Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

We've all heard it - the question that is asked of us from the moment we can talk:

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

In elementary school, I wanted to be an astronaut. We had just finished the space lesson and I thought riding in a space ship would be pretty cool. But then I watched the space camp video where the kids have to ride in the gyroscope and it scared me to death. I got sick on the Tilt -A-Whirl and they certainly didn't make a Dramamine strong enough for zero-G's.

After watching the games in Atlanta, I wanted to become an Olympic gymnast. But by the age of 12, I had taken zero tumbling classes and could barely complete a cartwheel. So I switched my dream to become a professional basketball player. The WNBA had just started and I thought I could be a star - except I stopped growing in 8th grade. Professional basketball isn't the best market for a 5'5 white girl who can't jump and hates to run.

In high school I meandered through several choices from a writer to a forest ranger to a lawyer. In college, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. That is, until I went on my very first field experience and realized that I don't like kids. As I've stated previously, kids are sticky, they're loud, they throw up without warning, they smell and a lot of them are smarter than me. So I dropped out of the education program and majored in English.

AKA - I don't know what I want to do with my life.

I can guarantee I did not expect to become a wife and mom living on a 16 acre farm with goats and chickens in Southern Indiana. So how did I get here and why am I here?

The "how" part is easy: marriage is a life sentence and the Man got a job in Louisville. So I followed.

But why am I here? Why don’t I know what I want to be when I grow up?

Because if I knew why I wanted to be here – if I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, it would leave no room for God to work His way in me. I am such a type A planner/organizer/doer that I have to think everything through to the last minuscule detail. I imagine every possible scenario and create workflows to accomplish time-sensitive goals. I make lists, I highlight, I take control and make things happen. I succeed at all costs.

I end up leaving God out of it.

When I am left in the background, the in-between, the unknown – the uncertainty forces me to trust in something greater than myself. God takes me out of my comfort zone and drops me in the middle of nowhere (literally – have you ever been to Pekin?) and says, “Be still and know that I am God.” It is here in the gray area where God is revealing Himself to me. He is transforming me. He is moving. He is working - even though I feel like I'm doing nothing of significance.

When the Bear Cub smears chicken poop all over the kitchen floor or eats the dog food for the umpteenth time, I start to question if I should be doing something else. When my husband doesn’t return my phone calls and there’s a report of an officer-involved shooting – I wonder if this is what God has for me. When my peers are receiving their doctorates and offered positions at big name companies – I doubt my purpose. Am I just a mom, a cop’s wife, an HR specialist?

"Be still and know."

I cannot rely on my relationships, my personality, my intellect, or my physical ability to accomplish the Lord’s will. I am called to Be still and know that He is God. And clean up chicken poop.

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