Saturday, February 22, 2014

because life is full of twists and turns

Did you know that my blog has a subtitle?  Well, it does.  At least, it does in my head.  In my head, it reads like this:

this glorious maze: because life is full of twists and turns

I named this blog at a confusing, disappointing stage in life  My life looked nothing like it had just a year before.  And it certainly looked nothing like what I planned it would look like.

I thought I would be working part-time and going to grad school full time while my husband served in the Air Force.  We would be blissfully happy newly-weds, working hard to pay off student debt, yet enjoying every chance to just be together.  We would adventure together, through travel and living overseas.  My plan was glorious.

Instead, that year I became a stay-at-home-mom to a baby that I adored, but definitely hadn't planned on having.  Instead of my dreamy ambition to study, write important papers, and debate theology in seminary classes, my days were filled with diapers and spit-up.  We were exhausted and depleted, in every sense: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  We were in the trenches in the war for joy.  I never would have planned this.  My life didn't feel so glorious at that moment.

This wasn't the first time my life has looked radically different than I had imagined.  And I can say with absolute certainty that it won't be the last.

Because life is full of twists and turns.

Isn't it though?

Stop right now, right where you are and picture what you thought life would look like.  Close your eyes, if it helps you.

Perhaps you imagined being married and instead find yourself single.  

Perhaps you planned on being done with diapers and potty training and thought you'd celebrate when the youngest child entered kindergarden.  But instead you welcomed a surprise baby and geared up for another 4,000 diaper changes (and, of course, innumerable joys).

Perhaps you planned on being overseas doing missions works, but finances or sickness held you back. 

Perhaps you thought that you'd still be at that Church or in the friendship or with that company.  But instead find yourself wounded and in shock and just trying to figure out what the hell happened that it could have ended like that.  

Or...perhaps you hadn't really thought too much about the future, but you certainly DIDN'T plan on it looking like this.

The thing is, sometimes (often?) we look back and see that that out of the surprises, out of the horrible, came something beautiful.  Or, at least, something worthy.

There's something wondrous about this maze of life, isn't there?

Somehow these life events, the good and the bad, mingle together.  Pretty soon you're not quite sure these good/bad categories are as exclusive as you thought they were.  Is it just the way life is, that we grow and learn from hard events?  Or is it God, with His nonsensical exchange rate of beauty for ashes?

This maze of life is beautiful.  And this maze is brutal.  (Author Glennon Melton mixes the two together, just as life does, and says that life is "brutiful".  The longer I live, the more I think that should be a real word.)

When we get to the end of this maze, or when we just get to a resting point along the trail, will we look back and see how the good and the bad mingled together and how the maze turned into something glorious?

I sure hope so.

What's ahead for you?  Does the path look straight?  Are you walking in a haze and unsure where you're going?  No matter where you find yourself, take a deep breath, and then keep trekking.  I hope you'll find that the maze ends up being glorious.


  1. Callie,
    I really appreciate this post as I never imagined that I would be living apart from my husband for two years so that we could attend grad school with full rides. We take turns driving to see each other every weekend. Looking back, we were devastated when we didn't get into grad school the first time we applied, but instead took a year off to "just be married". That first year of marriage was an "exchange of beauty for ashes" for us and often I find myself fighting for joy and to be thankful during this time of life. I keep reminding myself, "this is just a season" and its one I don't want to waste, but rather searching for the "brutifal". We are not alone, so thank you for sharing your story.

    1. Oh man, Bekah, I didn't realize you and Blake were doing that. That is so hard! But like you said, the year of "just being married" ended up being an awesome gift. Hope that you learn in this current season, but also that it goes by quickly for you.

  2. About one month before I became pregnant with my (now 15 year old) daughter, I told a friend that I didn't want to have children until I was 27. I was 20 at the time. She was the first of many beautiful twists!

    1. Our stories sound similar! I was a bit older, but, yes, hadn't planned on a baby yet!

  3. After the first few years of being a military family I stopped planning where I wanted our lives to go, the Navy always had a different idea than I did! I certainly could have never imagined my life as it is now and it has been a wonderful adventure!

    1. Reb - I haven't quite reached the point of not planning (I'm a crazy over planner by nature), but maybe after a couple more years of military life I'll be there! ;)

  4. Love this. Twists and turns are just part of life. I never planned on being a mom, and the fact that I haven't worked in a corporate setting for the past five years baffles me. I never would've believed this is where I'd be. I feel like the military molds spouses to be more adaptable—we sorta have to be, right?

  5. yes! I think military life makes life even more twisty and turn-y! I definitely didn't think I'd be a SAHM with only a bachelor's degree at this point!


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