“Let us not be women on our deathbeds who look back on our lives and think, ‘I spent every season of my life just trying to arrive in the next one.’” Emily Wilson New years have a tendency to stir in my heart a new uncertainty about the place I find myself. Or maybe the uncertainty is not what is new, but rather a new urgency to confront the parts of my life I am most unsure about. With every passing year, I ask myself a simple question that lacks a simple answer: “Am I where I am supposed to be?” I have asked myself this question countless times across countless aspects of my life. Am I where I am supposed to be professionally? Am I where I am supposed to be in regards to my relationship status? Am I where I am supposed to be in terms of the […]
About a month ago, I found myself at a retreat/formational program about discernment with 70+ strangers in Kansas City. All of the other attendees were either college students, 50+ adults with children, grandchildren, and spouses, or consecrated religious women and priests. At first, I was overwhelmed by the fact there was no one else present who was in my same stage of life. This feeling of isolation quickly turned to freedom from comparison and distraction, allowing me to enter more fully into the experience Jesus was crafting. I came into the week with a litany of questions to “discern”. This list included but was not limited to: Am I supposed to continue living in College Station? Should I move to Washington DC or Denver? (I’m a sucker for mountains and museums) Am I called to marriage or single life? How long do we think it might take to answer question […]
I’ll never forget the look on the man’s face at the store as he scanned my items and casually asked me my due date. It was obvious the time was near, but he gave a look of horror as if I’d give birth right then and there on the store’s floor when I answered, “Four days ago.” That was with my first daughter; today is my due date with my fourth daughter, though of course, I’m writing this weeks in advance. I could possibly have had her by today, but it’s not likely; my babies love to make me wait. So it’s probable that this little one will also make me play the waiting game I’m all too familiar with and not very fond of. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “How much of human life is lost in waiting,” but I disagree. As much as I dislike waiting when I’m in […]
The start of the new year always brings an onslaught of emotion and reflection for me. My birthday falls on December 30th, so as the world turns another year older, I do as well. To be frank, as of late this event has failed to yield an overwhelming amount of contentment and gratitude in my heart. Instead, the combination of the new year and my birthday feels as though I am being given a double-dosage of “these are all of the things you thought would have happened by now but haven’t.” THE PLACE I FIND MYSELF I just turned 26. If you went back and asked younger Claire, by the age of 26 I would be married or at least in a serious relationship. I would have lived in a major city, out of state, or even out of the country. I might have started a company or at least […]
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Be careful what you pray for?” Until recently, it was something I always took for granted. You see, a few months ago, I was at a really amazing spot with God… in fact, I might even say I had never felt closer to Him. Life had settled down a bit, I had established a routine of spending quality time in the Word, I was immersed in community, and my prayer life was on fire. Of course, instead of resting in that season, I challenged it. I didn’t feel okay with being comfortable. I remember praying over and over again, “Lord, shake me. Reveal my brokenness. Point out my sin. Do whatever you have to do for me to see your goodness and faithfulness in the areas of my life I’ve built walls around. Make my heart more like yours even if that means wrecking […]
I love slow days when my husband and I can escape the fast-paced life in the city and take day trips to the quaint towns in the Texas Hill Country. While writing this piece I remembered one of those visits and thought of a cute little antique shop we found. It was a tiny little house with a coffee shop. When we walked in, the aroma of roasted coffee beans mixed with weathered wood and old books filled the air. I remembered the excitement I felt as my eyes darted around to see where I would begin the hunt for my next treasure.
“This is my prayer in the desert, when all that’s within me feels dry. This is my prayer in my hunger and need. My God is the God who provides.” (Desert Song, Hillsong United) I often think the Bible is filled with stories of people doing good that I could never achieve or evil that I would never fall to. I know there is much to learn in those stories, but I have to admit, they don’t always feel personally relevant to me. The journey of the Israelites from Egypt into the Promised Land (Exodus 6- Joshua 4) is not one of those stories.
I’m upset. I’m straight up sobbing, lying on the floor, kicking and screaming, full-blown toddler tantrum upset. I asked God for something. I asked Him for a miracle. I prayed for something that I couldn’t believe wasn’t according to His plan (1 John 5:14). I asked Him for something that I knew I could use to bring Him glory. And he said no.
I’m currently wading in the most difficult season of my life. Waves the size of all my hopes, dreams, and fears threaten to drown me everyday. Every day, I am reminded of the safety in not trying and in the predictable comfort of a life that requires no lifeguard’s watch, no fear, and little excitement. Sometimes, I think it might have been better if I had chosen a safer path, something that required less of me. I could have stood on the shoreline and looked out at the people who dared to swim. After all, it’s pretty hard to drown when you’re standing on the sand.
When I think about my life, and all the steps that it’s taken to get me to where I am now, it’s been nothing short of a miracle. There were so many ups and downs –moments of pain, and moments of deep joy and peace. Lately, the Lord has asked me to reflect. To stop what I am begging Him for and see all that He has already done in my life.