There been times in life when I did not know I wanted what I didn’t want. There have also been times when I thought I wanted something that I did not, in fact, want.
Say that ten times fast.
But it’s true right? Many people thought they wanted marriage- got it- then realized it wasn’t all the romance and fluff that Hollywood makes it out to be. It’s hard work! Maybe you wanted the marriage without the work! (I’ll confess that this is sometimes my own sentiment).
Or kids… maybe you thought you wanted fifteen. Then you had one. And that one pooped. Peed. Cried. Whined. Threw things. And one seemed better than fifteen.
Or that huge house with the white picket fence! Your dreams came true, you moved in… and wow, that’s a LOT of floor to clean! Or counters to wipe. Or, or, or.
There have been seasons in my life when I’ve sat back and taken a good look. Then I thought, “Wow.” Silence. “Wow.” More silence. “This is not the life I thought I was going to have.” or rather “It is the life I thought I wanted to have… and it ends up… I don’t want it!”
Well, one of the most remarkable times for me in this “not wanting what you thought you wanted” scenario occurred almost four years ago. I was dead set on having all of my children in different countries. Yes, you understood that. I wanted them to each be born in different countries. Seemed cool. I also wanted to live in those various countries for a long time. I’d live out my wander-lust doing mission work and experiencing the world and cultures that God created. Then my husband and I attended a vision casting week with Mennonite Brethren Mission Services International (MBMS/I). By the end of the week (after lots of praying) I realized… I didn’t want to live anywhere forever. This was devastating to me. (As I said, I’d been set on some things- and I was pregnant 🙂 )
Well shoot! Where do you go when you don’t want to live anywhere forever?
And then it struck me. God had put this desire in my heart for a purpose. My real desire is to go and visit missionary families and teams where they are serving and encourage them. I want to offer counseling and mediation and exhortation to people who are serving, not just God, but His people! And in the mix, often get bogged down, discouraged, and left with unresolved team/marital/family issues. Hence, a way to see the world, encourage others, and not live anywhere forever! (Some organizations even have a name for this!)
Peace restored to my disrupted ideals on what I wanted and didn’t want.
What’s my point?
It’s easy to sit back and have a pity party over the things we have that we don’t want (and maybe never did want). In fact, it may even be easier to manage learning to want something you didn’t… than it is to un-want something you did!
This experience taught me something. I could have carried on with my thoughts on what I wanted… only to end up more disappointed and confused. Or I could have lived in a state of mourning over the loss of what my expectations had been, the loss my dreams, or the loss of “control” over my life. And I did do that for a little while.
But had I not been willing to take that disappointment and allow it to direct me to what I really DO want… then I’d still be sitting in that mud pit. Woe is me.
That’s my encouragement to you. Are you staring at things in life that maybe you once wanted, but now you don’t? Wondering what in the world you’re supposed to do now? How can you un-do it? Or take it back?
This is your opportunity! What a blessing! First of all, get out of the muck by calling out some things you can be grateful for. Anything. Then take a step back. How can you use this new revelation to guide you toward where your Calling really lies? Maybe you thought you were supposed to be a Teacher because you’ve always loved kids! But you hate teaching! Maybe your love for kids was given to you for another purpose… and now is your chance to figure out what that is! Adoption? Foster Care? Nursing overseas? Counseling? It wasn’t my desire to see the world that changed… it was my understanding of why God had given that desire to me. I had been wrong about what it was intended for. Now I’m back to wanting the things I want (lol).
How about you? How can you refocus your vision and your perspective? How can you channel your desires to make them, once again, match what you think you want? I’d love to chat with you, pray with you, or walk through areas on your life where you are looking for clarity and ways to refocus and re-want what you want! Or share an encouraging story to help others along this journey!