I've been thinking a lot about direction lately. Where am I going? Where have I come from? From where have I risen and where, next, will the falls occur? I think, as someone who has claimed storytelling as the heartbeat of her life, I am learning more and more that direction is a key component in any story. It is, without a doubt, intrinsic to my little life.
I've been quite clear on where I came from; raised in the midst of cornfields and wearing Carhartt isn't something that escapes a girl's mind easily. I never felt quite right in the middle of all the jacked up trucks and driving behind farm machinery on those back roads, but I willingly admit that I began a love affair with my roots in the country the moment I left them for space of my own.
The where I'm going seems to change from season to season; I can recall my mom very lovingly nudging me, saying, "You will change what you want, coco. What you desire at 21 won't be the same at 25. And rest assured they will change again before 30." I finally was able to admit to her recently that she couldn't have been more right about this point -- along with about a million other points, but let's not stray from the subject at hand . . .
Where I am headed - the direction, the location, the heart state from here forward is not wholly known. I can tell you simple things. I live in Dayton; shortly I will work in Mason; in August I get to put my heart back together when I am reunited with Goutham in India; tomorrow, I will go to work and probably make funny faces to get my students to laugh.
Two years ago, if you would've told me that on the cusp of 29 I would be entering into my dream job I wouldn't have believed you.
Two years ago, if you had told me I would have traveled to India, fallen crazy wild for a 13 year old boy, and met Jesus in a whole new way I would have laughed in your face.
Two years ago, I would have entered into a relationship with a man who was kind to me, regardless of his beliefs or who he claimed King over his life.
So here I am - on the cusp of 29; I am raising support for my dream job. I visited India last summer, came to love a little boy named Goutham, and am counting down the days until I get to be with him, again. And I stopped a relationship from starting because, although this man was kind, Jesus was not his first love.
If we are to stay on theme with direction, folks, you must know that, on the subject of my heart and falling in love, I was prone to allow the compass needle to spiral heedlessly in efforts of finding someone.
But something has altered my course.
Here's the thing . . . when you accept a job that is ministry based, when you sponsor a child because Jesus asked you to, when you leave the comfort of a job you've been at for more than two years -- it's because something, someONE, bigger than you is saying go, say yes, follow Me. So then you start to consider that Someone over every area of your life - it's not just about a job, it's about building accountability with people so they can ask the hard questions; it's about confessing past sins to your support mentor so she knows to pray and ask in the future; it's about recognizing that I cannot claim to live my life for Jesus and only allow Him into the parts of my heart that I have "mostly" together.
It's about being able to look myself in the mirror every morning and know that, while I'm never going to get it right or perfect or stop struggling, I can lay it all at His feet and He will make things come together the way they need to.
I know where I have come from -- and I am thankful for anytime I get to talk about the dips He's allowed me to fall in to - because He gets the fame over carrying me out.
I know where I've been.
And every now and then I am able to see glimpses of where I'm going - the way there is paved with roads littered with whispered prayers and journaled desires of a life I so desperately wanted. And I can see into the panes of the windows of what it will look like when I get there . . . And ya'll. It's dreamier and richer and more delicious than anything my human imagination could wish to muster.
So here's what I've come to learn about direction. . . I'll always choose the wrong way. Nearly every starting point will go South of where I need to be going, if I allow myself to make all the decisions. Jesus will always step in to redirect my wild, wandering, flight-risked steps. And because of that, because He never stops stepping up and swooping in, He needs to be my first choice every time. Every moment needs to be insulated with the knowledge that He created me - He formed me - and He knows how this all ends before I get to the starting line of any plot.
I will not choose kindness from someone I barely know over relationship with my King. I will not, I cannot, choose anyone over my Father.
I know where I come from. I can celebrate the valleys because I have been rescued from their clawing depths. And I may not have all the answers for where I'm headed, or what may happen along the way, but I am more sure of this than anything else . . .
Jesus is my true North.