Roll into sneakers and hat.
These are what my uncertain mornings look like. Everyone has a ritual, a response to those days when you wake up and you just aren’t sure. You’re waiting for the call, you’re waiting for the email, to hear back from the guy, the job, the scholarship, the house. Maybe you pace, maybe you wrap your fingers tight around your favorite mug and pray from the corner of your couch. You’re waiting to see if they really are gone, if they really aren’t going to reply. You’re waiting to see if they meant what they said about the divorce, if they really are going to make the drive to your doorstep or if they were just saying that because it sounded romantic. Maybe you charge out of your house ready to take on the world, maybe you convince yourself you don’t really care all that much if get the text back or not.
These are the moments we feel like time is freezing, freezing so cold that we hold our breaths until we hear the crack or feel the melt. But it’s your next move than counts.
Here’s the thing, we can’t be sure. We can’t be sure of most things. Uncertainty is inevitable, but it can’t be our bitter well and it sure can’t be our wheelchair. I’ve been thinking of writing a letter to my 7-year-old sister about what 20 looks like, but every time I try to write I go all P. Sawyer with “People always leave”. Why? Why am I knocked at the knees when things don’t go as expected? Why have I locked onto the “staying” script in our culture right now as less of a call to stay and more a reason to blame those who don’t. Why? Well probably because when Control Freaks come across blanks in life they well-freak out. Probably because we trust ourselves more than anyone else if only for the fact that we are predictable to ourselves, and when other people start making moves on our LIFE game board we throw a temper tantrum and want a re-spin. But this isn’t a game fam, and they get to move their little purple car wherever they like.
What if we replaced our normal uncertainty response with something new: celebration. What would it look like if we started celebrating when people stay and when they go? What if we started celebrating empty spaces in our lives, if only because something more beautiful could make a new home there? I’m new at it but I’m finding the difference between peace and anxiety is less about what happens to us and more about how we decide to respond. Even Kanye knows even when somebody goes away, the feelings don’t really go away, but maybe it’s time we start reacting to waves of uncertainty more like Yeezy and less like like a toddler in the sand.
I’m trying a new letter out today. Maybe you owe it to yourself to write a new one too.
If there was one thing I could tell you about being 20 it would be that, uncertainty comes in ripples…and sometimes like tidal waves. As one passes, your rest in “sureness” is hit by another one close behind. You have two options, you can let the waves hit you back into the sand and keep trying to stand up wave after wave. Or you can sit on the shore, you can let the waves run up against you toes and you can love the moments they are there but you won’t have to be upset when they are gone because you’re sitting on solid ground. The ground is Jesus baby girl. Because if I’m being honest, people do leave. People move. Houses change. School ends. Positions run out. Ministries die and ministries come alive. Community rocks, but love these things like you love the waves, like a gift. And as soon as they roll out don’t cry, or sleep in (okay you can sleep in a little) but just whisper ‘gift’. I mean it, say it out loud. When you feel like something’s been taken, flip the script, open your hands and say it. Because every moment of inconsistency on this earth reminds us of the consistency that’s waiting for us in Heaven. Let the consistency of Jesus’ love for you fuel and adventurous love in you for others. Be they stayer you want, send the texts you’re missing, give what you want and don’t put blame clauses in your love. Give second chances, and welcome calls from long unheard voices. You’ll have plenty of time to live in one place, to work one job, to be with one person-but right now in all it’s inconsistency is beautiful, don’t try to make it something it’s not supposed to be.
I love you a lot