It’s a New Year and it’s time for new goals, new plans, and new habits. All the ads on the side of my FB are for running shoes…does this mean cyber intelligence thinks I run a lot or that I need to be running a lot? The latter would be correct but either way…those guys in my computer who know everything really scare me.
All of this to say, we all have goals, whether written down or in the back of our minds that we would like to see accomplished. We all have an idea of a better, more well-rounded, more whole reality. We are all reaching for something. Sometimes, though, we don’t like to admit it. If you are anything like me, it’s safer, less painful, to leave our goals and desires unvoiced…because disappointment is unbearable. Or at least it has become so. On January 2, just a few weeks ago, I realized that it had become so for me.
Ross’s dad, John, is very good at coming up with great questions. He is always asking us deep conversation-starters that give us a depth to keep coming back to as we circle around words and ideas during a meal together. I love that he does this. On every other occasion, I have enjoyed this and welcomed his depth of questions with enthusiasm. But on January 2, his question just made me cry. I did not like it. I did not want to answer it. I wanted to run about ten miles from it.
As we sat down to lunch that day in Phu Quoc, Vietnam, John asked us “Where do you see yourself in five years?”. I have answered this question before. I have asked this question before. In fact, my closest friends and I have asked each other this time and again as a way of marking time and tracking hearts. But this time, as each person at the table went around and answered the question, my insides were churning and my eyes wouldn’t stop threatening to fill up. I was angry with this question. I hated this question. When I was the only one left who hadn’t answered, instead of answering, I just broke down and started bawling. And then I did run. Well, I walked quickly. And Ross came with me. I needed a little space to deal with the crazy emotions that were suddenly taking place.
Once I had the space to see what happened, I saw that it wasn’t the question itself that made me angry. It was the confrontation with myself that did. I saw that I had been suppressing, holding, waiting with dreams deep in my pockets for so long that I was…am…horribly scared of more disappointment. In some ways, I am living the dream! I am traveling, I am married to the most wonderful man, and I have amazing friends and family. But you know what? I think we can have so much, but if we are not walking in our gifts, operating and moving and creating and pouring out of that deep place where God has spoken most deeply to us, then we feel…loss.
There are times of waiting, and that has most certainly been the time I have been in for the past few years, but in these times of waiting we cannot close off those parts of us that God has touched with a purpose. The seeds are sown and they WILL come up.
So that is part of what this blog is for me. A space to keep that deepest place alive. A space to voice what we are hoping for and reclaim what is His.
And as dad-in-law John, the one who’s question started all this in the first place, says, “The story’s not over yet.”