Monday, October 29, 2012
I started thinking yesterday about living well. Again. I’m due these deep thought sessions about once a week these days. But I’ve found this free form of writing resonates with many of you faithful followers out there, as your emails undo all the hesitancy I have in writing them. And I’m a sharer. As someone very close to me once said, “You share and you love. It’s what you do.” Well, for today’s mantra, I’m sharing again.
So I started thinking about life and living well and beautifully. And how, oftentimes, we end up somewhere so very different than where we thought we’d be. These places can be good or dark or scary or golden, and, more often than not, some sort of unique combination of all of the above. And when that happens, you can choose two things: uncertainty or joy.
Choosing uncertainty isn’t something I think anyone actually intends to do—we are all, of course, pretty uncertain about many things. Rather, choosing uncertainty as I mean it here comes from not choosing to be certain that you’re going in the right direction. Because choosing to remain hopeful in His plan and the road you’re headed down is choosing the opposite of uncertainty. It’s choosing joy.
I embarked on a mission to choose joy when I turned 25. I’ve always had a bit of a hard time coping with the idea that perfection isn’t there for the taking—that I never will be and no one expects that of me but myself. So after moving away from, essentially, everyone I love, settling in a new place with a new job, and beginning to brave a new season of life so different from than one I expected to be in by the time I was 25, I threw my perfection hang-up on the ground, stomped on it a little, and decided to choose joy. During this time, there was so much potential for uncertainty, and it’s something that is still there, lingering in the back of whatever is in my head on any given day, always—the option to get lost in this uncertainty.
What will happen?
What will I do?
Who will I love?
What does the future look like?
But it’s time like this, where the uncertainty most certainly can seem all-consuming, that He shows up in the smallest of details to softly whisper, “Choose it. Choose joy. And I will show you peace and hope.” A testament to trust.
Yesterday, this happened on a balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, wine in hand, new and treasured friends surrounding me, discussing life and love and the beauty of it all. After a long, chaotic, hectic week, my soul was rested, settled, and full to the brim, no, overflowing with the contentment that only choosing joy can do. And I could only think of eight words:
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Even so. Stress. Despair. Uncertainty. Sorrow. Pain. Heartache. Longing. Unmet expectations. Failure.
Despite it all... It is well with my soul. Rest from the madness. Trust in the unknown. Satisfaction in His love. Freedom from the ever persistent perfect complex. The capability to live right now, well, right now, and not a second ahead.
Just a few of the things He provides me with as I choose joy.
It is well with my soul.
Mantra that this week.