A good majority of the time when I talk with family or close friends it feels like they are waiting for me to tell them my life finally started. It’s bizarre. Most conversations go something like this…Shelby! What is new with you?!? What’s next?!? Have you thought about enrolling this semester? It irks me to no end. While I know my decision to not go to college is what’s best for me in this season, everyone who loves and cares about me doesn’t exactly feel the same way. By the way when did college become the focus? The almighty answer, to every question, or fear people have for their loved ones? I acknowledge that an education is such a gift and such a blessing. Having the resources and ability to go, and then in turn getting a job doing what you learned and love is pretty amazing. I wish it would have worked out so simply for me. But it didn’t. It hasn’t and the path i’m on is not in front of an institute currently. And that is ok. I am going to be ok people.
About three years ago I read this book; well many books that made me feel alive and not so alone. One of them was “The Irresistible Revolution” by Shane Claiborne. It was a book that opened my eyes to what theKingdomofGodcould look like on earth. In a sense it made me read the gospel in a different way and try to understand the calling on my life in a way that I never had. Longish story short, I moved into this intentional Christian community in down town OKC. Sometimes God answers my prayers subtly and by walking through open doors, and sometimes I can hear, feel, and know things so clearly that I don’t have any doubts. Moving into this community was one of the clear crisp moments where I knew that I knew that I knew I was supposed to live there. Now as you can imagine my family thought I was moving to a cult in an old drug building. The old drug building part is true, but the cult thing not so much. Unless following Jesus is a cult. I don’t know.
So for the past two years I have been all mixed up in everyway you could possibly imagine. I quit college which I hated anyways and was glad to be rid of, and I have tried and failed and tried and failed at hearing the voice of the lord and learning what laying it all down could really look like. Now I don’t mean to say I have laid it all down, because I haven’t. From what I am trying so hard to understand and live, Jesus asked for my life. So i’m trying to learn from all the amazing people around me what that means and looks like. I am terrible at it. I sleep in, instead of going into the neighborhood with my neighbors and doing the actual work of restoring and being obedient. I mean I really suck at that part. But i’m trying.
I know my life looks different than what everyone has hoped for me. I know that the path I have chosen does not guarantee me to be safe and comfortable for all my days. I am a nanny right now. I have no plans for the future. I am taking life one day at a time. I realize that this scares the shit out of my parents and loved ones. I realize that my dad imagines me living in a card board box in the next ten years because if I keep at what I’m doing, I wont ever have any of the lovely and beautiful things he imagines for me. That isn’t always an easy thought for me to swallow. Sometimes I think I need to go to college so I can do something like nursing (I hate gross things) so I can take care of myself. I tried that, I really did. For three miserable years I tried to love college. 7 failed and retaken classes later I decided I didn’t have to be miserable and waste my time and money so that my family and friends could feel better just because I was in school. I know I am rambling now.
All that to say, this is where I’m at, and it is ok. While people’s expectations can result in me feeling unworthy and not valuable in their eyes, I am trying to be obedient today exactly where I am at. I claim all my confusion and fears and questions (because I promise I have just as many as the people who worry about me do). I don’t know what im doing. I do not have it figured out. I am shuffling, sifting, spilling through becoming who I am meant to be.
My life has already started people. The time I am spending learning and growing in the only way I know how, is not a waste of time. The three years I spent going to school wasn’t a waste either. I am 21 almost 22 years old. Im figuring things out one day at a time. Maybe 3 years from now I will break down and decide I want a formal education and then everyone can say I told you so and thank God, but that day is not today. Nor is it in the foreseeable future. I sincerely appreciate the genuine care and love that my family and friends have for me. I am so lucky to have so many people worry about me. I love you all. I hope we can all find peace in knowing that the Lord has us exactly where we are. I know he is strong and he loves me. That’s enough insurance for me.