My sister’s wedding is this Saturday. In preparation for the big day, My twin and I had a sister date last night and got our nails done. I’m not in the habit of getting my nails done. I’m too cheap to pay for that service but this seemed like an appropriate occasion to get my nails polished. The lady who did my nails was excited to hear that we are twins. However, almost as soon as she expressed her excitement, the statement about our size difference came out of her mouth. “You’re twins! But you’re bigger than she is?” Yes, I am, and I have spent my whole life being asked why that is the case. Well, there is a God who created me in my mother’s womb and before time began determined how I would be formed. I did not tell her that but just smiled and nodded. God did not ask me how I would feel about being the bigger twin. I trust that he knew what he was doing when he set my growth chart into motion. I trust that there is a reason for why he made me the way he did (haven’t figured out why yet but trusting that there is a reason).
Matthew 6:27 tells me that worrying can not add a single inch to my height. I say, “Praise God, because I don’t need any more inches.” I am 5’11” and with the right shoes I might as well be 6’. The notion that worrying could make one taller is absurd. Of course, a person has little control over how tall they will be. This statement points out how ridiculous it is to worry about things that you can’t control. Its unproductive. What does it accomplish? Nothing!
As I think about this, I realize that worry also shows a lack of trust. Sometimes, it feels like there ae bigger things that God would be concerned about other than the areas of my life that I don’t understand. Things like the job that I have right now even though I’m educated in the Bible and Early Childhood Education or my living situation when I’d rather be in Washington. These are details of my life. The God who created me must also care about these details. It mattered enough to him and his plan for me to include how tall I would be. It seems like a small detail but having spent my whole life with my sister and my height being a topic for conversation from even strangers, leads me to think that it is important God and there is a reason. Likewise, the different directions that our lives are taking right now are also part of the plan that the God who created me has for me. So, worrying about this stuff will prove to be unproductive. It’s not always easy to do but I am going to trust that God is working in my life. I’m here for his service and I am certainly god created me with plan for my life and he knows every aspect of my life.
“Be Brave! Choose Joy!” Those are the words that are written inside of a red baseball cap that my good friend from Washington gave me as going away gift. In smaller print she also wrote “You are braver and stronger than you think.” On the outside of the hat it says, “Washington” with a pine tree in place of the “t” in the word. I love this hat. I wear it all the time and am convinced that it is one accessory that goes with everything. I tell me sister that I am going to wear it with my bridesmaid dress at her wedding. She just gives me a look that communicates her lack of belief in that statement. Oh! But I’m serious (maybe)! This hat is my crown and constant reminder to be brave and to choose joy. Joy is my favorite word but lately in this season of my life it seems hard to have joy when I do not like so many of the things that are happening in my life. But I made my choices. Was it not me that decided to move to Washington and me that decided to move back. It is also me that is choosing to move back into my parent’s house. All these decisions I took my time making and committed them to prayer. Sometimes we do things not because they are easy but because they are the right thing to do. I can find joy in my choices by knowing that I am doing the right thing.
However, doing the right thing does not always take away the pain that the reality of the situation brings. This weekend especially was difficult. I completed moving all my things and my furniture over to my parent’s house. My sister’s soon to be husband was so good and used his truck to move my stuff. I told him that in exchange for his help that I will not live with the two of them after they are married. He appreciates that. After everything was moved, I looked at my empty room and said goodbye to the life I knew with my sissy. A life that we shared in that house for many years together. Goodbyes are hard. I do not like the way this feels. Be brave and choose joy! I remind myself of that.
Though my choices were made due to things that were out of my control, my choices were my own. My attitude should not be one of bitterness or self-pity. Moving forward, I want to be brave even though I do not know how long this season will be or what is instore for me. I want to have joy in my grief even though goodbyes are hard I know that my joy comes from God and He is with me. I’m waiting and asking that His hand moves in life. He has been faithful and will continue to be. I know this. In that there is joy and in Him I am brave.
I don’t like what is happening. I came to the realization the other day as I was talking to a friend about my moving plans, that I’ll be living for the first time in my old room without my sister. I’m moving back in with my parents and depending on the day, depends on how I feel about it. I grew up in that house, in that room since the time we moved in when I was 2 until I moved out at 21. That whole time I shared the space with Alona, my twinny! That was our room! I don’t want to live that space without her! I have started moving boxes over. It was weird looking in the empty closet and thinking about what I am going to fill it with. I remember when the shelves held boxes of Barbies and dress-ups. The walls of the room had pink strips and a doll board at the ceiling that my mom painted. The walls are now a beige color. The carpet is new. No longer is the carpet that we played on and held wedding ceremonies for our Barbies there. My sister gets to live in a house with her husband and I am returning to this space. This empty space that is very familiar but at the same time has changed.
I don’t understand what is happening. A year ago I graduated with my bachelors and I was living in Washington. I pursued Bible college not knowing what life at the end of it would be like or what God would have me do with my degree. This is not what I thought would be my reality. I trust that God is working even though I do not see it. I trust that my current state will not be forever. I hope that I do not have to wait long. I’m praying that God helps me do my best in every area of my life. I want to encourage others and glorify God.
Honestly, sometimes I feel like I am being punished! Did I expect some kind of reward or grand opportunity when I finished school, and this just isn’t measuring up to that? Maybe! I sometimes think that I can be proud of the fact that I paid my way through school without debt, graduated with honors, and am the only one in my whole family that has a four-year degree. But I did not do this on my own. By the grace of God that was accomplished, and it will be through his grace that I use my degree. He has a plan. This is not a punishment. It is just another part of his plan.