July 23, 2010

the rest is still unwritten

"it's a dangerous business, frodo, going out your door. you step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." bilbo baggins

tomorrow is a big day. it's the day i take a big step out the door and into my own apartment. it's the day i start getting ready for this little thing called grad school which is just going to change, oh, the whole rest of my life. it's a day that i thought would never come, mainly because i've been putting it off due to the sweet pact i made with peter pan to never grow up back at the age of 5. the thing is i'm going to grad school at the same school where i went for undergrad. in the same town where i've lived for the past 4 years. with many of my same friends still living there. and all the things i know so well. but i've got a gut feeling that in a place that reeks of familiarity, a new chapter is starting, and nothing is going to be the same.

when i studied in italy i learned all about perspective. how something can be completely different by seeing it from a different angle. it's amazing how you can have a totally different experience in the town where you've always lived just by moving to a different street. how you approach life in a totally new way going from being single to having to think about another person. how a person suddenly grows up when he holds his child for the first time. how your experiences mold you and shape you and refine you like gold in fire to become the person you need to be just for a certain moment. how everything that's ever happened to you or that you've ever done or ever dreamed comes together to create...yourself.

GOD is constantly giving us new beginnings. second chances. clean breaks. fresh starts. new relationships. or new opportunities with old ones. HE is giving us new perspectives. new views. new angles. new ways to empathize with each other. and to understand where the other person is coming from. to be less judgmental. to be more real. to have life and have it more abundantly. to eliminate doubts. to conquer fears. to step out the front door.

i believe we all like to have a comfortable amount of control. to feel like we have some grip on our lives and our paths. some of us live by our planners. others of us set deadlines and goals. and even our spontaneity is to a certain extent planned.

but GOD is constantly mixing it up. changing our plans. not doing what we asked HIM to do. or doing exactly what we asked HIM to, which can sometimes seem even worse. all because HIS plan is so much bigger than we could imagine, and who are we to steal HIS thunder?

i am also convinced that satan would love to prevent us from taking even one step out the door. to make us feel that because our plan didn't work, there is no plan. because you didn't get into the school you wanted. or get that job you wanted. or get married. or become that person you always thought you would be. that somehow that makes you inferior and incapable of being effective. i believe he wants us to be so caught up in what we're not that we are paralyzed from embracing what we are...and better yet, what we will be.

at this point in my life, i have absolutely no idea what's about to happen next...and surprisingly, i'm completely thrilled about it. i am definitely a planner and love the entire aspect of control. but not all of my wisely developed schemes have turned out the way that i thought they would. and i've noticed a common trend that maybe, just maybe, GOD knows a whole lot more than i do and knows me a whole lot better than i know myself.

i'm 22. i have a wonderful family and incredible friends. i've been blessed to have traveled all over this country and europe. i'm not quite ready to get married just yet. i have big, sometimes unrealistic, hopes and dreams. i believe in GOD, and i get a huge thrill from recycling. i'm going to school to become a speech-language pathologist which i didn't really know anything about until my first year of college and which i constantly have to define for other people as the word "pathologist" is utterly mind-boggling. i know my new address and my wonderful roommate and this strange town i'm returning to, from which most people quite willingly flee. but i also know that this next chapter is going to be brand new and that i will be offered an entirely new perspective. i have lots of questions and doubts about my future and would love it if GOD could just give me a play-by-play diagram of what's about to happen (maybe even like wallet-sized so i could keep it in my purse). but despite my fears about what might be and despite my best efforts of maintaining complete control, i'm throwing my hands up...and i'm walking out the door.

"cast all your anxiety on HIM because HE cares for you." 1 peter 5:7