I am twenty-two. I'm still very young, but my life so far has been full and varied, deep and good. After twenty-one, the years loose their individual significance, their character -- being sixteen, in and of itself, gives a person an identity, as does being eighteen, or seven -- but something about turning twenty-two felt like standing on a precipice. Eventually, you either leave the shore line or you commit to sitting and watching the waves break, and I guess I jumped in.
But the waves were harder to manage than what I was really prepared for. Life, after all, changes when it must, not when we're ready for it, and we endeavor to keep up. Thankfully -- owing entirely to grace, as I have long believed all good things do -- I have people around me who help keep my head over the water. Some of those were remote, some right here, and some quite unexpected but very significant. Thanks to them, I caught my breath -- and how precious air becomes when it's suddenly cut short. Yet I know the real wonder, the true richness of this is deeper still below me. Eventually, I have to dive.
Still, even with all the help I have, in the end it's me who makes the choice to keep swimming, to dive. My own will, rather than that of any other person or even of God, brings me here and will keep me here. I aim to follow God's will, but it is my choice, you see, to do so (something I'm working on accepting). I've been trying to make myself into God's puppet when he wants a disciple; to make myself a slave to people who need a servant. This will not do.
In the eighteen days I've been here, I've learned much. I've felt much. I've lost and gained much. This has been true, in cycles, all of my life, but now, at twenty-two, I've made these choices willingly. By my own will, I let a part of my life go -- let it die, in a sense -- to be replaced by a new life. Only a dead tree keeps its same leaves. This doesn't mean that I leave everything behind, but that how everything is in my life is changes -- the life itself has changed.
I can look back at a handful of moments, days, times, in my short little life that changed me, when I shed leaves. Most have been in the last few years, and they have been a choice on my part to let something go so something better can take its space. The soul is not static. She cannot be made to be still. She changes, shifts, swells and recedes as she must -- and she knows what she needs.
The things I feel right now, the things I felt over the last two weeks, are almost all brand new. It steals my breath to stop and think on it, but not in the way a wave crashing over head does, rather as the immensity of the ocean realized does. What an incredible glimpse of divine will it is when we meet people at the right moment, and when we let change come.
I will dive.