Today’s blog comes from a new friend of mine, Purple Claire. Do go read her blog if you like her writing style:
If I were the obsessive compulsive type – say, the kind of person who carries books around in their original Amazon packaging and shudders slightly when someone asks to borrow one, in case they break the spine – if I were that kind of person, I would have planned it: I started reading One Day on 15th July. For those not yet on the bandwagon, it’s a novel which charts the ups and downs of a friendship over twenty years, taking 15th July of each year as a marker. It’s a great concept, and actually a bit of a page turner (ideal beach reading if you are not that person with the Amazon wrappers) and despite what I felt was a disappointing ending, I’d still recommend it.
Here, I suspect, is why I loved it: Emma could be me. She has a good degree from a reputable university but is adrift in a sea of vague possibilities, never quite settling on what to do with her life, dabbling in teaching before realising in her early thirties that all she has ever wanted to do is write.
Like me, she lies in bed on spring Saturday mornings listening to lilac envelopes thud onto the carpet, announcing yet another wedding; like me, she hovers somewhere between boredom and something uncomfortably like envy every time she hears of another pregnancy among her friends.
But here’s where we differ, and please forgive me if it sounds glib (or basic). It is not meant to be glib. It’s my rock, actually: for we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
What that purpose is, for my life, I couldn’t tell you. Time was, I could have recited a ten-year plan; now I can barely see past Christmas. Life has not turned out the way I wanted or hoped or assumed or imagined. I may, like Emma, have met the love of my life at university, but he was not a Christian, and so that was the end of that.
I am not going to pretend that I never feel adrift in life; that I now whoop with unfettered joy when tearing open the lilac envelopes; that my eyes don’t fill with tears when I listen to a young mum talking about the challenges and loneliness of it all, thinking inexplicably that is what I wanted and hoped and assumed and imagined that my life would look like.
But how very glad I am that were someone to write a novel about my life, the central question would not be: does she get the guy? That my value is not determined by that, or by success in that elusive career, or even by how many books I get published and sell. That I live for something different, something bigger, that I live for Someone who sees the end from the beginning, who is threading together my eclectic bunch of passions and the seemingly random events of my life for His purpose.