I've wanted to write a post like this for a long time but I could just never seem to get the words to come out like I want. I'm not sure that I can today either but I'm going to try. Do you ever have times in your life when you know God is growing and changing you but you don't quite have the words to describe what He's doing? I feel like that's been my life the last 4 months maybe longer. I've already shared many of the ways He's changing me. But most of the ways He's changing me are so deep inside me that I can't even explain it to myself much less share it on my blog. All I know is that I really want to live the life He wants for me. Not the life I want. Not the life other people think I should want. Not the life "everyone" else is living. I'm also realizing that to say I want the life He wants for me isn't enough. Words can be pretty meaningless at times. To really want what He wants for me, I need to seek Him, to pray to Him, to know Him, to die to myself (not my favorite thing!) and to be willing to change anything that doesn't line up with His plan for my life.
And the more I walk through this journey the more I realize I don't want to be normal which is funny coming from a girl who feels like I work really hard sometimes to try to fit in and be like everyone else. But truthfully having chronic pain for 18 years, never being well enough to have a full time job and at 29 still living at home with my family (which I love by the way) isn't exactly normal anyways so maybe I'm just embracing how not normal I already am. But it's more than that. I look at the people around me and sometimes I can't relate. I don't care what my career is. I just want to be able to pay my bills and do something I enjoy And even if I find that dream job or ministry that I love (and I hope I do soon!) I still feel like my identity will never be wrapped up in that which is hard because as a single person having a career feels like the only identity you can cling to. But I am saved sinner, daughter, sister, and friend-that's my real identity. It's in my relationships with others that I find my purpose and fulfillment. Do you ever notice how the first question someone you've never meant asks you is what do you do? I get it-they're trying to make small talk & really want else do you say to a stranger? But I cringe every time the question is asked to me because I feel like what I do for work is just such a tiny part of who I am.
I also feel like being normal, at least in America, is wrapped up in wanting, striving for and doing everything you can to make sure you are living the American dream. Married and a few kids, living in the suburbs, driving an SUV, building up your 401K, keeping up with the Joneses, spending every weekend at your kid's soccer games and doing whatever you can do to live the most comfortable, stress free, and easy life possible. And for many, many years it's exactly what I wanted. And I still do want parts of it. And please, please don't misunderstand me. I don't think there is anything wrong with the life I just described. It's the life most people in America have and it's great. But what I worry about is that so many of us just accept that life plan without ever consulting God to see if it's what He wants for us. What if God wants you to not save for your retirement but spend your retirement on the mission field? What if He wants you to take your family and live in a dangerous part of the inner city so you can minister to people there? What if He wants you to stop keeping up with the Joneses so you have more money to give away to the poor and needy? It's just things I think about. I don't want to miss out on the life God has for me because I'm chasing after a dream that isn't for me.
And you know what I think it's okay to not want to be normal. Maybe it's even for the best? Or maybe that's just my attempt to make myself feel better. I want to get married someday but I don't know if I want kids (I know gasp!). Some days I want to adopt kids and be a mom but most days I don't. Helping raise other people's kids for 12 years doesn't exactly make me want to jump into having my own. A large part of me feels like I've already raised kids and I'm ready for something different and that makes me feel weird. And taking care of kids for all these years I also know it's the most selfless, all consuming job a person can take on and unless God specifically tells me to do that I'm not just doing it because everyone else does. But it does make me feel different especially when so many of the people in my life are having kids and I just feel weird not sharing that dream. But in my real, close, Godly friendships I don't notice that weirdness. Those friendships are based on the connection of loving God not being in the same "life stage". So maybe I shouldn't worry about feeling weird around "other" people. And I also know myself well enough to know that dreams change. And maybe as I distance myself from working as nanny so much maybe over time I will want to have my own kids. And maybe I won't and I'm okay with that too. The older I get I realize it doesn't matter what my life looks like to other people, it just matters what it looks like to Him. And this life is so short anyways- a blink of the eye. I'm trying to keep my eyes more focused on eternity than the next 50 or 60 years I have here. So maybe I'll be single for a long time, do a lot of cool things for God and eventually get married. Or maybe I'll get married in the next couple years and work alongside my spouse in an awesome ministry that brings many people to the Lord or maybe we'll be raising 3 kids in the suburbs to love & know Jesus and then you can all remind me of this post and laugh at me:) But no matter where I land, I just know I don't want to be normal because most of this world isn't living for Him and I can't base my life on living like everyone else.
So am I the only one who thinks about these things and doesn't want to be normal???