If anyone told 13-year-old Jen that she would grow up, go to college, and ten years after graduating with a BA instead of a BS she would take a job in a mall, little Jen would have punched them square in the nose. Thirteen-year-old Jen had BIG dreams. She was going to college, she was becoming a doctor, and she was going overseas to serve in African villages. She and God had it all worked out and nothing was going to change that plan.
If anyone told 23-year-old Jen that she would not be using her English and Writing degree in the publishing field ten years from graduating; but that in less than seven years she’d be careerless, virtually homeless, bouncing from one temporary position to another, but that she would get to visit Africa for a two-week mission trip as a speaker before subbing in elementary schools as an aid and finally taking a job in a medical office, she would have used her drawerful of red pens to turn the messenger into a human pin cushion.
It’s funny how life is rarely what one hopes or expects.
It’s amazing how the moments sprinkled throughout it add up to be so much more.
After three years of waiting, of wrestling with God, and crying into my teacup, this year has been one of drastic change. I’ve moved to a new city. I’ve taken a job working the front desk in an optometrist office inside of a LensCrafters. I spend practically all of the sunlit hours in a windowless world. And I’m lucky if I get a half-hour to write a couple of times a week.
Yet I am at peace and I can say, life is good.
This is not the life I planned or expected. I’m not changing lives through healing or inspiring through the written word, but somehow I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be. And that is more than enough.
(I do wonder, however, what surprises 43-year-old Jen will look back and see for 33-year-old me. Spoilers, I suppose.)