“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver
I recently made a friend at work whose been stressing to me the importance of having a sense of direction and springing forward, full-throttle in pursuit of what you think your purpose in life is. “Make sure you have goals”, he told me.
“I do”, I replied.
“Yeah but do you have them written down?” He challenged me.
“Of course.” I lied.
The thing is that of course I have goals, but I don’t necessarily have them written down, and now that I’ve settled into a completely different state with minimal support and have sold and given away most of my “estate” if you will, my identity has been flushed clear down the the toilet. It is drifting out somewhere in the ether waiting to return to me on these simple terms: “You are a gift from God Mauriel; a light in the darkness.”
And so I find myself in these humble circumstances working part time in a grocery store and relying on disability checks from social security, just praying that the devil would not outwit me into a sense of shame and nothingness. I work at a grocery store… and you know what? I do it with my head held high because I was born for something greater than this moment.
The other day I I came across a woman coddling her infant, and he was so contented just nestled in her arms. I looked at him and thought what a miracle it was that he survived childbirth. He is a warrior in my eyes, to have left the safety of the womb in order to enter into this cold “every man for himself” world. He won’t be in his mother’s arms always, but the fact that he was born, tells me that he was marked by something divine with a purpose. I know his mother’s heart sings to that melody in her gratitude for her sweet babe.
The chat with my Coworker:
Chatting with him sort of peeved me initially because he was striking a sensitive nerve inside. I knew that I had stopped dreaming and hoping in God, because my heart had been broken by life. I’ve come all the way from Texas’ thriving economy, a full time corporate job, a degree and my own place down to virtually nothing except a couple hundred in my bank account and a part time job meant for teenagers. I am at the foot of a big mountain, climbing back to stability and a sense of settlement, and it feels like I have a long way to go. Somewhere underneath all of those raw words he was speaking I heard: “I see you, I believe in you, you can do this.”
And so here I find myself, at the intersection between the fragility of life and strength of my own soul. All the trauma of my childhood has not destroyed me. Here I still stand like a tree planted—“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength(Philippians 4:16). I am not the sum of all my failures. I am the sum of things I’ve overcome.
While on the onset, I was frazzled by these “Dad talks” I think in retrospect that it was God’s favor. So having had my faith rekindled by my co-worker’s strong sense of hope and responsibility, I have returned to my own—that is “hope and responsibility.” I understand (God) the Father’s love, a little bit more, though not entirely, and I so look forward to the plans that He has for my life, and I am ready to be disappointed by life. What can shake someone rooted in the Lord?
“For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11