That’s how long it’s been since starting (with trembling and trepidation!) my journey back to college, then through graduate school. When I started in 2016, my best hope was that I would get out of the house, meet some people and engage my mind in something other than the grief that seemed to consume all my days. I would say it was the best decision I could have made, but I honestly don’t feel like it was my decision as much as it was God’s invitation to join him in something only God could have dreamed up for me and my broken heart.
There’s no way I could have known that one step would lead to another, then to another, which eventually led me into the work I feel I was meant to do. And God could have led me here long ago….so many times I could have chosen differently. But the dream seed was meant to lay dormant, waiting for God’s timing for it to be watered and tended in this season, which has been the most unlikely and unexpected little dream garden I had no idea I would so need.
One of my favorite instructors used to say, “Make decisions today that your future self will thank you for.” While I actually think she was talking about things like doing research for a research paper before the day it’s actually due, the phrase settled its way into a deeper place in my heart and I’ve pulled it out often when sorting through options or when trying to be more disciplined in some area of life.
The truth is, there are countless decisions that we make every day that have the potential to redirect the course of everything, and I’m not sure the point really is to continually focus on making THE right decision at every crossroads. I think it’s much deeper than that….and if I’m right, it takes tons of pressure off the need to get it “right” all the time. (Can I get a hallelujah?)
This past decade of life has presented more heartache than I honestly would have believed I could bear, and yet….I can say with total certainty, the way through has been traveling the same road that I set out on long, long ago as a small child, when I first made the decision to trust Jesus with my life. And oh, how grown-up me thanks that little girl who dared to believe!
And the thing is….I still choose every day. We all do. The decision to grow in Christ, in the power of his love and to follow in the ways of Jesus isn’t a one-time deal. We choose when it’s easy, and we choose when it’s unbearably hard. Either way, the choice is always ours to make.
The question is….what decision will we make today that our future selves will thank us for?
Lent is the perfect time to take stock of our spiritual goals and to get honest about the choices we are making today that will lead us where we truly want to be.
For me, the choice is to stay the course….to complete the journey on the same road I set out on so long ago. It continues to lead me toward healing, toward hope and eventually….it will lead me all the way home.
Thank you, little me.
And thank you, Jesus for loving her (and me) so very well!