Can I get a do-over?
I would go back to October of 2002. I would submit my application to teach english as a second language while working on a Masters in English Education. I would spend two years in China and Thailand teaching and learning. I would then look for a job somewhere that would take me far away from friends and family. I would experience a completely different life. That was my dream.
But I love my family. I can't imagine living life with anyone else. So instead of a complete do-over, maybe I could just go back and know then what I know now. I think my life would have taken a slightly different course or at least things would have been delayed for a bit.
But we don't get do-overs and we don't get to know our futures.
So instead of a do-over, can I just run away? Can I leave life as I know it and do something different? Not forever but maybe for a little while? Like a vacation from life. A lengthy getaway to clear my head. To get away from my responsibilities. I know it sounds selfish, but I would just like to have a good 6 months to a year to just focus on me, myself and I.
I guess I could run away, but ultimately, that would cause more harm than good.
Tamara Lunardo (A Deeper Story) wrote, "life doesn't give you re-writes; it only lets you keep telling the stories you've got and offering fresh pages." So instead of starting over or running away, I will continue living and telling my story even it's not the one that I had dreamed of. I will gladly accept the fresh pages, but this go around, I won't waste so much time crafting that perfect ending. I will take life one paragraph at a time. One day at a time. Maybe even one hour at a time. I will leave that perfect ending, whatever it may be, to the Lord.
It's hard though. Hard to not plan my future. Not to think about what is to come. But at this point, I don't really know what is to come. I really can't even imagine what next month has to offer. I know what I hope for. I have a fuzzy dream about what my future can be. But I've definitely learned not to lean on my hopes and my dreams.
Life is teaching me to only hope in the Lord. He is the only one who truly is faithful. He is faithful by always being present in our lives. He may not be present in the way we want him to be, but he is here with that still small voice offering a peaceful embrace. He may not always rescue us, but he always walks with us.
Over the last two months, I have wept, cried, wailed. I have screamed and trembled. I have been left speechless and breathless. But each time, God has offered love and peace. Comfort and release. Confidence and strength. His arms have wrapped tightly around me. He's surrounded me. Understood me. Accepted me.
With these fresh pages he's given me, I am learning to let go. To fully surrender my pain, my hurt, my confusion, my wants and my needs. I have found peace in even leaving the pages blank for a while. I am beginning to feel the freedom that comes with surrender. Freedom to let God hold the pen. To let him write my story.
Can I get a do-over?