"It's just different now. Harder. I'm not sure if it matters like it used to." I wriggle, even though I'm on the phone. I don't like confessing this to my friend, and yet it's where I'm at. She'll know.
|Photo credit: Joe Goldberg- Seattle.|
You see, I haven't felt really purposeful lately. This summer, I'm not taking any classes. I'm not a student. I'm working at a job that has nothing to do with what I've studied. To quote my sweet friend Deeny, "Everything is up in the air. Way up there." And all of my big dreams have felt put on hold, at least for awhile. It doesn't feel like I have much to say these days, or that any of my stories matter.
The honest thing to say is that it feels like I'm failing. And when I told my friend that, she said, "To whom?" It stopped me there, my insides a train that always runs too fast.
There is this thing about failure that deeply worms its way into our hearts. There's so much pressure, especially us 20-somethings. You need to know what you want to do. You need to go to school. You need to be the best, the fastest, the most successful. It's like there's this unwritten law that you need to have your life together in a certain amount of time.
That's what has been on my mind lately. That feeling of failure, I think it's powerful. I think it keeps people's dreams caged in. I think it can keep us from being free. It settles over us like thick dust.
If God really did create us as unique, bold, alive puzzle pieces of Him- then we all have different stories to live and things to do. The dreams ingrained in us have a purpose; no two are exactly the same. We each have places to go and people to love along the way. How can you measure that?
What makes something a failure?
Is it taking too long? Is it trying too hard?
Is it giving up?
These up-in-the-air seasons of life often lack a purpose that this world can identify. The easy thing to do might be to call them failure and just give up. The harder, more beautiful thing might be to open my eyes a little wider to seek out God's goodness. Because it's here.
My words are for you tonight. They've been hidden somewhere, in quiet, tight spaces but not anymore. You see, if we are God's and He is ours, then we are His. And there is no failure in that- only freedom. There is freedom to do what lives in your heart, and I hope you do it. I hope you dream and pray and sing and write and live. Shake the dust.