That’s how I used to live my life.
For a good 5 or more years I was completely disillusioned with where I was.
Unhappy at work. Unhappy at home.
Waiting for my real life to begin.
I remember listening to Colin Hay’s Going Somewhere album on repeat. I was drawn to his acoustic guitar and folk voice.
This song became an anthem of sorts for me.
I would listen to it driving home from work.
Then I would listen to it driving to the bar where I attempted to escape my misery. Seeking refuge in tall, icy bottles of beer.
I felt trapped in my life. Like I had stepped on a conveyor belt at 20 years old and it pulled me along into a life that wasn’t what I’d hoped for.
The excitement of engagements and weddings and new apartments & houses had swept through my circle of friends like wildfire. I’d been so caught up in the hoopla of it all that it came as somewhat of a shock when reality and difficulty set in a few years later.
Like so many, I was ungrateful.
I didn’t think I was experiencing the happiness I deserved.
My boss didn’t appreciate me enough. My husband didn’t treasure me enough. My friends didn’t admire me enough.
I was waiting for my real life to begin.
You know, the one that made me happy.
Because that’s the lie I was fed and I gobbled it up and asked for seconds.
“Do what makes you happy.”
“If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad”
It’s like happiness was on this alter and everyone was bowing down to it. Trying to rearrange our lives so that they’d make us happy or at least stop keeping us from happiness.
While, all along, joy was right under our noses.
If we’d only notice it.
The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible. And it’s the art of gratitude that makes joy possible.
I wasn’t looking.
At the nice home. Or the dear husband…a man who was kind and stable and who would never hurt me. I didn’t see the financial security we had or the good health. Supportive families and abundance of friends. A great job with a wonderful boss. A promising future, just waiting for us to realize and take hold of it.
I was only seeing what I thought I was missing out on.
A soul mate. Freedom. Adventure.
- soul mates are made, not found.
- freedom is found in Christ (Gal 5:1).
- adventure is every single day of even the most ordinary life submitted to an extraordinary God.
My real life HAD begun.
Those long, dark years were a part of my story.
At the time, and even for a long time afterward, they felt so haphazard. Like such a failure. So many mistakes. So many poor choices.
And it all seemed for nothing other than to rob me of the joy I was so desperately seeking.
Now, years later, I can look back and see how God was weaving all of that together. In fact, those years now bring me great joy.
Today I sing songs like this one
I’ve tasted and seen
Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free and my shame is undone
In your presence
and I can believe those words.
I feel my heart becoming free.
I feel my shame coming undone.
I know His grace and His mercy.
Those sad chapters had to happen. They are a part of my story. And my story is a part of His bigger story.
It’s all real.
My real life had begun…I was living it then, and I’m living it now.
Let us become more aware of your presence
Let us experience the glory of your goodness
Did you know that the word glory in Hebrew is kabod which means “heavy in weight”?
Let us experience the heaviness of your goodness. Like a big, thick blanket on a cold fall night.
God’s goodness will weigh heavy on us when we become aware of His presence.
That’s my prayer now.
I’m no longer waiting for my real life to begin.
I’m longing to become more aware of His presence, and I’m anxiously awaiting the adventure that follows.
I open my eyes each day to see the blessings around me. They bring me gratitude and that gratitude ushers in joy.
How sweet our real lives can be when we notice them!