It’s funny how growing up is never anything like we think it will be. I remember going through grade school and dreaming of those days when I would be done with college. I envisioned myself as this confident grown up person who drove to work each morning, had their life under control, and never had problems.
Somehow the future had this magical glow and Iooked ever so much brighter than anything in the present.
Truth is, life doesn’t exactly pan out magically. We don’t grow up and turn into completely different people who have no problems. The reality is that our battles grow as we grow.
Life doesn’t exactly get easier when we grow up and sometimes it looks nothing like we expected it to.
A few weeks ago I found myself walking along the little snowy road outside our house and finally finding words to explain to Him the jumble of thoughts that had been going around my head for awhile.
“God, it’s just that this is nothing like I thought it would be. When I left my peaceful meadow in the southwest, I never expected to find my heart torn between people and places and occupations.”
You thought it would be easier?
“Yeah. I never imagined that almost every single thing in my life would change except you and that sometimes all the shifting would blur even my vision of your face.”
I paused and then slowly…
“Really, you are my only anchor now. Everything else is changing.”
Gentle as always He replies…
Kiddo, I know this is hard. But really, did you expect more? Haven’t you said all along that you wanted me as your anchor?
I’m silent now. He’s right.
We sing the kids songs about the man who built his house upon the sand and when the rain came beating down, it fell. We contrast it with the man who built his house upon the rock and no storm could destroy him.
But what about when it’s our life? What about when location, friends, and occupations shift? What about when life changes and we find ourselves grappling for something to hang onto?
Maybe it’s then we learn what our anchor really is… maybe then that we discover whether our faith is genuine or whether we follow simply because our parents have.
All throughout my teen years I have looked around me and ached as I saw peers leaving the God they had loved. I’d wondered how it was possible. Now I think I’m starting to understand.
When life shakes us up and everything changes we have a choice to make— try and pilot our own restless ship or hold onto the anchor.
Sure, sometimes piloting our own ship can look a whole lot easier. After all, doing our own thing and seeking our own happiness and being in charge of our days can seem mighty appealing compared to handing it all over to God and taking whatever He chooses to hand out.
But as snowflakes blow through my hair and land on my eyelashes, I can’t help recognizing that no matter how much easier it may seem to take charge myself, there is something unbelievably beautiful about opening up my hands to whatever He desires and giving Him the reigns… even if He hands me thorns.
Because sure, I never expected my life to look like this when I was 11… I never expected Him to ask for some of the things He has asked for and take some of the things He has taken. I thought it would all be easier and more magical. But at the same time, I never expected Him to be so real and lovable. I never imagined that He would become such a tangible friend and win my heart in the ways He has.
Snow squeaks under my boots and I know deep down that no matter how hard this road gets, I can’t stop walking it. I look ahead and I wonder how I will be able to do some of the things He is asking but I look behind and see that He has already led me over insurmountable obstacles because His love sees no limits.
Really, this is where the rubber comes down to the road. It’s decisions like this that form the trajectory of our lives.
Will we choose Him when everything is shaking and we’re aching, and life isn’t just about preschool lessons and learning the alphabet? Will we love God even when He directs us down impossible roads?
Growing from magical childhood days to the responsibilities of adult life isn’t easy. Change never is. I look around and see the turmoil but I look up and know that my ship doesn’t have to be wrecked on the rocks if I hold onto the Anchor.
And so I will, Jesus. I will. This road may descend into the lowest parts of the earth only to turn and climb up the steepest mountain… but it’s okay. Because “even there shall they hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”
The music swells in my earbuds as I walk and I sing along…
Take my life and make it Yours, Lord.
Fill me with Your love.
You are all I need.
I surrender all of me.