The Dark and Uncertain Way

I’m actually writing this on the eve of my 38th birthday (July 14th) as I’m watching the sun set over the head rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. This entire weekend (me, Hubby, and Sugarplum went to Sandy Cove Retreat Center for some much needed R&R) has been one of reflection for me. As of tomorrow, I will have been been technically grown for 20 years. Of course, once you get to a certain age you realize that the concept of being grown is a relative one. Nevertheless, I left my parents’ house at 18 years old and by the grace of God, I have never returned outside of visits and vacations. 

When I consider these last 20 years, I admit, there have been some really good stuff. Stuff I could revel in. As a matter of fact, on paper, I look pretty decent. I’ve accomplished a lot and done most everything I’ve wanted to do. But be clear. It has not been all roses and lollipops. I have some serious scars from both the internal and external battles I’ve fought throughout the years. Someone said something to me recently that gave me pause: “Girl, you’ve done more in 20 years than some people have done in a lifetime.” On the surface, that sounds pretty cool, right? It means I’ve lived, right? 

I suppose. 

One might be inclined to pop a collar or two. Yet, turning 38 and being filled with such overwhelming gratefulness for God’s grace and mercy, I’m quite clear that I’m not in a “pop your collar” season. 

I am at a crossroads. 

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” 
– Proverbs 14:12 NKJV

Down one road, I can see everything. At least I think can. I can see everything because it’s all in my plan. The direction of my writing and teaching career. My path as a parent. My growth as a wife. It’s all there. And it’s beautiful. It’s easy. It’s the way I would want it to be. 

And it is the wrong, wrong, wrong way. 

Because it is my way. 

The other road is dark except for the few steps in front of me. The trajectory of my writing career is uncertain. How my daughter will “turn out” is unclear. Whether I will ever master the role of wife seems unlikely. 

And this is God’s way. 

I know it is. 

I know it is because I’ve been here before. In other iterations of my life. I know that this seemingly empty, dark, uncertain way is God’s way for me because it absolutely requires my faith. Like driving down a dark highway with just my headlights to guide me, I have to trust that the road will not end too quickly, that I will be able to make every curve and bend, that something won’t jump out from the trees, and if all these things do happen, I have to trust that I will still be okay. The headlights of my life (the things I can see today) are enough to carry the whole way. 

Yes, this way requires faith and my trust. Two things I don’t easily give. Two things I must release to God and, in some cases, to man in order to fully be what God has purposed me to be. 

I’m certain that who I will be at the end of this journey…if I choose the dark and uncertain way…will be so much greater; my experience, so much more fulfilling; the realization of my dreams, so much more awesome than I can ever imagine for myself. 

I also know that the alleged beauty of “MY WAY’ is both a mirage and a deception. There are things I see down that road, things I’ve planned, that really don’t exist. There are things I see that seem beautiful and aligned with my every desire but hide many pitfalls and quicksand and other such things waiting to bind me.  

I choose God’s way today. In spite of my fear. In spite of what I cannot see. 

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 

What was your crossroads moment? How did your choices in that moment affect you in the long run?


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