growing up is moving on
most of you read that title and thought, “oh man, he’s talking about a girl again. is this junk ever gonna stop?” and most of you would be wrong. this post isn’t about a girl at all. it’s about the one thing that’s captivated me lately.
this post is about growing up.
i’m obsessed with growing up. that doesn’t mean that i want to be grown up right now or that i’m looking forward to being grown up. i’m obsessed with the process. it intrigues me like crazy. i love to sit back and look at the ways i’ve grown up over the past year or so. it’s fun.
as much fun as it is, sometimes it’s hard. sometimes it’s really hard actually. there are a lot of emotions that you experience. there are a lot of questions that you don’t have answers to. there is a lot of unknown.
one of the hardest parts of growing up is moving on. i don’t mean moving on from relationships with friends and girls and things like that, although that’s definitely a part of it. i’m talking more about moving on from yourself.
do huh? what the heck does that even mean?
when we were younger, we all had these plans and these ideas of what we were gonna be or what we were gonna do when we got older. we get an idea one night that seems perfect and we get it stuck in our head and we keep coming back to it. it sometimes even holds us back because we think, “well that’s what i wanted so that’s what i have to do.”
we can’t do that.
all that does is hold us back.
i’m the world’s worst for this. i’ve thought of future jobs, future relationships, where i was gonna live, the type of house i was going to have, the type of car i was going to drive, how i wanted my wedding, what i wanted to name my kids, how i wanted to treat my wife, monetary goals, the people i’d come in contact with, and god only knows what else. i do it all the time. i try to plan things out and get so set on some of them without realizing it that i either get disappointed when they don’t happen or i miss a good opportunity because i’m so set on doing whatever the thing i planned on was.
i’ve told the story of how i had envisioned how i was going to propose to my ex and all of that. (ok, i guess i lied, i did mention a girl in this.) i’ve talked about how much that held me back from getting over her because i was so set on proposing in december of 2010. i let my plans hold me back from what was really happening.
a year and a half ago i had these dreams where i was working in a church and i’m pretty sure one of them was my church at home. when everything with my grandpa started happening, the first thing i started thinking of was those dreams. was i supposed to be going home? was that the church i’d start out in? i better hurry up and finish school so i can get there. i’ve gotta get home. i need to be working there. i’ve gotta do it.
and it was in that moment when i started to search for things. i had to find out if that’s what god was wanting me to do. i had the dreams. i had the plans. i’ve gotta do them now.
or so i thought.
when i was praying, i kept getting this feeling of, “hey, i’ve got this. let me do it.” i was telling everyone else to pray for what god wants, not what they want, but i was praying and telling god what he wanted because that’s what i thought he had told me a year and a half ago. i kept saying i wanted what god wanted, but i kept going back to the plans that i had made.
and that’s just dumb.
i’d love to get out of lynchburg and head back to north carolina. wilmington or winston would be nice. i think i’d like living there. i’d even planned out the blog post i was going to write whenever that day came out.
but i can’t. plan. out. my. life.
i can’t. i try and it just doesn’t work. i try and it holds me back from something greater than i could imagine.
i tried to plan out a relationship. when it didn’t work, i held on because it was my plan and i missed out on turning into the person that i’m very proud to say i’ve become.
i tried to plan out my school. i wanted to do sport management or education, not some jesus major. i kept with it through two and a half years of being unhappy because it’s the plan that i had and what i wanted and instead missed out on the most interesting and engaging classes i could ever imagine.
i tried to plan out the next step after school. i wanted to finish up, move home, work as a student pastor, maybe even have a contemporary service at the church until i was ready to “move up” and lead more. by planning that out, i held myself back from opportunities to grow. i wasn’t going to join a community group at church because “i’m gone in eight months.” there were other things that i wasn’t going to do because i was convinced that i’d be out of here in July.
but i’m done planning things out. i’m letting go of my plans. i’m here now. and i’m here as long as god wants me to be here. he knows what i want. i’ve told him that. but for now, he wants me here.
i need to embrace that.
so i’m not only going to join a community group, i’m going to lead one. i’m not going to look at things as, “well, i don’t wanna invest too much in that because i’m out of here soon,” i’m going to pour myself into whatever it is i do and if i leave in nine months, so be it.
i’ve gotta move on.
i’ve gotta move on from the kid i once was.
i’ve gotta move on from the things i once wanted.
i’ve gotta move on from the plans i once made.
it’s time i realize growing up is moving on.
say your prayers and take your vitamins.
have a nice day.
I wonder if this is part of what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians when he said “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. ” I’ve always thought that verse meant more than we usually think it does.