Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Of Finding Your Own Path


"... but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." 2 Cor. 10:12

Now there's a verse which will set you free.

If you can get over the thing which says Everything Must Be a Certain Way and if you can think outside the box (rather than inside the same old stuffy box with everybody else), well, you might just get somewhere. You might just get happy.

I remember standing in my bedroom at age 15 and thinking, "You know? I just don't want to be like everyone else. I don't like what they like and I'm tired of pretending that I do."

On that day, I began a freedom walk. A small beginning it was, but a beginning, nonetheless.

Something funny? It took me 30 years to realize I am a college drop-out. Wild, huh? I went to a Christian college for one year, hated it, then I met Tom that summer and fell in love--and gasped with relief that I wouldn't have to return to school. Why did I hate college so much? The back-stabbing gossip of the girls in the dorm. That, and I could find no kindred spirits anywhere on campus, plus, I longed to return to my tiny mountain town, a town I'd come to adore, a town where God was using me to encourage others.

Never, not for even 3 minutes have I regretted leaving college. College wasn't for me. No, freedom was for me: the freedom of a homemaker's life. (And see, right there is another sign of my different way of thinking--tons of wives view homemaking as a prison. I pity them for not seeing the opened-wide doors.)

Now, did Tom have to go to college to support my homemaking habit? Not exactly--when I met him, he'd not attended college. Years later he did take a short specialized course which helped him get the job in Nevada, which later helped him get his job here in New York. And then years after that he attended college for two associate degrees, but only because he chose to. College was something he wanted to do for himself.

What am I saying? Go to college if God is directing you to go for a career down the road. Or if you desire to go for the enjoyment of learning. But skip it if you're considering it only because every other woman on the block has gone/is going and you're feeling left behind and neglected. Skip the guilt and the bad feelings of being sunk, helpless, too, if you choose another path. Instead, choose individuality, creativity and carving out a unique life of your own--and live amazed.

In fact, any time people--or even your own insecure self-- are pressuring you to do something, always (always) step back, escape to silence and whisper about it first with God. Let Him explain things. And if He tells you to take a different, less traveled road--alone, even--take it. For, it's on that road where you'll meet up with Joy and you'll probably discover your real self, too-- the person God meant for you to become. But only if you don't look back. Only if you do not waffle around in what-ifs or shoulda-woulda-coulda.

Only if you walk boldly. Even alone.



*************

"There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.”
Henry David Thoreau

“A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him.”
Alexander Solzenitsyn

Learning! I am constantly learning. Everywhere I go, every walk I take or every webpage or book I open--always--there is something before my eyes begging to be learned.

"A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." ... James 1:8

7 comments:

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

Debra~ Thanks so very much for your comment and for this post. To be totally honest with you - most of the time I am so thankful that I do not have a full time career. I totally believe that a household is much happier if there is just one career. I am thinking that the fact that Jason has Parkinson's and I have a fear that when he goes down hill - I will have to work and that is scary - plus thinking that I don't have any special education to make good money at a job. But as I type I am reminded that I don't need to borrow trouble from tomorrow. God will take care of tomorrow. I do think that is what brought on all those emotions yesterday.
Thanks again - I enjoy the Freedom as well,
Lisa :o)

Laura said...

Oh man. I fight this one a lot. I didn't get the chance to go to college when I'd wanted to and now I'm busy in the middle of a life I chose, and a life I love, at home with my kids.

But. I loved school. I'm disappointed I didn't get to go, so someday, when the season is right and God says "go" then I'll go. It is an ongoing battle to keep my head held high in a group of my peers, especially at church it seems, when all these women have degrees and sit around and talk about their glory days or how they know this or that or read this or that in school and now they know the difference between this and that and how they're basically smarter than the whole world. I feel small. And that's my choosing and so I'm learning to step back and remember what God has said is true and what He asked of me and what He's created me for and that every life has seasons and I'm right where I should be - where He has me.

Thank you, as always, for sharing. :)

Debra said...

Lisa--the way I see it is if I'm following the steps God wants me to take today, then I'll be prepared for tomorrow for whatever comes. I've learned to only take on what He wants me to, otherwise it's a burden and feels all wrong. When I obey Him, there is grace for all kinds of help. I'm believing things will work out for you and your husband!

Laura--hmm... Maybe it's time to find some different friends at church. :) Personally? (Shh, don't tell anyone...heh..) there is no way I would hang out with women who speak of 'glory days' and intellectual things. My favorite people don't brag about themselves or try to sound well-educated, but rather, they make me feel loved as well as awed by their humility and grace and teachable, godly spirit. Just a thought.

And by the way, I think you are fine just the way you are. You are right where God wants you to be--and there is no safer place to be. Not safe as in boring and unchallenging, but rather, safe as in protected under His wing and ready for any adventures He brings you along while carrying you beneath that wing. Wherever He has us, always, He has adventures, lessons and *everything* we need in that place--and most of all--in Him.

Thanks, Ladies, for your comments!.... Debra

Laura said...

Great advice! :)

Myrna said...

AMEN and AMEN! Preach it, sister!! ;-)
I remember when all my friends were going off to college..and my parents willing to send me away to college..only I didn't want to. I just went to the local Community College feeling bewildered and perplexed..because what I REALLY wanted to be was a wife and mother.
With no husband material in the horizon, I took Home Economics (do they even TEACH that anymore?) Marriage and Family Relations (a Physc class), Child Development, and Child Physc.--to prepare me for marriage-- AND a few clerical classes to enable me to work in an office (following in the footsteps of my mother and sister) until I met the man of my dreams..thinking when I was 25. When I was 19,after 1 year of college, I met him and married him 9 mos later. I got a clerical job and put him thru college. That was 32 years and 3 kids ago. Never regretted, like you for even 3 min!
I praise God for the life He's given me..the life I've always wanted.
Great post, Debra!
Hugs,
Myrn

jodi said...

I did go to college. They were not in any way my glory days. But I do remember certain classes with fondness and still to this day love Greek Mythology and horticulture. It also got me away from home and caused me to become more mature. As I look back the gain in maturity was my gift from God or so I believe. That and meeting my husband.

Blue-eyed Blonde said...

Debra: I love your wisdom. You said to Laura, "You are right where God wants you to be--and there is no safer place to be." Sometimes I fight that and forget to trust. Yet, it's so true. I have not always been a happy homemaker, and especially since I've had an empty nest for almost 20 years. I had planned to work almost fulltime when my two flew the nest, but God had other plans. I have a chronic pain disorder that keeps me home. And, after reading your blog, I'm finally seeing how I can enjoy it more. For me, you are right where you are because God knew I needed your insight and encouragement. Thanks so much!