Saturday, August 1, 2015

All Aboard or Hit the Trails

ATSF Route Map (from Wikipedia Commons)
In speaking with my younger, wise sister last night, I realized how much my advice is colored by my changed perspective as a woman who found and snatched up (oh, I got him!) the man of my dreams, the man God made for me.

At earlier points in my life, I saw my journey to my vocation as a 19th century train ride on the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe (Harvey Girls, anyone?).  I was on a train, coping with tunnel vision, knowing the train had certain stops along the way, with a marked the course and planned stops. If the train stalled, I quickly overanalyzed and shouted, "Oh my gosh, we're here, we're here!" and fell madly in crush with the train station in Dodge City or Winnemucon.

The ultimate destination in this scenario was a train station called Marriage and I was busy trying to make every train station the Marriage station so that I could finally say I had arrived. I didn't want to miss that stop!

"This could be it! I might have found him! Won't it be a beautiful story to tell!"

In those ATSF days, I would walk into a room and make an immediate evaluation of the men in the room: wedding rings, ages, height, face, perceived personality, style, and whether or not they were looking for their bride who just walked in the door...

My eyes and heart tired of the effort.

At a point about six months before I started officially dating my husband (we were friends at this point), I abandoned my train metaphor and realized that this journey to a married vocation is actually a hike.  Thank you, Holy Spirit!

I realized God would not let me walk by that outcrop of stone overlooking His beautiful creation. In time, I walked on the paths, through the woods, over the creeks, admiring the creation within the hike along the way, but His mightiness revealed itself to me without question.

BOOM! Look at that view! So much better than an over-analyzed train station that was never meant to fit.

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Liesl said...

I've been starting to realize this more and more too over the past half year or so. I am getting much better about my first glance not being at a guy's hand to ring-check, and I'm finding in general that I'm much more content with being myself and doing what I need to do for me, while enjoying the view! Definitely a big turn around for me.

Liesl said...

Also - two posts in one day from E?! THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER.

Beth Anne @ Beth Anne's Best said...

Love the train metaphors! I think sometimes it's hard when we're single to not focus on what we want our lives to be and thinking about this stuff when we meet guys.

Elizabeth said...

@Liesl - I'm so happy for you! That's a huge step in peace that I can't say I had for much of my life as a single woman.

@Beth Anne - Perfectly put: who can really fault us for looking forward to what we feel called to? It's hard to remain present and trust.

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