Sunday, July 6, 2014

I never signed up for this!

I wish I could remember exactly how I Imagined my adult life would be when I was a child.  I am sure that I had aspirations of some fame and maybe a small fortune?  Or maybe I just imagined that it would be cool to set my own bedtime or to be able to drive my self down to the ice cream stand?  To be honest I can't remember, I wish I could, but I can't.  Even though my memory may be fuzzy here I am certain that I never quite imagined my adult life to be what it is today.  To be fair I have had experiences that have been amazing, breathe taking moments that still make me shake my head because I feel so lucky to have experienced them.  But also to be fair, I have had a lot of experiences that have left me broken.  Experiences that still cause fear and pain even in this very moment, as I write these words.   

It has been in these moments, the ones that leave life long scars that I have wanted to cry out, "I never signed up for this!!" Maybe I didn't "sign up for this," but I did sign on to this.  Sure we never planned for the pain.  Whether we contributed to its cause or it was completely out of our control, nevertheless it wasn't our plan.  However it is our life.  Whether our choice or not it is our journey (yes I realize how over used that phrase is in our culture) When as a child, I would lie under the stars on hot steamy July evenings in the foothills of upstate South Carolina, I never wished that "by the time I am 36 I hope that I can be divorced, remarried, have finical struggles, battle obesity, and wrangle with anxiety and depression!" Who in their right mind would dream of such!?  But this is my life, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  

I find it peculiar about myself that I gravitate to the power of my fears and failures rather than my past successes. Whenever I have to make tough decisions, whenever I am faced with uncertainty it never fails that my mind is ravaged with thoughts of failure, mistake, and past regrets.  Once those thoughts cycle through I then project how terrible the future could be.  I love to play the "what if" game as I juggle future plans and decisions.  Of course some of this is just wise self-preservation, hopefully we learn from past mistakes, but so much of this for me is unhealthy.  So unhealthy that I can get so marred down that I can't move right or left!  But what about my successes!?  The reality is I have had some of those as well. 

I am at a stage in my life where I am challenging myself to live in possibility.  My personal work has been to summon up my memories of strength.  I know without a doubt that I stand at a crossroads today. (Ironic since my name means "at the intersection or crossroads") The joy I have is that I do not stand there alone.  I have an amazing partner in my wife, whose power, strength, beauty, and intelligence could never be adequately described with just words.  I won't even try.  I also do not stand-alone because I believe in a calling and I do believe in God.  I am not the one who quotes a lot of scripture or has nice padded sayings displayed but I do have a personal faith.  For those who know me you know that faith is hard to describe and it does not fit into many molds that we like to use when it comes to these categories.  This has led to much frustration for some whom both I love and love me.  Though I feel I have a faith firmly rooted in Christianity.  

Even though I stand at a crossroads and perhaps it is one of the most precarious crossroads I have ever faced, I do believe that that the God who loves me, and has guided me, and has provided the love in my wife and partner, will also be the God who continues to sustain and guide.  My hope is that I will make any decision as I move forward not based in the control of fear but rather informed by experience and ultimately in the belief that "I can by God's help succeed." Sure I may have not signed up for this but with all the twists, turns, dips, highs, and lows it has been an amazing ride so far.  I believe that it will continue to be so.  I never signed up for this, but I am sure glad that I signed on!

Travis (the one at the crossroads)

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