Your Story is Not the Lottery
For years, Josh worked towards his goal: get a degree in aerospace engineering.
For years, we dreamt about what the days would look like post-graduation. What would it look like to have a life without tests, study groups, endless homework, and not have to live with a student budget? What would it look like to have two cars instead of one? How fun would it be to go on that trip we've been dreaming about? Where would we end up moving to for his job? Would we buy a house or wait?
Last December (2013), I looked ahead and saw a giant checkmark hovering above our future. And even though it was so uncertain (which was unsettling at times), it was also full of so many hopes and dreams we had been expectantly waiting for during the past five years.
For months, Josh applied for jobs, but there wasn't a lot of feedback or interviews. Finally, he was offered a local engineering job and took it.
Of all the options for our future, I never even considered this option. Staying put was not even on my radar.
It isn't that I hated living where we were or couldn't wait to leave--it was just that we always thought that leaving would be the only option.
Honestly, when I flipped through the dreams of our future, the idea of staying wasn't my favorite. By the time graduation rolled around, I was ready for new starts and a move. I was ready to start a new adventure and explore a new place.
I'd like to tell you that I was full of excitement and joy when he took the local job. Goodness, I was so thankful for it, but I still felt disappointed.
I felt a little like I had bought a lottery ticket and then realized I didn't win.
My numbers weren't drawn.
But these events over the last few months have really been God breathing in a lot of new in me, rather than around me. I'm learning bit by bit the freedom that comes from opening up my hands to His timing and His hopes and purpose for me. I'm understanding the value of digging in wherever I am and planting there--whether I am there for five years or five months.
Our story is not about everything going according to our plan and cashing in our winnings. Our story is about what God is doing with us and through us.
Let me share a part of a post I wrote that is still resonating with me; words that are still of a reflection of what I am thinking and feeling in regards to hopes and ideas:
"I don't want to neglect ideas and hopes I have because I am afraid they are too much or too big to actually do--because they really could be too big and too much, but I serve a God who is historically in the business of making things happen and doing some crazy things with everyday people. But, I don't want miss out on the pieces that make up my everyday because I am living in my field of planted dreams instead of the plentiful crop I have right now.
I've been thinking a lot about how the everyday doesn't need to live separately from the someday. I can live and celebrate the simplicity and joy that my life has right now. I can rest in that. But, even while I am tending to this season's garden, I can also throw out seeds for the future. Some of those seeds will die, some will sprout out beauty, some will be surprises, and some will need some tending to grow. Even if my future crop looks like weeds instead of roses when I get to it, my hope is not in those things anyway--my hope is in Christ.
Right now, the thing that really has been staring me in the face is whether I am placing my hope in having all my ideas work out or putting my hope in Christ and the work He has for me and has done for me. Because those things only equal that I am enough and that I have enough--nothing subtracts or adds to that. Through Him I have an inheritance and eternal life. Whoosh--such good news, the gospel is, isn't it?"
It is good news, isn't it?
Have you had a season in life that surprised or disappointed you? How do you balance hoping for things in the future but not expecting them? Have you ever felt like you were supposed to win the "lottery"(and then everything in your life would be perfect) and then didn't win?