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I haven’t reached the generally accepted milestones or highly lauded successes (finances, advanced degrees, a mate and kids) of some others in my age range. So though this season leaves me at times with feelings of immense freedom, I’m also challenged at times to find a niche for myself among the changing landscape of the environment around me. Playing it safe or “saved” has been my calling card for about 12 years now. I was never a Sex In the City type of girl, but more so Coffee or Tea with Girls Downtown. I am not about to turn around now when the road is now less traveled by my friends and some I no longer connect with regularly, if at all. Some of it is just natural with the gradual change of lifestyles. While with others it’s more about clearing the path that would eventually hinder either one or both of us along the way. Certainly I’m not spiritually, mentally or emotionally in the same place so it’s never best to hold on to bonds or situations that are not thriving.
Living in the margins of the mainstream existence made me more sensitive to those who people consider live on the outskirts of “normal” life, living. I see a homeless man occasionally in a downtown area I visit often. I’ll call him “Barry.” He is a slight man probably in his early 60s. His bearing is quiet, dignified and unassuming. This time Barry was sitting at a bench eating cat food. Yes, cat food straight out of container like it was a fine delicacy. The sight broke my heart. I was shocked, saddened and felt a little helpless at the same time. And to make it more thoroughly sickening were his “neighbors” sitting next to him. Both we were rather large women blissfully enjoying their yogurt treat. The juxtaposition was disturbing and the image stayed with me. I later gave him some money and his eyes lit up and he said, “Bless you.”
At the moment I face some challenges right now, but I’m not the only facing an uphill battle. Right now there are so many people around me (family, coworkers and friends) who are experiencing some very heavy trials. I wonder if I weren’t where I am right now if I would be as sensitive or care as much. In the bluster of youth, life seems so bright and boundless. The positive focus is great, but rarely tempered with enough wisdom or character to withstand the blows of life. I’ve now seen enough sunrises and sunsets to have faced some mighty trials and stupendous blessings. Right now as I wake everyday, I try my best to keep the Lord and promises before me — through a song or a devotional. There’s truly nothing to go back to. As I traverse a path less taken, I must press on to see what the end shall be. Despite any superficial and temporal standards of the world, the full destiny that’s been prepared for me is here, more real than anything I’ve ever seen or heard.