I joined a discussion at church this week on a book entitled “The Me I Want to Be,” a fascinating look at why and how God created each individual. I lobbied to be the representative of my committee to attend this discussion because I’m still just not quite sure who I want to be, let alone who I’m meant to be.
The first discussion centered around some important questions such as: what makes you feel alive and how do you discover who God intended you to be? I am sincerely baffled by these questions and that makes me sad. Many of the group participants could remember at least one specific moment in which they felt truly alive, they could imagine a scenario in which they feel at peace, or could pinpoint a habit, person, or act that gave them pure joy. I, on the other hand, struggled. Someone asked if the birth of my kids made me feel alive or joyful……. I remember feeling happy but also tired, sore, irritated, hungry, overwhelmed and a hundred other emotions. My wedding day? Fraught with varying degrees of happiness, confusion, tears, and some drunken dancing.
What does peace feel like? I honestly don’t think I know. Is that a product of having three small children and a house in disrepair or something internal, something broken? I don’t want to get all maudlin and I’m certainly not implying that I’m not happy; I have a wonderful, loving, and supportive husband who is still my favorite person to hang out with and is pretty cute too. I have 3 healthy, smart and engaging kids who bring me much joy. I have an extended family who, despite their quirks and odd behaviors, are a tremendous source of love and laughter. And my friends…well…they bring me a unique sort of joy….
But all the good things in my life are surrounded by questions and concerns stemming from my own negative self-talk, my own perception that I don’t know who I am or want to be. I’m almost 35 and haven’t really started a career yet, for pete’s sake! Although a woman at the discussion last night thought I was 25 so I may just go with it…
So, the next step is to figure out what I’m meant to do, what I’m intended to do, what makes me happy. I wonder if anyone is looking for someone to dent their garage or shed? I just spent 20 minutes serving a volleyball against my shed and it gave me a lot of satisfaction. (Sorry, again, for the dented garage, Mom & Dad). I wonder if I could somehow get paid to write this random crap without having to pander to advertisers or the visions of others. I wonder if I could teach preschool in my basement?
I’m not sure I know who God intended me to be but it appears that my 4-year-old daughter already does. I took her outside to play catch this afternoon and kept admonishing her to keep her eyes open as she attempted to catch the ball. After the 5th or 6th time she replied, “Mom, that’s just the way God made me.” If only I could have her self-confidence…but not her ball handling skills.
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