So, how will you choose? I am the worst decider in the whole wide world.. I used to think I was really good at it. I would make a decision and Boom - it was set. I had decided. Neat, tidy, uncomplicated and complete. Next. I was decisive. I knew what I wanted - I knew where I was "supposed to" be and I did it because of what was expected of me. "You should make this choice." "This is what is right for you." As a result, I regretted a lot of decisions I made out of obligation, or expectation.
If you would have asked me at 16, I would have told you I wanted to sing for my life, go to St. Olaf for college, graduate, get married and have kids... how do you like your pizza? - everything - except peppers, please - so she said, and she had it all figured out. You could wrap it up in a red bow and put it under the Christmas tree.
Well, I did go to St. Olaf, I almost transferred at least twice - I am a Project Manager - still sing, not for my job, mind you - not married, no kids... and I know I'm right where I belong. Although.. I still do like my pizza with no peppers :)
I learned to become a storyteller - my decisions started coming slower and a good portion of them, I realized, weren't completely mine to make. The decisions I had so hastily made before, were things that had to come - unfold - not simply by the matter of my own personal decide it right now, will. There was more to it than the "this makes sense right now", decision.
Maybe, it was the first time I left everything certain behind that I felt the impact of being really truly open to what was in front of me. It was a huge risk. Being open meant I wasn't just hanging out there for the good stuff, but that I was wide open to every curve ball the world had to throw at me, including the bad. I was up to my eardrums afraid. I knew nothing and I knew, I knew nothing.
And then she put a name to it and called it grace - although I definitely couldn't have put my finger on it then, this scared shit-less kid held out her hand to the world and came back with a handful. I knew myself better after those experiences - but my decision making has, ever since, decreased in timeliness. Why? Because I don't decide. I pray. With all my might I close my eyes and open my hands. Still, today, it is one of the most difficult things in my life. My will versus God's plan.. where will you use me - where will you fill my hands? God is so big and is capable of ANYTHING... so I began to realize.
This openness has teeter tottered for decades - through tragedy and anger and a paralizing fear of being hurt - but each time the sweaty-palm, balled-into-fists-kid remembers the grace - the growth - the love and hands so full they are overflowing. And with that kind of grace, there is nothing to do but let go - release it all and let God fill these hands - no matter where they've been or what shape they are in.
Like my hands, the world - people - places - events have changed my overall heart shape. This sheltered, tender, desperately afraid heart began to develop into something I am still trying to figure out. But a few things I have learned along the way:
1. "You can't sit on 2 horses with 1 ass, Sugar Bean" - There is a certain conviction of spirit that shapes your character with your decisions. The ones you yourself will into being and in contrast the ones God reminds you of, over and over. I have learned, I can't proclaim to live my life a certain way and then actually live it out differently... you will, indeed fall off the horse.
2. "Your hands start hurting" I'm sure, after long term exposure to this so called "fist clenching" it could even cripple you. No matter where you are, you are capable of writing your own story - either by will or by force, or by God.
3. "It's like it came out of no where." How many times do good things float into your life? They are blessings, recognize this is what they are and count them as such.
4. "If you build it, they will come." hahaha - this one was a bit of a stretch, but I really wanted to use it. If you build an open heart on a foundation of grace, I wonder what will fill it? If God fills your hands, don't you think God can and will fill your heart?
5. Be courageous - with all of these things and the right decision will win out in the end. Then you know God is in it.