You know the way for me, you know the time;
Into your hands I trustingly place mine.
Your plan is perfect, born of perfect love;
You know the way for me—that is enough.
I was the girl who assumed that I would graduate college by the time I was twenty-one. I thought my sisters and I would always be together for Christmas and summer reunions. I was the one that wanted to be married by twenty-one and somewhere in there start realizing my hopes of many kids—yes, fifteen is what I always said. (I am still discovering how that plays out with my future husband or the film industry, but that’s part of the adventure.) Anyway…
Obviously, a couple different things have happened along the way!
I took a gap year after highschool to earn money for college—which turned out a blessing because I am now at my choice school—and will be graduating when I am twenty-three. My sister entered a cloistered community, so although all of us girls will always be close in spirit, that physical reality together won’t be the same. And I am ready and open right now—continuously learning more about myself and other guys—as I wait for the man who will receive my heart.
All good, growing things. But I have dwelt on those thoughts quite a few times in the past weeks winding down to my twenty-second birthday. It feels weird, and a couple times I wondered if maybe I don’t want to be twenty-two yet. Would I have done something different to reach my timelines earlier?
I start to plunge into the myriad memories of the past few years. Then I realize that if I jumped back in time to take a different path, I would erase too many treasures—like Lucy Pevensie when she tries a spell to make herself as beautiful as Susan. “Where is Lucy? What happened?” she asks after a traumatic American party dream in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader film. “Where am I? Where are my friends, the places I’ve been?” I would ask my memories, too. And Aslan would reply, “Child, you wished yourself away.”
Do I want to do that?
What then? Well, the verse at the beginning of this post has become one of my theme songs (I even composed my own melody for it). Down the winding twisty path of my unique adventure, my set plans reshaped into mysterious dreams, I can see that every single thing that has happened has its place in my story. The way from where I have been to where I am now—all those people, places, experiences, trials, joys, tears, growths, etc.—have shaped who I am and who I will be for the remainder of the adventures in my life.
Because of taking a gap year I had time to discern a relationship that helped me realize just how much I was being drawn to film. Because I haven’t dated the first two years of college I have been able to focus on solid friendships and define what makes me who I am so that I know myself and what I need. Even among the pains, because of a certain long instance of slander and jealousy at the end of highschool I was able to realize what competition looks like at its worst and battle with not falling into the trap. Because of saying goodbye to my sister I was able to work on the surrender, trust, and generosity that made it possible for me to look out for the best interests of friends rather than only myself. And then in the joys, because of the countless times where one insignificant act I made an effort to do that ended up having major outcomes for another friend I was able to see that God really does work through every one of us.
Each of those instances is proof that running forward to meet every new twist will have the same needed and fruitful outcomes. Each corner brings me closer to the refashioned vistas of my teenage dreams. And with my hand always confidently in that of the One-Who-knows-all, I will be best prepared for my post-graduate years, my sister reunions, my film adventures, and my future family life.
(Opening verse courtesy of Fr. Joseph Kentenich, Founder of the Schoenstatt Movement)