I’m constantly at war with myself.
Okay, maybe that sounds a little dramatic…. let me try that again.
My personality conflicts with itself. Yeah… that sounds a little better, but not really. I’m a first-born, goody-two-shoes people-pleaser with a strong personality and a mouth that sometimes thinks way faster than my brain.
See? War and conflict. I am exactly 1/4 Italian. Sicilian, if we’re going to get specific. I’ve always been proud of my heritage… the Smithson side, the Hovis side, the Ferrara side, the Higgenbotham side…. yes, I’m a mess of lots of different things (aren’t we all?) but being American means we were born from adventurers that came from other places seeking freedom and a better life… otherwise, we wouldn’t be here, right?
But I’m getting off track. I was talking about that 1/4… that Italian quarter that gave me none of the beautiful olive skin or teeny tiny build, but all of the fire and hot-headedness, the passion, the speaking-before-I-think-ness.
And honestly? I kind of dig it. The older I get, the more I’ve embraced it. But I don’t want to lose the other parts of me. Balance is a very good thing.
Come to think of it, my Momo (from the other side of my family) was a ball of fire too…. genetics are funny things. And me turning out the way I did? Inevitable.
I’ve begun to speak my mind… working hard to do so in love. Kindness matters, and this world is hard enough. But sometimes? Sometimes you have to defend your people, or yourself, and let whatever happens happen. Or if necessary, apologize. I’ve let go of the need to please everybody because it’s impossible. And exhausting. And pointless.
There’s something great about growing older. Turning 40? So far, it’s been my most difficult and most freeing year yet.
My little family has been in a season of waiting for several months now. And, I hate it.
But. Why is there always a but?
Waiting serves a purpose. Quite possibly, it serves several purposes.
For this hot-headed, impatient, I-need-an-answer-now planner girl… it’s a very important lesson.
I’m learning to rest in God. Completely.
Also, I know now that I can tell Him absolutely everything. And believe me, I have. The time spent in my closet with Him has often times been ugly. There’s yelling. And crying. And pleading. And doubting. But mixed in with all of that, there’s also been laughter and joy and trust beyond our circumstances.
I never leave until I get it all out and the peace has returned, knowing full well that He gets it. That He may be shaking His head a little, but most likely with a smile on His face.
God gets it. He gets me. But He doesn’t want to leave me this way. Which is why I’ve had to spend so much time in that closet these days.
The most beautiful part of this season of waiting? That I’m learning to cling to God more than whatever the outcome of the waiting is. That whatever God has next for our family, we will never again be the same (in the best possible way) because we will know that no matter what happens, He’ll get us through it… better, stronger, ready to embrace the adventure He has spent (ALL THIS) time preparing us for.
I used to be the girl with a plan. The whole plan. And if someone dared to deviate from that plan? Not a good idea. Now? Brian could come home and announce that we’re going to become missionaries and live in a hut in Africa and I’d shrug my shoulders and start packing. (*sidenote: Brian would never just “come home and announce” anything. We’d talk and pray about it first, seeking exactly what God wants for us. And I would most definitely have a very long list of questions before I skipped off to pack. But you get the idea.)
My perspective has changed.
God promises us lots of things. And every single one of those promises are true. He promises that life on earth will be hard. And He was right. He promised that we’d be persecuted. And we have been. But on the flip side? He promised He would always take care of us. That He would guide and direct our steps. That He would love us unconditionally. That we never have to worry or fear because He goes before us and walks beside us, all at the same time. He’ll get us exactly where He wants us to be at exactly the perfect time. And it will all be worth it.
It’d be easy to tell you all of this if I was on the other side of the waiting. It’s likely that we’re nearing the end of our waiting (or this season of it, anyway), but we’re still officially in the big middle of it for today, anyway. My hope is that by sharing this with you while it’s still fresh and hard instead of being breezy about it will give it weight. That maybe you needed to read this now because you too are tired, and ready, and maybe scared and doubtful.
That’s normal. And it’s okay. But you don’t have to stay there. Someday you and I will both be on the other side. We’ll look back on all of this seeming nonsense and knowingly smile. Yes, smile, because we’ll be different in the best kind of ways. More okay with who we really are. With a deeper trust in the only One who really knows what’s best… and a whole lot more laid back about this temporary home we’re living in. Perspective, friends. Perspective.