Monday, January 12, 2009

On the wonder that is Facebook and the difference twenty years make

I've been discovered.

Due to the internet wonder that is Facebook, I have now reconnected with some friends from high school and college. I was lost but now I'm found, some twenty years later.

It's strange, really. Cool, but strange. My parents moved out of state while I was in college, so I essentially fell off the face of the earth the night we graduated.

Now, when I see Facebook profile pictures and struggle to put names with faces and corresponding memories, it's like I'm caught in this weird time warp between what was and what is. As I cruise Facebook and peer into faces from my past, sometimes the whole high school deal feels like yesterday; sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago.

Longtime readers of this site (anyone? anyone?) may remember the thoughts I posted as I pondered my twenty year high school reunion. Then I wondered if the old me, the me who graduated class of 1986, would be disappointed if she were to peek into the life of the 2006 me. Or, for that matter, the 2009 me. I think of her dreams--childish ones, to be sure--and of her naive ambitions and I still wonder if she would be surprised by how it all landed.

Certainly the 1986 me did not consider this to be her life's vocation. She was to go! to be! to accomplish! Exactly what, she did not know, yet she did not let her confidence waver in light of such (in her mind) needless details.

Yet, here I am, some twenty years later. Older. Gray-er. Less ambitious. Slightly more cynical, knowing now that life is hard and confusing.

Don't get me wrong; I love being a wife and a mom, a (somewhat negligent) homemaker, erstwhile blogger, and amateur writer. I love my life.

But, I'll be honest with you. At various points in my journey, I've struggled with what I ought to be and do. I am still occasionally confounded by questions like, Who am I? What will I be when I grow up? In light of my recent Facebook mini-reunions, these questions seem to take on renewed fervor as I realize, for one thing, I've been a stay at home mom for nearly fifteen years. As I've written before,
Twenty years have passed, and my accomplishments include getting my college degree, marrying a wonderful man, birthing four children, changing mounds of diapers, and now fixing lunches, doing laundry, scrubbing toilets (only occasionally) and transporting children...As I reflected on the past twenty years, I admit I wondered if I was a waste of potential. I wondered if...maybe...perhaps...
I wonder, still. At some point in my twenty year journey, did I miss out on what I was really supposed to be? Some people know exactly what they want to do and be and go do and be exactly that. I, on the other hand, feel as if I've just let life happen to me. Did I make a wrong turn because I wasn't paying attention? Because I was young and naive and didn't know better?

I remember one intense time of crying out to the Lord a few years ago, wanting desperately to know my calling in no uncertain terms. I longed to be obedient to Him and I wanted a specific answer on what it was He wanted me to do. See, I thought it was all up to me. I had to figure it all out and then go and do it. The Holy Spirit, not in audible words but as an impression in my heart and mind, reminded me that He who called me was faithful and would complete His work in me. "Do you trust Me, Lisa?" He seemed to be asking.

That day I realized that if my heart's desire is to follow Him in obedience, no matter the cost, then I can trust Him to lead me. Today. Tomorrow. Twenty years from now. Maybe to a vocation. Maybe to stay home. Maybe to write. Maybe to shuttle kids all over town and do laundry. Maybe to teach God's Word to a group of ladies meeting in somebody's living room. Maybe to fame and fortune, but more likely to anonymity.

Twenty years have taught me both the mysteries of the Lord's plan as well as the blessings of walking with Him--even to places and vocations (or the lack thereof) that I would not have chosen for myself as a young eighteen year old who didn't have a clue. I forget that the what is not so important as I sometimes think. It's the how and the why that matter. How--in humble surrender. By His strength. Why--for His glory. As I live my life today, relying on His strength, seeking to bring glory to the Lord Jesus in all that I do, I can know I am doing exactly what I'm supposed to do.

10 comments:

  1. Great thoughts, as usual. Similar to those put forth in a book I reviewed last week, The Perfect Match by Susan May Warren.

    I think God is looking for people sold out to Him no matter what their station in life.

