Sunday, June 12, 2005

where i'm supposed to be

There's a way she knows is right
She can't feel the things she knows
And so each step she's taking is a step of faith toward who she'll be
And here where the night is darkest black
She feels the fear and the light is farthest back
And through her tears she can't see the dawn is coming
Skies will clear and the light will find her where she's always been
And suddenly it isn't what it used to be
And after all this time it worked out just fine
And suddenly I am where I'm supposed to be
And after all the tears I was supposed to be here
~"Suddenly" by Superchic[k]
I just got Superchic[k]'s latest CD, Beauty from Pain. It's amazing! I know, the music is a little... teenybopper-ish... but I guess a bit of that is still a part of me. My insecurities and fears seem to have changed very little since junior high and high school, although thankfully, they are much less overwhelming than they once were. Superchic[k]'s lyrics are so straightforward, and such good reminders to me to keep going, to remember that God's hand is there is my life even when I don't see it.

They deal with a lot of difficult issues on this CD. The song "Courage" was written by one of the band members about her struggle to overcome anorexia. Having watched my best friend struggle with anorexia, I found this song especially meaningful. The song "Suddenly" and the title track, "Beauty from Pain", are also beautiful songs that speak powerfully to me.

At around the same time that I got this CD, I experienced the process that "Suddenly" speaks about - a process of searching, of trying to find myself and where I'm supposed to be only to find that I already am exactly where I'm supposed to be, and moreover, I'm at peace with that. It seems to be a recurring theme in my life. I always think that I need to go somewhere else, to do something new, in order to try and "find myself." Maybe that is what I need. But the search always brings me right back where I started. T. S. Eliot said that
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

from "Little Gidding"
But I think that this exploration is more than a one time thing; there are little echoes of it throughout life. We search for some new meaning or purpose in our lives, only to end up where we were in the beginning, but this time we know it better than before, because this time it is our choice. It is no longer an accident.

When I left high school, I was leaving a close-knit Catholic community that had been my youth group, my school, and the source of every friend and acquaintance for the previous 13 years. I was going to a secular university four hours away from home, and at least three hours away from anyone else I knew. I had chosen this because I was tired of living in my completely Catholic world. I wanted to see more, to know that the decisions I made were my own, and not merely the accident of my upbringing. I was scared. I prayed that God would show me who He called me to be and give me the strength to face whatever might come my way. My youth minister told me, "You are who God called you to be." I thought he was crazy. "With all my faults and my shortcomings? I don't even know who I am, so how can I be who God called me to be?" It took me many years to realize that what my youth minister said was true. God doesn't expect us to be perfect immediately. He knows our faults and our failings. He expects us to be heading in the right direction. I realize now that no matter where we are in life, we are where we're supposed to be, because at that point in time, we have the ability to turn and face God. No matter where we are, we have the ability at that moment to make the right decision. I have resolved to stop worrying about whether I am where I'm supposed to be, and concentrate on whether I'm facing the right direction.

No comments: