There was a time when I knew what I wanted. I wanted to grow up. I didn’t know much beyond that—what I wanted to do with my life, or what I should do with my life, or how to figure out what to do with my life. It was vaguely exciting but it was mostly worrying, like setting off on a journey in the fog.
Then I got married and started having children. Some things came into focus. I knew I wanted to be a good mother and I wanted to have a happy marriage. Other things remained blurry and indistinct. I wanted to finish school. Kind of. I wanted to write. Kind of. As time marched on, it became less about what I wanted in life and more about accepting what it had become. But that was okay; I liked being a wife and mother. Until I realized I wanted more than that. But I didn’t know what.
Then there was a time when I knew what I wanted. I wanted things. I wanted a big, elegant house. I wanted a showplace of a yard. I wanted House Beautiful. Life had a purpose. I spent hours poring over catalogs (pre-online shopping era), scouring stores, and examining what my friends had. Unfortunately, my taste and desire exceeded our income. By a long shot. So I bought less expensive things we didn’t really need. And I wasn’t happy. Neither was my family.
Then everything changed. On a mundane day, on a familiar road, on our way to some unexciting place, a spark ignited in me. In that brief illuminating second, I became aware of the existence of God in my life. Not the God up in heaven, watching the world with a wrathful eye. But the God who knew me intimately and still loved me. And I wanted to get to know him.
I rode that spiritual high for about a week. It came to an abrupt end one morning when things weren’t going my way. I finally lost it when I dropped my blow-dryer on my foot (I was having a bad hair day on top of everything else). I was in a relationship with God now. I shouldn’t ever have a bad day again. And I told God that: “What the hell (yes, that’s the word I used) is going on here? I’m not supposed to have bad days anymore.”
He probably chuckled at that.
Although everything had changed, it remained the same for a long time. I wanted to know God and I wanted to be cool with him. And I still wanted House Beautiful. And I wanted God to want me to have House Beautiful. But that’s not what he wanted for me.
There was a time, on another day, on another ride, it struck me that God had a plan for me that I didn’t know about. I’d have to trust him to lead me on this journey. That thought filled me with excitement. What adventures were in store for me. I couldn’t wait to get started.
And here I am years later, still unsure of where I’m going, but trusting in God and really enjoying the ride.