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  2. I'm telling you...we are so similar it's frightening! I have caught up with some high school friends through Facebook too...but I'm trying not to make it an online high school reunion. I am such a different person now than I was then! I wasn't saved, and was not happy through much of my high school life. I was going to move away from home and be SOMEBODY. Yet, here I sit...10 minutes from the house I grew up in. I know it's where God wants me to be, but I admit that sometimes I struggle with not MAKING IT BIG as I planned, and as classmates have. I sometimes wonder if I'm a laughingstock among them. It's in those times, I believe Satan's lies and forget that being a woman sold out for Jesus is the most important thing of all.

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  3. With American families crumbling all around us, I think one of the hardest - and most important - callings we can say "yes" to is being a faithful wife and mother. We're a minority. But, with Christ, we're the last hope of an imploding society. If that isn't brave, I don't know what is. No one is blowing a trumpet to announce our presence.
    I don't care about that. But I do want to hear, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Someday every knee will bow. Every knee. Not to us, but to Him who calls us to anonymity.

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  4. My 2nd grade discipleship group's memory verse for this month happens to be the one I've adopted for myself: Jeremiah 29:11. "I know the plans I have for you. Plans for your welfare and not for your calamity."

    Once I met my husband I thought I would have 4 kids and be the stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. Instead, I am the traveling, fund manager executive whose husband schools our 2 boys. I am SO jealous of him sometimes. And, I confess, have begged God to change things. But His plan is perfect and He doesn't have to explain it to me. He just calls us to seek Him and be obedient. Period.

    Thanks for the reminder-

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  5. Lisa,
    What is your facebook name? I'd love to catch up with your there.
    Cindy

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  6. This is beautiful, Lisa, and so accurately reflects my experience. I've been found by h.s. friends on FB too, and I'm uneasy about it. I hated high school. Unlike you, I was one of the ONLY Christians in my h.s.--I was friendless and lonely. When I went back to my 15 year reunion it was just the same--there was nowhere for me to sit, so I asked my husband to take me home. It was awful.

    Anyway, now that all my kids are in school and I'm actually OK with being a s-a-h mom, people keep asking me what I'm going to do next. I just want to tell everyone to get off my back and let me just BE. I'm busy--too busy, I'd say. There will be something else down the road, I'm sure of that, but I'm waiting for God's timing, not relying on what everyone else wants me to do. It's hard, isn't it?

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  7. Yes, my high school reunion was this past summer, and when one of the people I keep in touch with emailed me about it last year, I said, "What--already? So now I have to find a cure for cancer, have my children test at the genius level, and lose 20 pounds before August?"

    Like you, I'm happy with who I am, but describing it seems less than accomplished at times, and I do doubt that I'm doing it the best I can.

    The Facebook explosion following that reunion (That I didn't attend) was HUGE. Huge. People who I didn't really know/like in high school (and certainly didn't know/like me) want to friend me. Why?

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  8. I've been dealing with many of these thoughts as well...also because of Facebook. I went to a very "academic" school, and we were all expected to conquer the worlds of business, politics, education, etc. No one ever said anything about conquering stomach bugs, dirty diapers or field trips. Which, of course, is what I've conquered. :) As I reconnect with old friends, they ask what I've been up to, and I tell them... and part of me knows they think I've missed the mark. One friend regularly puts on her Facebook status, "Getting ready for my appearance on CNN this afternoon." And my status has been known to say, "Just cleaned a crib full of puke."

    Ah, well... I know that the impact I can have on two little boys is invaluable. And I need to not worry about what others think. I'm content with where I am, but I admit that I wonder what would have happened had my life followed a different path...

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  9. And this is why I joined Facebook only under duress.

    Well said, Lisa.

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  10. With American families crumbling all around us, I think one of the hardest - and most important - callings we can say "yes" to is being a faithful wife and mother. We're a minority. But, with Christ, we're the last hope of an imploding society. If that isn't brave, I don't know what is. No one is blowing a trumpet to announce our presence.
    I don't care about that. But I do want to hear, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Someday every knee will bow. Every knee. Not to us, but to Him who calls us to anonymity.

    ReplyDelete