this is not the game of life I grew up with

I’m getting ready to start my second week of my senior year of college. I feel so old! It’s hilarious, because I’m not even 21 yet and sometimes I feel ancient! There are youths everywhere on campus. I doubt some of them have graduated middle school, let alone high school, by the look of them. Of course, nursing school has a way with aging students before their time. Now to the heart of this post.

I’m starting to come to terms with some fairy-tale dreams of mine. When I was in middle school and high school, I was consumed with a Christian youth fictional book series. These books are still very near and dear to my heart, and they very much shaped my basic theology in a good way. But, I was completely convinced that if I was a good girl and did all the right things and went to a good Christian college, I would be rewarded with a good Christian husband, just like the characters in the books. Most likely a future youth pastor who surfed. My fairy tale was like the old versions of The Game of Life, where you must stop and place the opposite gendered peg in a hole of your plastic car before proceeding into the wild worlds of careers and homemaking. I’m going to let you in on a little secret here: never ever have I ever been asked on a date during my college years (yes, there were GYRAD’s, but those are more like coercing the opposite gender into a night of freeze-dried fun). Maybe it’s the starched white scrub top and stiff pants. Maybe it’s the fact that I really like onions and stinky cheese (especially when combined on pizza). Maybe its because I have a lazy eye that twitches when I’m sleep-deprived (which is around 82% of the time). Ladies and gentlemen, I am no closer to marriage than I was three years ago upon high school graduation. Because here’s the thing: being a “good girl” (I’m going to break this theology down in a later post. Hold thy horses.) does not invoke a cosmic brownie point system, where for x amount of modest clothing worn multiplied by y amount of hours served in Sunday school equals z points closer to being awarded a nice christian boy (“is he nice greek boy? do he come from good greek family?”), complete with tousled hair and sound theology.

My God does not work that way. Nope. Not at all. He is wild and untamed and passionate and beautiful. These years in college I have spent with Him have led me to the bush of Africa and the moors of Scotland. I have helped bring babies into the world and I have held the hand of victims of senseless violence. I have laughed and cried and told incredibly inappropriate jokes with some of the most amazing people to walk this earth (of course, I am a little partial to them). And I’ve done it all without a significant other. And I’m starting to learn it’s alright. In fact, it’s better than alright, because I don’t have to worry about shaving my legs to frequently. Score. These years looked nothing like my 13 year old dreams. These years have been better than I could have ever hoped for.

“Safe? Who said anything about safe? Of course he’s not safe! But he’s good” C.S. Lewis

Later Days,

Jess

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4 thoughts on “this is not the game of life I grew up with

  1. You are beautiful and God has a perfect match waiting patiently for you! Your grace and strength is needed by others as you learn and work as a nurse before God will reveal His secret for you!

    Yes, I am biased, but I am also very proud of you!

    I love you my beautiful daughter.

  2. Jessica, I’m so glad you shared your post with me! This belief that “if I am a good girl and do the right things, then good things will happen” is so prevalent – and hard to shake! I think, sometimes, when we sit safe in our comfortable homes, it’s even harder to understand why good things don’t happen to good people than it is to grapple with why bad things happen to good people. Love your processing here – and that you’re brave enough to share it with us!

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