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I’ve always asked, “Why?”

While most people begin to seriously question their callings in college, I can’t remember a time in my life when I was not evaluating my destiny, wondering what God had planned for me. Not content to rest in the simple joys of Texas barbecues and neighborhood kickball tournaments, I knew even as a kid that I wanted my life to matter. Baked beans, smoked brisket and first base could only hold my interest for so long. Every major decision that I made in the subsequent years was colored by my overwhelming desire to change the world.

I dreamed of being an international diplomat. I dreamed of being a martyr. I dreamed of opening orphanages for the unwanted and unloved. I dreamed of putting a stop to the sex slave trade. I dreamed of becoming a world-famous writer and journalist. I dreamed of about being a mommy.  

I didn’t dream about being a homesick, anorexic college freshman.

I didn’t dream about teaching middle school.

I didn’t dream about walking through rape, pregnancy scares, and a suicide attempt with someone I love with a love that rivals that of a mother.

I didn’t dream about craving a baby, but not knowing whether that dream would ever become a reality.

I didn’t dream about losing hope.

I didn’t dream about questioning God’s goodness and love.

Yet, here I am.

Maybe you are here too. Whether or not you can relate to my journey, we both have stories. We both want to know, “Why?”

I don’t know.

Slowly, as life wears on, I am realizing that I must be content with the fact that I may never know.

Here is what I do know. I’m going to start asking different questions.

Instead of “Why,” I am going to ask “Who,” “What,” “When,” and “How.”

Who do I want to become? Who are the people who matter the most to me? Who can I love with my Heavenly Father’s love?

What song was I created to sing? What circumstances can I give thanks in? What delights can I revel in? What moments can I relish? What pictures can I capture for eternal remembrance?

When can I laugh? When can I sing? When can I cry? When can I dance? When can I rejoice in the little moments of the miraculous? When can I grieve the situations that don’t make sense?

How am I going to inhale God’s peace? How am I going to exhale His joy? How am I going to circumvent the tragedy to meditate on the goodness? How am I going to hope? How am I going to help others hope, breathe, sing, grieve, dance?

Teach me the answers to these questions if you know.

I’m going to start with a resolution to give thanks. Every day I am going to find something to rejoice over, to worship God for, to fill my soul with the good things promised by my Creator.

An incredible friend and mentor in my life pointed me towards the book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. Although I have only downloaded it and skimmed its first pages, I think it holds the key to unlocking the joy that I have misplaced. It oozes the delicate mysteries, the transient dreams, the raw truths, the beautiful realization that Christ will never leave me nor forsake me. Although I don’t know what form this resolution will take on this blog, I am going to try to create a personal list of one thousand gifts on which to refocus my waning vision. I can’t resist the invitation to concretely describe perfection when pain has become so evident.     

I can’t resist the invitation to share with you my journey in pursuit of unwavering hope.

I’m dreaming about seeing miracles.

I’m dreaming about experiencing life fully.

I’m dreaming about changing me. I’m dreaming about changing you. That’s the world I want to change now – the one that really matters.

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