One year ago, I looked into my counselors’ soft blue eyes and said, “I’m terrified my life will be one ongoing, forever line.”
The very thought of growing up, getting married, having a bushel of kids and never leaving my cubicle-like office made desperation marathon down my spine. Instead of making me wiser, every year just added more concern over which would kill me first, my desk job or those non-organic eggs from Walmart.
“How did you know?” I would ask my friends who were striding into the future as teachers or grad students or Starbucks Baristas. There had to be a way to be certain.
The difference between me and them was their ability to move. I felt stuck, perching on a fence that divided my past and my future. These people who made confident decisions? They felt the fear, but they hopped the fence anyway. They decided that failure was worth the risk.
You see, the fear in my eyes wasn’t just fear of failure. It was fear that every decision would point me into who I had desperately wanted to become. It was fear of losing my identity.
Life was an exhausting question mark, and I knew the cycle had to end. I had to learn to make confident decisions without questioning my worth. I read a book called “Don’t Overthink It” by Anne Bogel (a favorite blogger) who also dealt with a debilitating case of decision fatigue. “When we harness a values-driven decision-making process, we can proactively allocate our resources for the things that matter most to us.”
Once I read this, I knew that decision anxiety and fatigue come from a place of uncertain identity and unnamed values.
So instead of dwelling on if I was making the right decisions, big or small, I started focusing on knowing Jesus more every day.
If life was an arrow, I would never hit the bullseye. Maybe the rotting hay underneath it, but never the red-circle-center.
Even if we become the embodiment of our Pinterests, it will never be enough. Once I accepted that my identity rests in Jesus and his love, my values started to naturally become priorities. I had the freedom to fail and focus on what really matters. To show up without knowing if it would all work out.
Perfection isn’t brave, but prayer is. Life isn’t a task list, it’s a story that was never truly ours to begin with. All we can do is take the cap off the pen, give it to the Author, and start truly living.
“In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” -Psalm 139:16