Smart phones have changed our lives. I mean sure, they allow us to carry around maps, an encyclopedia, a bible, a camera, news, weather, and if we so desire, the ability to play Tetris at stop lights. (But don’t do that…it’s illegal.) Smart phones let us stay in contact with everyone by text message, when all else fails an actual phone call, and who can forget the opportunities that smart phones provide to paint an exasperated picture of happiness on social media. Smart phones also answer that age-old question that every “Gen-Xer” was always asked by every math teacher they ever had. “Do you think you’re always going to have a calculator available??” Surprise Miss Ater…yes…yes I will. Every day we carry around a tiny little computer that can do virtually anything that any other piece of technology can do.
Tonight, I found myself looking through the pictures on my phone. There is a historical collage of memories that document so many years. I find myself looking through pictures of dances with the girls, nights out with friends, once in a lifetime experiences with the man I love, amazing vacations, moments of achievement, and (in true transparency) moments where I can look at myself and know…I was hurting. Whatever the picture, whatever the moment worth capturing, there are moments where I cringe because I know that I had a deep painful ache on the inside.
As Thanksgiving approaches I can’t help but feel grateful for each of those moments. I’m so grateful for the joy that is captured in so many pictures and the agony that I can see in my eyes in other photos. I thank God for the moments with my girls, the moments with my fiancé and the moments with family and friends. I also thank God for the moments of pain. I’m grateful because whether it’s the moments of ecstasy or the moments of despair, I am not the same person I was in each photo. I look at each picture and know that the woman represented there is on a journey. A journey to become a better mother, a better daughter, a wife, and ultimately a journey to discover who God wants me to be. That woman I see in each picture full of joy and pain is headed down a road of discovery.
Today while I plan to marry the man I love, enjoy having adult children, accept the reality of my parents aging, and embrace the changes that are inevitable in my career, I know that today is just part of the journey. I know that regardless of where I sit at this moment, that I won’t be here a year from now. Today is just a moment…a season. Today I get on my knees and beg God to lead me in a direction that allows me to continue down that path of transformation. As I faithfully trust God in my joy and pain, I know that everyday could be photo worthy.
I’m so grateful for the pictorial documentary of how far I have come and so look forward to the journey ahead of me. I know it will be full of good and bad times and that there is both joy and sorrow coming, but I know that God is faithful and is leading me. I don’t know exactly where I am headed, and my smartphone has been utterly disappointing in giving step by step directions, but I know that God is still working on me. I pray that His work continues to bring me closer to Him. And Miss Ater, you should know that the handheld, always with me calculator is amazing. No more timed math tests for me.