This summer has been somewhat a time of doing some soul work. I didn’t plan on it either. Somehow it just happened and now I’m trying to sort some of it out. Perhaps it might have something to do with the fact that in a month I’ll be turning 25. I’ve always looked forward to my birthday and to being a year older but this year, this year 25 seems overwhelming. It might have something to do with the fact that 25 was always “my age”. You know what I mean when I say “my age”? A lot of us girls have one! The age we talk about having it all together…that is when we are in our teenage years we say that we will be married or have kids or have a certain job by a certain age. Well 25 was “my age”! Just as a reference, I now make it a point to tell girls NOT to make an age because you very well might get to that age and your life might not look a thing like you planned. In fact, there’s a very good chance that it won’t.
Here’s the truth and some of the soul work I’ve been doing. I’ve always had a desire to share my life with someone and when I was in my teens I told myself I wanted it all to happen by the time I was 25. And so now I’m on the brink of my 25th birthday and I’m single with not a prospect in sight. And in the small town where I’ve grown up in this is unusual. The kids marry young here and aren’t too afraid of settling down. And somehow, even though I’m sure everyone isn’t thinking it, somehow I feel like an outsider, like I don’t fit the mould. And this is the thing that scares me the most:
I don’t want to.
Somewhere in all the business of my summer internship and thinking about a future in ministry, I heard myself utter the words “I’m not ready to settle down, I just don’t want to”! I think I shocked myself when I spoke those words aloud because for the last who knows how many years I’ve believed that I HAVE to be ready to settle down. Settling down is the goal. So I’ll just go to school and then I’ll be ready to settle down. And so I went to school and I got a job and I found myself to be utterly restless! Now I’m back in school and maybe I went back thinking that I might be ready to settle down after I finish university? Because settling down must be the goal!
And through all the craziness of this summer I’ve come to realize that the perfect word to describe me right now is this word “restless”, and more than that it might just actually be ok to stay this way a while!
You see I’ve been believing that there’s something wrong with me because I can’t seem to be happy with what a lot of other people are happy with. I can’t seem to stay in one place very long without feeling the need to venture out. And I’ve been telling myself that I need to change and I’ve been worrying and stressing over why I can’t seem to make my life fit into the shape that everyone else’s life seems to resemble. I guess the thing that is being revealed to me is that it might just be that God made me to be restless right now. I love to meet new people and I love to see new places and I love to drive through the city and know all the back country roads. I love adventure and I crave it. I want to learn and grow and I don’t want to waste a minute of this life. I want to have relationships with roots that go down deep, I want to sit with someone over coffee as we pour our our hearts. I don’t just want to hear about God’s beautiful creation but I want to see it. And right now, this is the person God has created me to be. This is the heart with the desires that He has given me. And I can’t try and fit my life into this tiny box of the way I think it should look. Maybe one day something will change and I’ll be ready to settle down, in fact I hope one day I am ready. But right now I’m somewhat of a restless wanderer, and it might not make much sense to some but it’s where I am. And perhaps God will give me someone to be restless with and perhaps I’ll keep patiently (trying) waiting for that gift but as I approach my 25th birthday I want to commit to being ok with living a life outside of the box. I want to let go of my fear about the way things are supposed to be and I want to accept the way they are. I want to live with palms open, ready to release what I’m holding onto so that I can receive whatever God wants to give me. Last year my motto was “Own It” and this year it’s going to be “Open Palms”!
It’s funny that these “soul work” truths often surface through tears in between sobs as you pour your heart out in the car to your mother. I’m such a blessed girl to have people around me who never leave despite my wanderings. I’m also thankful that my heavenly father knows just where I’m at, even when I feel like I’m utterly lost. He knows my restless heart inside and out.
So do yourself a favour, don’t make an “age” as to when you’ll have all your ducks in a row. There’s a good chance you’ll save yourself a major melt down and a lot of kleenexes!
The “Restless” Kindred Spirit