead and register for those moments?
Of course, now the future is blurry. The life I registered for is boxed up along with the “Our First Married Christmas “ ornaments, the wedding video, and any other remembrance from the life I used to lead. Does that mean the dream gets boxed up to? Does it mean I should accept my fate to never serve a dinner on fine china? Is it time to change lanes in order to help my future self? Is there a point when we need to stop registering for our future? For our hopes? For the possibility of being able to obtain exactly what we’ve always wanted?
I’m all about being realistic. And, as an actress, I feel an extreme importance in being able to find the line between reality and make believe. I try to keep my life leaning more towards reality. It’s safer. It’s smarter. It helps me distinguish the important differences between personal life and work. However,sometimes I slip, and I find myself wandering around in the home goods section of TJ Maxx carefully designing the office I would create, if I had a home. What colors would I use in my bedroom? What kind of furniture would I use in the living room? The thought of organizing my own closet sends chills up and down my spine. Would my sense of whimsy show in my style of home décor? Or would I construct a more classic look?
Late at night the real dreaming begins. The dog search. Scouring the World Wide Web cooing at puppies I would give my right arm to own. Carefully dissecting each piece of information on every breed. I consider size. Does this particular dog shed? Will he be easy to train? I even contemplate that I am a single lady…will the dog be ok left alone while I am at work? Will he be a good companion? How does he feel about cuddling? And yes, I have a name picked out. Do I currently have a home where I can keep said dog? Nope. Do I have the means to afford a dog? Nope. Do I see my situation changing at any point in the near future? Nope. Do I still actively dream and plan for the day when a puppy will enter my life? You’re darn tootin’ I do!
Confession time: Not only do I check out puppy possibilities and swoon over home furnishings…I also check out apartment floor plans. This is slightly more tricky, because I have no idea where I will plant roots, and therefore I don’t have a specific town in mind in which to search for apartments. But, nonetheless, one of my favorite pastimes is analyzing floor plans. My floor plan fantasies take me into a whole new level of crazy. I won’t bore you with the details, but I definitely have a list of “must haves” and a list of “I can live without this…but I’d still like it anyway.” Why I waste my time on this particular dream, I do not know…but I can’t seem to let it go.
My guess is that I am not the only human who has these habits. I’m sure there are others who plan, research, and aspire for more. Now, certainly I could obtain all of these goals. I could pick a spot on the map. I could sit myself down. I could lease an apartment, buy a dog, decorate a bathroom, etc. But at the moment, my job is what fuels me. My job provides a passion for my life. A purpose. And during this current chapter of my beautiful life, the two parts of me don’t seem to be lining up together. So, you pick a road. You travel that road to the best of your ability. You continue to pray that the unpicked road will coincide with your chosen road. Because your chosen road isn’t so much a choice, it’s a non-negotiable. You can’t turn from the one thing that gives you fire and strength. You can’t. You won’t.
And yet, God’s grand design hasn’t changed. He sees the desires of your heart. He knows what your soul yearns for even more than you do. He walks beside you on the road you chose because you couldn’t possibly choose a different path. He hears your prayers. He sees your inner struggle. He smiles and chuckles as you silently continue to register for the life you have always wanted because, and this is important, he is preparing a way. O good and faithful servant, our Lord is always preparing a way.
1 Corinthians 2:9 “But, as it is written, What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”