I started this post with a totally different title. I wanted to write about energy and how variable it is for me, with the usual mix of honesty about a rough situation and optimism for the future. And I started to write, "I can handle any situation so long as I have the energy to do what I want."
But that made me think. What do I want?
Recently, I've had to make changes that have basically whittled my life down to exactly where I was 3 years ago: working two days a week and that's it. No obligations on the other five days of the week (unless you count church). Stay close to home. Travel infrequently, visit with caution. Rest lots.
I didn't want to make that decision. I wanted to do all the things a woman in her mid-20s should be doing, balancing ambitious goals with an active social life, reaching for her dreams while contributing to her family's well-being.
But is that all I want?
When I was here three years ago, it was a terrifying place. I will not detail the things that I wrestled with alone, but they were dark and hopeless. They compared my physical, mental, and emotional weakness with all that I could have been doing, should have been doing. I counted myself a failure. I could not do what I wanted to do.
Now here I am in the same place, three years later, and I've made a lot of the same mistakes. I have just come to the same awakening: I don't know what I want. I think I do. But I don't.
What is it that I want?
Three years ago, I chased ability and strength and accomplishment because that's what I thought I wanted.
More recently, I chased confidence and significance and a different form of accomplishment.
And I also chased comfort and health, because chronic illness takes so much of it away.
I found none of it, because I did not realize that those were not the things I really wanted.
I want my Father.
What ability do I have that does not come from Him?
What strength do I have that is not enabled by Him?
What accomplishment can I fulfill that is not granted by Him?
What confidence do I have that is not drawn from Him?
What significance do I have that is not due to Him?
What do I want?
I want to place my worth in the hands of the one who declared that worth to the universe through His own pain.
I want to accomplish whatever He asks, even if it is nothing I would have chosen for myself, because I have tasted the fruit of trusting Him and it is good.
I want to shine with my Savior's inner strength and purpose whether I am hiking a mountain or lying in pain in bed.
I want to seek Him as the only, the source, the ultimate--and forsake all the counterfeits.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.