family life, spiritual life, women

Be careful what you wish for

“We think we know what we want, but we can never really know until we’ve got it. And sometimes when we have, we discover we never really wanted it in the first place – but then it’s too late.” Alexandra Potter, British novelist

Walking past a computer where a daughter was checking out another Sims 4 player’s virtual household the other day was a surprise. There, alongside a video-playing teen and a toddler eating a peanut butter sandwich right on the couch, was a virtual me. Or, the virtual future me, should I be so blessed.

I stood and watched a good five minutes the resemblance was so astonishing. Tall. The same wild, curly bob — although hers was white and mine is still dishwater. Same granola clothes. Same house decor. Same habits and hobbies.

It was odd, seeing my potential future self in action. But, I liked it. I would, in fact, consider it a gift from God to age into that cool-clothes, strong-bodied, natural-haired woman. Bring it on! (OK, not quite yet. Especially the grandchildren eating peanut butter on the couch part, please Jesus.)

It was also the absolute opposite of another touchstone that is in my life. When I was 25, a co-worker had a side hustle writing career biographies for a textbook company. I was “small-city journalist” for one edition. As I have moved through adulthood, I’ve kept a copy handy. I can see what I looked, lived and worked like, down to exactly what I ate for lunch. (The latter is a reminder that I had no money and that there’s a reason I weigh 15 pounds more now.)

More interesting, however, are my comments about why I wanted to stay at a medium-sized newspaper even though I was within commuting distance of Chicago, my commitment to living near family and my hopes to marry and have children even if it meant major adjustments to my career.

At 25, that’s what I hoped for and my day-to-day actions followed suit. There have been some detours and surprises along the way, but at way more than 25, that’s exactly what I’ve got. So, it stands to reason that if the groovy grammy is what I’m hoping for and pointing my actions toward, that may very well be what God has in store.

It’s a truth I’ve lived long enough to learn: What you wish for is often what you get. So, my e-friends, I can’t help asking: Are you pointed where you want to go? Truly? If you’re not, don’t do something crazy like walk out on your family, but do make a GPS-style maneuver and recalculate your path. Even if you are smack in the middle of a degree program. Even if you are in the middle of a career that pays out the wazoo.

Even if — make that especially if — your final hope is anything less than God’s glorious heaven. All the other choices of life aside, if there’s breath, it’s still not too late to recalculate that path!