I’ve been pretty hard on myself lately.
Things haven’t gone the way I wanted them to, and sometimes blaming myself is just easier. When I am the only common denominator in a series of disappointing events, It’s easier to beat myself up than to say I don’t know why this happened. It’s easier to blame myself than to try and understand complicated theology about God and spiritual forces and sin nature and what He allows and what just happens because we’re human. Etcetera.
There’s so many things in my life I can’t explain. I can’t tell you why every year of my life has been completely different from the one before. I can’t tell you why relationships that seemed so meant to be haven’t worked out. I can’t tell you why I’ve sometimes felt so strongly like God is leading me in a certain direction, and then the road leads to pain and disappointment, making me feel as if I was intentionally led astray by a God who seems to care more about proving a point than giving me a real purpose for living. Can the little bit of life experience I’ve gained really justify so much difficulty?
It’s reminded me of one of my favorite songs by Tyler Heath (of The Oh Hello’s) which says It won’t always be raining.
it won’t always go how you want it to go
but the flower needs the rain
just as it needs the sun to grow
there will always be something
that’s beyond your control
but you’ll never live ’til you let it go
It’s so hard to let it go. It’s hard to let go of hurtful words others have said, and the ones I’ve repeated to myself. It’s hard to accept that life just didn’t go the way I planned, and now it’s time to move on.
For quite some time now, I’ve been feeling like it’s time to go. It’s time to climb a mountain, to look up at a new sky, to learn to navigate new roads. At first I ignored it. I told myself that leaving now was just too scary when I have $200 in my bank account and a resume that says “serious identity crisis”. But the nagging feeling just wouldn’t go away.
I still had this small voice in my head that said “It’s time to go.”
As soon as I return from Europe in August, I will be leaving Chicago to accept a job as a music teacher in the mountains of western Guatemala, in a town called Quetzaltenango (also known as Xela). For a little while at least, I’m trading in city streets for mountains and my abundance of stuff for a two packed suitcases. My to-do list currently includes applying for a missionary visa and buying a raincoat and a Spanish dictionary.
no, it won’t always go how you want it to go
the rain will surely find you
and the sun will come and go
but it will not always be raining
seasons change, people grow
and you’ll never live ’til you let it go
A season of my life is ending, but sometimes endings are good. An ending could be the end of years of uncertainty, the end of an identity crisis, the end of stagnancy. And some of these things may persist despite a change of scenery, but I decided a long time ago that I would rather live a life that is interesting rather than one that is comfortable. With every ending, we also have a beginning, and beginnings give us hope that life will not always be the same. After a difficult season, looking forward to a new beginning is a reminder that it won’t always be raining.
Well, unless you live in Xela, where I hear it really is always raining. But I think that’s a different story.