Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I've Been Thinking . . .

I posed these questions last Friday.

And I can’t stop thinking about them. Would I like to know what was ahead for me—what disease I or a family member may face? Where is the road going to turn dramatically, changing my life for good, and when? Where will my kids end up, will they succeed or fail, will they be happy and healthy and well?
Coincidentally, we took the grown kids to see “The Adjustment Bureau” Saturday night. And it follows right along with this train of thought. Without spoiling it, the premise of the movie is that there is a definite plan for our lives. Even when the characters were told of their future, they still were caught up in the dramatic developments of today. My review--I think I liked it because it followed the same train of thought I've had for the last week.  Plus, I love Matt Damon, so that always clouds my objective judgment.

I’ve invested a little brain power to this question. And I’ve revisited times in my life (in my journal) where the vision of the future was very dim and undecided. At those times, I desperately wanted to know what was coming, what the answers to my questions were and when they would come. And then I’d read a little (or a lot) further ahead in my journey and see my personal growth through the struggle through the unknown--how I learned and how I changed. How God always knew better and how I needed time to get my will in line with His.

As much as I would love to have answers to some of my questions, I know, deep down, that it’s better not to know. It may be harder and it may be frustrating. But I think if I had known that my path through life would involve losing a child, I would have done everything in my power to avoid it. And then I would never have developed the compassion and empathy and wisdom that experience afforded me. If I had known my path would involve multiple battles with infertility, would I have still worked and tried and fought to have these beautiful children that surround me every day?

It's human nature to avoid difficult, painful things. I don't think we are programmed in a way that we can know the future and still have the strength to plow through all the snarls of mortality. It's also human nature to want to know that same future, thinking if we only knew, then we could handle daily existence much better. That's inaccurate.  Like Tom Norris says in the movie, "I've seen the future, and I don't care."

I wish I could know things:
Will my kids be happy?  Successful?  Burdens on society?  Am I parenting them in ways that will lead them to be productive adults?

Will I die young--too young to enjoy my grandkids or serve a mission with Brad?  Will I be sequestered in my own mind--suffering through Alzheimer's--or will I end up sharp-minded but bodily weak?

Will the economy truly crash down?  Will Qadafhi kill all his people before change occurs?

I haven't been able to adequately express my thoughts.  But it all boils down to this:
I've discovered that I have faith in God, faith to allow Him to lead me and direct my path.  Direct it over the bumps and hills.  And to direct it straight up and over a mountain, if that is what is required.  I may go kicking and screaming, but I'll go.  And I'll try to look out the window and enjoy the ride as often as I can.

Quoting one of my favorite people:  "Come what may, and love it." (Joseph Wirthlin)

I believe that.  I just need to remember it more often.
We'd love to hear what you've been thinking. Add your link below.


  1. I was planning on linking - even had a "rough draft", but i read yours first and it was just to close to mine. Even down to my favorite quote. If we knew we would most likly do all we could to thwart and then we would live lifeless. Love you my friend. Our minds were in sinc on this one.

  2. As parents we all have those questions and worries... All we can do is raise our kids the best that we can... What happens, happens... I never in a million years thought I would be a widow 10 years ago... But I have learned from it and I have changed... all we can do is accept what comes and have faith that our kids make the right decision and if its not right, it may be right at the time they do make them.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly. Alan (my main squeeze) just told me about a man who died last night on the freeway in his car. Life is always uncertain. Cherish today, right?

    That movie looks good. What would you rate it? And yes, I definitely felt your presence last weekend. I didn't know why it was sunnier and happier, but I knew it was SOMETHING. ;)

  4. Sorry I can't link up today; it's my nephew's b-day snd he has a new single out, so I wanted to feature him.

    Having said that, I already gave my answer in my comment a couple of days ago...And I agree with what you had to say, too.

    Interesting post, Jen.


  5. I think you said it best with this:

    "I don't think we are programmed in a way that we can know the future and still have the strength to plow through all the snarls of mortality."

    How many times do we hear of some terrible thing someone else is going through and we say, "I would just die if I had to do that." But yet, if we were in the moment of that terrible trial, we would be given the strength and blessing to endure, hard as it may be.

  6. No no no. Much more scary to know what is coming. Impossible to enjoy and live life fully if you knew everything. Plus, I know it would change the way I lived my life. Both in good and bad ways.

  7. loved what you said Jen.. .
    thanks for your concern yesterday, ya know we are still new at this teenage thing. . .kind of like the newborn stage, ya learn coping mechanisms for dealing with sleep deprivation. . .we are still learning to cope!

  8. I wouldn't want to know.
    I want to live my best life every day, always knowing that it could be gone in an instant. If I knew the heartache that was up around the corner, I wouldn't get out of bed. I would be too jaded when looking at myself and the ones I love. I have faith that God has set the road before me. That He knew what I could endure...what my loved ones would endure and He knew the end results as well. Good or bad. Happy or sad.
    I have seen it all.
    And I know at any given moment, any of those situations could be mine.
    I just pray that I have the grace, strength and dignity to handle it all well. And if not...then I will just cry "uncle' and pray for mercy. ;o)
    Great post Jen!

  9. The real question here is, did you peek at your Christmas presents as a child?

  10. I love Tuckers answer! What a great post Jenny!! And I don't want to know. Trying to live each day and just be present in the moment. And I'm dying to see the movie! xoxo

  11. Matt Damon is my weakness too. You've thought this through perfectly. I am looking forward to all the surprises ahead. It's what makes this life worth living.

  12. you have given me a lot to think about. As much as I worry about the future, I really don't think I would want to know how things are going to turn out because it would ruin the journey getting there. Through my fears and worry, I am learning very slowly to trust in my faith more and trust my future in God's hands. If I knew my path, I don't know if I'd struggle so hard to gain that trust and faith. p.s. I love Matt Damon too :)