My most recent obsession is skydiving. It's something I have wanted to do as long as I can remember, so after I did my first tandem jump back in July, I was hooked!
There's nothing to compare to the feeling of falling through the sky. It's like the whole world stops for a few minutes while you're doing something completely irrational, yet exhilarating. Skydiving has a special way of clearing your mind, too. When I'm in freefall, the only thing I'm thinking about is exactly what I'm doing at that moment. It's like hitting a reset button on my brain. When I hit the ground, it feels as though I'm just waking up. Everything is new again. Worries of the day don't return until I am miles away from the dropzone.
It's really an exciting way to refocus. Another thing that "restarts" me is running. I'm an "unplugged" runner most of the time, so no iPod, no gps, no running buddies to talk with along the way. That's my time with God. And as a side note, there are only two kinds of people I like to talk to while I'm running. Diety, obviously, since I don't have to verbalize to speak to God. Also, Deaf people... and for the same reason. :) I'm using all my breath to breathe, so I don't have time to worry about talking outloud, as well!
Anyway, I am obviously a thrill-seeker, but skydiving caught me by surprise. I never dreamed that it could be such a refreshing, rejuvenating thing that I would come back to do again and again. I definitely recommend trying it to anyone who would dare. It is amazing in so many ways!
I remember about 10 years ago, I felt like I never had a situation in my life where I really needed to trust God. I know that sounds crazy. Life wasn't perfect, don't get me wrong, but I just never remember having the conscious thought that I needed to just trust God's plan. Maybe I was young, maybe I was stupid, maybe I just didn't have the relationship with God that I should have.
Fast forward to now. Here I am, about to turn 30 years old, having no clue what God's plan for me is. Every time I think I know where God is leading or who God is leading me to, a door closes. Some of those closed doors are harder to accept than others, but every time that happens I have a choice to make - do I wallow in disappointment or do I trust God's plan for me? As silly as it sounds, wallowing in disappointment is often the choice I make, for a little while anyway.
I am a planner. I like to control the situations around me. I am just now realizing these things. **Side note, it is crazy to me that I am still learning "new" things about myself at my age.** I'm the type of planner who makes lists and then prioritizes them with star ratings. I hand-draw maps and detailed directions for friends who need it. I have running lists of the names of my hypothetical future children. I have lists in my phone of fun things to do when a friend comes to town and we have a few free hours. I am a planner.
I've been doing that my whole life. In 2000, if you would have asked me what my life would be like as I turn 30, I would have told you that I would be married with a ton of kids. Like, a bus-load of children. :) Some adopted, some that I birthed. I'd be done having kids because I always wanted to be a young mom. That would be my job (and has always been my number one dream job!) - staying home and taking care of my kiddos and ironing my husband's shirts for work and cooking him yummy dinners. That was my plan.
Obviously, that was not God's plan. It took me a while to let go of that picture. A long while. To this day, I cry every time we sing one of Mike Rogers' songs "Come to Jesus" when we sing the verse that says "Come to Jesus, bring your shattered dreams..." because even though I have mostly let go of this picture, the phrase "shattered dreams" brings it all back to me. So it still stings every once in a while, but through it all I have learned one thing - every dream that has been shattered for me, God makes it the best thing. When I'm going through the disappointment stage, it's so hard to remember that.
I made a list on facebook recently of "shattered dreams" that turned out to be a blessing. It's true. Being divorced has been a blessing for me. Not only did it dissolve my bond with someone who is just not a good person, but going through that has allowed me to help others through the healing process. Not having kids has been one of the hardest for me, but it has been a blessing, too. I am so glad that I didn't have kids with my ex. If I had kids when I lost my job a few years ago, what in the world would we have done? I have had so many adventures in my life that I never would have experienced if I had children to care for. And I get to be a cool aunt and a cool nanny. Those are pretty sweet gigs. :)
So here I am again, being disappointed but trusting that God is in control. That even if I never get my dream of a sweet husband and a bus-load of children, God will make that the best thing for me. I might just go down in history books as the coolest single aunt in the whole world... and that might be what God has been planning all along!