Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
It has not gone the way I pictured it and at times has not been anything close to what I imagined. But whether my life bewilders me or causes me joy, the word today is “sink yourself into that.” Know who I am and how God made me and do my creative best to live life—this life, here, now.
There are so many things that still call to me from my old life in Grand Rapids—family and dear friends, successes, even something as simple as knowing what road goes to where. But I am no longer living there. And I realize there is no new life without great loss. Two dreams I’ve had recently involving dead or dying babies remind me the pain involved in shifting your attention from the life you expected to the life that is before you. At some point there has to be a letting go, there has to be an open and honest journey through sadness before there is a chance of starting again. And sometimes the biggest hurdle in getting through that sadness is anger and the persistent refrain: this isn’t what I wanted.
Sinking into the place and work I’ve been given will mean having to chop through layers of ice, thawing parts of my heart I’ve held back in reserve “just in case.” It also might mean deciding to stop using the reactions of others as a yardstick by which I measure my self-esteem. But to live creatively and responsibly means there will almost surely be beauty. Beauty and joy to outlast the loss, melt my sorrow and bring me home again to the life God has waiting, to the path right in front of my feet.