I had my book release party last weekend and part of the evening was a brief Q&A time. I had asked everyone to sign up for a drawing of all five of my books and in doing so, they could put a question on there that they wanted me to answer. Some were great; some I just couldn’t figure out how to answer in front of all those people and off the cuff; and some had me scratching my head. Like this one:
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
I didn’t know what to say. And not because I’m all anti-goal or anything, but because I have come to realize that I cannot predict my life’s twists and turns and I never could (even though I think I used to think I could).
Because, seriously, think about it.
Ten years ago, I was on a walk in my cute little neighborhood and I remember telling God that since I knew who my husband was, my kids were, my friends were, what my job was, my church, my home and my neighborhood would be for the rest of my life, he had his work cut out for him in giving me adventures. Ha! Almost every area of my life has changed or taken a hit since that declaration.
And five years ago, I sat on the couch in my mentor’s home and told her my life was completely falling apart and I was so tired of trying to fix it on my own while pretending everything was great.
Had she said to me, “Don’t worry, Beth, because in five years, we’ll be celebrating your book about your divorce…”, I would have said, “I have to stop you right there. Umm, thanks for your time, you crazy person. And thanks for the tea. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”
Five years has seen me drag myself into the rooms of AlAnon, go to three new counselors, get pummeled emotionally through a reconciliation attempt, file for legal separation, get served divorce papers, have my husband move out, move into a new house with my children, write two books, hire an agent, get divorced, become a single mother, leave my church of nineteen years, heal quite a bit (with still quite a bit to go), and publish a book about divorce.
What?!? How in the world has that been my last five years?!?
I would never have chosen that path. I could never have predicted that path.
So, where do I see myself in five years?
I would love to be writing and speaking even more than I am right now. But right now, to be honest, that path looks iffy and it makes me anxious.
My kids will be 20 and almost 22 and that makes me sad and panicky.
I have no idea if I will be dating, married or still single. And I have no idea what to think or feel about that.
I’m only guessing I’ll still be living in the same home, but it’s kinda big for me and my kids, and will be even bigger when it’s just me.
I hope my friends are the same (we’ve all promised not to move away anytime soon), but life is funny sometimes.
I hope I’m still a part of the same church, but I also thought I’d be spending my entire lifetime at my former church.
Part of me doesn’t even want to think about five years from now, as much as I know we must have things we’re striving towards, but my future scares me just a little bit right now.
So this is what I can stand on. In five years, I will still love Jesus. The rest absolutely has to be up to him.