The Life I Think I Want to Live


Photo Credit: Stewart Hardy

There’s a construct in my heart.

It’s a spiral staircase, with pristine hardwood and gleaming banisters.

Nailed into the floor of Reality, it coils through Dreams, beyond Aspirations, into tendrils of Glory like tufts of burnt-edge cloud.

It has a name: The Life I Think I Want to Live.

In my heart, it looks like driving through Wyoming as dawn breaks, the sun an egg yolk broken all over a horizon of tabletops mountains.

This is the glory, God says, this is the Golden Shore, referring to the place of rest and satisfaction he promised me last April.

In my head, it looks like living on the road, blowing with the Spirit to ordained places and people who need rescue. It looks like heroism, like rescue, like broken hearts bound and shackled feet set free.

It looks like living in a house with perpetually-open doors–a haven of rest for young women in transit–an anointed hub in the middle of a city, with a brother house for young men growing into leadership. Between the two, a growing community of Jesus-lovers with faces set toward the four winds.

It looks like writing only the things I love to write, and making enough of an income to stay on mission and fuel my caffeine addiction.

It looks like intimacy with the man I love that is deeper and more fiery than the core of the earth, a rich soil for planting seeds with roots stronger than weeds, a wide open space with recyclable potential for an Eden.

In my head, it looks like perfection.

Which is why it is a construct. Everything in reality is a little more lopsided than that, and there is nothing man-made that isn’t structurally unsound.

Daily, little things occur that trigger frustration because life reveals a smudge on the banister, a crack in the wood, a dissimilarity in the grain.

In reality, I am back to work scraping hardened soup from a pan with a butterknife.

In reality, the dream house has a clogged sink and I don’t know how to use the drain snake.

In reality, freelancing looks like writing what is available at a rate that someone else decides, on a deadline.

In reality, intimacy is the painful process of locating my constructs and yielding to Jesus deconstructing them–generally in a backward, measureless, structureless way–so I can love the man he has given me with the purity of self-sacrifice.

In reality, I am walking the length of the Stone Arch bridge after dark–smoking, because I can’t seem to approach my own father without some kind of guard–and wrestling with his Spirit because I told him what I want when he asked, and now he’s telling me I only want the version in my head.

Which, apparently, is not his reality. And his reality is the only one that offers life.

I am confronted with this reality: I can’t have both the life I think I want to live and the life God offers.

But I don’t know how to abandon my staircase.




Photo Credit: Mirella

Four months of silence.

It was one of many things God required during the winter–the death of my words. Rather, the death of my validation in you reading my words.

How will you see who I am if I can’t tell you with words, written or spoken?

How would you know me? If you don’t know my heart, do I still have value? Do my words have value if you never hear them?

As dust collected in the spaces of my keyboard, pain collected in the cracks of my heart. Fear mushroomed in that void between my heart and lips where words once flowed freely…. I will live unseen.

But he never took his eyes off me.

Several weeks ago, when he released me to speak, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to.

Over the winter I filled half a journal and two yellow Legal Pads with words. Words that only come from the deepest place of honesty because no one will ever read them–words that are mine and his.

Unfiltered, unedited, unjustified.

Just heartbroken, because I’m not convinced that his eyes will be enough for me.

Still, love holds me fast, fragile, like a gossamer web.

Soon I will tell you the story of this winter.

About the ways his Spirit underscored words I penned seven months ago, about the Aha!-moments long foreshadowed, about pain’s strikethrough of my heart (and mercy’s parenthetical encapsulation), about joy like a forest of !!!!!! when I understood the intricacies of my story within his–after plodding for so long like an …, to find that he never writes a plot with holes!–and I will tell you about love waiting to hem me in at the end of every unspoken sentence like a  .