Graves and Sunsets

“We push ourselves to wield influence or make a mark. Often we call that “vocation” but Jesus calls it “temptation.” -Turn My Mourning into Dancing by Henri J. M. Nouwen

Vocation- a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation.

The excerpt above is from a devotional type book simply called The Blue Book. It is rocking my socks off.

So here are my thoughts of today.

Before I even set foot on the OSU campus I had plans for my success. Goals and aspirations if you will. I came to college with no money and no plans for paying off tuition. I thought to myself, “God will prevail and provide,” all while still holding on to my self-acclaimed plans.

I now sit more than half way through the semester with even bigger dreams but also the reality of debt. It is like a creature of shame that haunts my every step. I cannot do anything without the constant pressure of not feeling worthy. I am to the point where it is no longer possible for me to even handle the situation myself.

I have driven myself to the point that my strong will for independence has dug my own grave and I am trying to climb out with no avail. I claw at the sides of the dirt grave labeled:

She doesn’t need help!

With tears in my eyes I try calling out but it turns to a quiet, doubtful whisper. I think to myself, “Am I just living a dream now where I will wake up back at home with a bill of tuition to a school I am no longer able to attend?”

I thought I was going to be greatness.

I planned to be successful.

I expected everything to work out according to my independent, naive, self-proclaimed schedule.

It goes so much deeper than that. It goes down to my roots. From a young age I have been put in situations that require me to depend on myself to survive. To live. I always thought Jesus was a good option for simple needs and wants. I would pray for my dad to get a job and for my mom to catch a break. Mostly things that involve other people needing rescuing. However when it came to my own illness I knew it was dependent on me and me alone to get through the next treatment.

There is grace.

There is hope.

Jesus knew my petty folly would not work. He has stood by my side waiting for that quiet, doubtful whisper to turn to a scream crying for salvation. This independent nature that has been fortified to my core can be shattered with one loving tap on the shoulder.

“I am here Beloved with the same unconditional love from before.”

I do not know my future or how my life will look in two months. Even tomorrow the uncertainty is overwhelming. But the sweet taste of redemption and love is overpowering. It swoops in and takes my hand with dirt filled fingernails from the grave and pulls me out. As soon as my eyes look above the ground I see the most beautiful sunset. The pinks and oranges swirl as the sun kisses the earth. It isn’t calm and collected, however, it is a breathtaking mess. This is my future. Vast, wide, and unknowing.

I choose Him.


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