When I was a little girl….and well into college, I used to pray that my life would not be normal. From an early age I wanted to serve God in a grand way.
Of course, I assumed that would include marriage and a family. Duh.
Growing up, there were always a handful of “older” single women in my life. I remember them as fun and dynamic. They were involved in ministry and poured into my life in some form or fashion. That’s why I knew them. And loved them. But as much as I admired them, I did not want to be one of them.
I always thought marriage and a family was a given in life. Until it was not.
The other day I was in Target, walking down the aisles.
About life. God’s plans. My plans.
And in a moment of clarity, I realized I AM THAT GIRL!!!
I am the “older” single woman.
Who is fun and dynamic. Involved in ministry. Who still dreams of marriage but has accepted that it might not be in the cards. At least at this point in life. Who is going for it. Regardless. Living life to the full. No matter the season.
And the truth is… I really like being that girl. Her life is pretty great.
What I judged in my youth, is actually a gift.
Getting ready this morning, I had a bit of a hangover. A vulnerability one. Because when I wrote about my year without romance, I opened up my heart a bit too much. I feel like I showed my guts to the world. And they spilled out a little.
Because I’m 38 years old. A grown woman.
Friends my age are navigating life with teenagers. Mortgages. College funds and daycare. Parents who are sick. Possibly dying.
And my deepest struggled is still boys??? Are you kidding me???
But it is. I could lie and pretend it isn’t. But then I would be keeping a secret. And living from a lie. And lies destroy us. And then we eat our feelings. Or worse.
And I don’t think I am alone in this.
When I think about the people I care about, I think there are plenty like me.
Who are living lives they never imagined. Or judged in their youth.
Maybe you are one of us. Maybe you are the mom where your life and family look
like a crazy hot mess busy. And you always swore your kids would not act like that in a grocery store. Until they did. All the time. And maybe you realized life isn’t about being the perfect mom. It’s about being available. And messy. And it’s beautiful.
Or maybe you are that career gal. Sex in the City style. Or suburbs. Who is working her way up the ranks. You’re a leader. Shaping the future. Of a company. Of a planet. Of a generation. Getting to invest in people. Earning enough to give in ways you never imagined. You own your own home. You travel when you want. You do what you want. God is allowing you to use your gifts and talents and you are a person of influence. And while it wasn’t the life you dreamed of, it’s actually pretty great.
Or maybe you are that married lady. (Or single woman) Who is amazing. Whose life is blessed and beautiful. Whose relationships are fulfilling and job is awesome.
You long for babies. And it creates an ache deep inside that won’t be silenced. That cries out to God. Over and Over. And over again. You have done everything you can. To make the dream come true. And then later, silence the cries. But it won’t work. The longing won’t fade. And so you live your life. Full and amazing. To the best of your ability. Trusting God is writing your story. All the while, hoping and praying. That maybe one day. You’ll get to see a flutter of a heartbeat grow to maturity. And you have learned to live with the pain, Maybe it has actually become a place of ministry. Of healing. Of hope for others. And even though you would you trade it all in tomorrow, you see God’s hand. And know that He is with you on the journey.
I think in some way, we are all “that girl.” The one living someone else’s life. Dreaming of a different one.
I just finished a book called “Looking for Lovely” by Annie Downs. It’s all about how she looks for God in everyday moments. To see and acknowledge His hand. In her life. If there are any chubby girls in the house-this book could be our manifesto. If you want to see your inner most thoughts on paper, she spills her guts in the first few chapters. To set up the story.
Brene Brown calls it Daring Greatly. A life of gratitude. Leads to wholehearted living.
Ann Voskamp wrote 1000 Gifts. Same idea. Finding joy by being thankful.Seeing the gifts amidst the pain.
If you are reading this and think you might be “that girl.” The one you loved but didn’t want to be. Or judged and prayed you never would become.
Take a moment and find the lovely. The beauty. Be thankful for the good. Find the joy.
Because our God is good. He writes beautiful stories. With plot twists. Climax. And denouement.
You might just be in the middle of a really powerful tale of God’s love and redemption. That seems to be His favorite theme.
Love, Love, Love,
The Girl Who Lives In My Head