What My 20s Taught Me: I Was Made This Way

January 30, 2012

Me, during my ballerina phase. Not even phased by the fact that I'd never had a ballet lesson at this point.

You know those people who’ve known what they wanted to do since they were kids?  Are you one of those people?  A doctor, a lawyer, a teacher?  I envy those people.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist and a ballerina and a cowgirl (which, by the way, I thought meant I got to ride cows).  As a college student, not much changed.  I wanted to be a poet, a counselor, an actress, a chef.

In my 20s, it was the same problem: a journalist, a photographer…a mom.

My ambitions changed on a regular basis.  One day I wanted to study massage therapy.  Another, I wanted to open a pie shop.

I love so many things, and find as much joy in capturing the love between a mother and her son with my camera as I do kneading a batch of sourdough bread that will make my husband happy.  But I thought this was a fault.  That there was something wrong with me.  And I’ve always thought there was some kind of defect in my personality.  A short-circuit that made me indecisive and unable to stick to one thing.  And so I beat myself up for changing my mind so often, and wondered why I couldn’t be like my friends who’d always known what they wanted to be when they grew up, and had never strayed from the paths they knew would take them there.

Last Summer, after having Adlai and taking time off from working to be his mama and only his mama, I found myself content in mothering him, and writing, and wrapping my brain around using my camera effectively.  These were still three things, though, and again I felt the pressure to choose my path.

One night at a friend’s house, while meeting with our small group, we took some time at the end to pray for each other.  A few moments in, my friend Kezia turned to me and said, in her beautiful Scottish accent, “Faith, I feel like God wants me to tell you you were never meant to be gray.”

I just kind of stared at her for a moment, not sure what she meant.

“He made you colorful, and not gray, and he wants you to know He made you that way.  Like a chameleon.  You change.  And you were made that way.”

Now, this may not make a lot of sense to you, but on that night last July, something changed in me.  For the first time in my life, I felt sure that I am exactly as God created me to be.  My varying interests and myriad creative pursuits are not an inability on my part to commit, but an intentional decision made by my Father, who gives me permission by His very design to pursue the things that bring me the greatest joy.

So, okay, not all of my entrepreneurial ideas are meant to be undertaken.  (For instance, my combination pizza/ice cream/movie delivery business is probably best left to someone else.) But I can be Adlai’s mama.  And I can write.  And I can capture light and emotion with my camera.

Because I was never meant to be gray.

And neither were you.

____

Read previous What My 20s Taught Me posts.

0 responses to “What My 20s Taught Me: I Was Made This Way”

  1. mel says:

    I love that you feel content to be you!
    I used to be one of those people who knew exactly what I wanted to be (for me, a teacher) but last year, I took a complete change and left that path behind me. Now I’m a waitress and trying to start up my own tiny craft business. This new path completely freaked me out in the beginning – I had always known the career I wanted, and the minute I left it, I felt very lost! Thankfully, I have refound my faith and am trying to go more with the flow, rather than panic that I no longer know what the future might hold for me 😉

  2. mama says:

    Well said, Faith! You come from a family of “not gray” folks. Don’t you just love the way God can use us just like He made us! I love you and am proud of all your colors!

  3. Courtney says:

    This post made me cry. I almost think it was written just for me. Thank you. xoxo

  4. Michelle says:

    Man, do you ever look like your little boy! xo

  5. Your Daddy says:

    Thanks for this Faith. Very thoughtful. You may have been wearing a tutu, but I think you learned that stance from the “Solid Gold Dancers”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HSRUFxdgog

  6. starzyia says:

    yes…. your targets may change, but your passion and enthusiam, that is the unifying thing… you are created for joy and for sharing that joy, reminding others to pursue joy.

  7. starzyia says:

    oh… and just as I was leaving I saw your picture, which took a long time to load on my computer (not complaining, after all, its my computer!) but I thought you look like a ballerina doing ‘the robot’. That is absolutely the kind of joyful mishmash that makes you special!

  8. Mamama (Aiken) says:

    You are right on, Faith! It would be a boring world if all of us were gray. God added color for a reason. I love you just the way you are and enjoy your writing and photography immensely!

  9. amanda says:

    goooood stuff. 🙂
    i raised my hand when i read the first few sentences… for as long as i can remember: “when i grow up i want to be an artist.” (i don’t love running a business though!–that was not part of the deal.)
    i think it’s cool that you get to show one of the many ways you are made in God’s image, a creator, through all your creative pursuits.

  10. I absolutely know how you feel and for a long time I have felt like something was wrong with me. Thank you for such a great story and the encouragement.

  11. Callie says:

    I was listening to an interview with John Rosemond the other day, and he said, “Mom should be interesting,too.” When a mom invests time in her interests, she is able to pass down a legacy to her kids, especially if she involves them in some way. Aviel sometimes sits with me while I make architecture models. It blesses me when we go out to a tourist site and he sees a model and says, “Ima (Hebrew for Mama) makes models!” Adlai will learn from all of your creative endeavors, and inherit blessings from his chameleon Mama. 🙂

  12. Tim Pratt says:

    Thanks for posting! God really spoke to me thru that 🙂

  13. catcristy says:

    Your post made me cry, I swear this is exactly how I have felt my entire life. I know I am meant to be more and definitely not gray. Thank you for sharing, love your writing.
    -CAT

  14. Completely identify with this! Great, moving post.

  15. This post reallly reallly blesses my heart! Thank you. I have always felt this way & also have thought there was something wrong with me. I have a million passions but I have problems committing! Then the problem though is that I get so frantic & usually end up doing none of them, & the self-loathing cycle starts over. Thank God that He created us this way & knows we are passionate & idea-driven & thoughtful & at the heart of things, love SO much that He has made, we get overwhelmed! I am working on taking things one day at a time & setting goals. But I love that you & I have so much in common. Here is a quote I love:
    “I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.”
    -Sylvia Plath

  16. surbhi says:

    this is exactly me & I m also going through the same situations lots of ideas but still can’t figuring out what I really wanted to be in life i’m at my 20’s I feel so scared sometimes depressed
    I loved this post after reading dis I felt happy I love this post thank you!

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