Thanksgiving, Camino, Question marks. #Wonder

Sometimes I try to appeal to an audience, other times it’s just, “Hey, here are my internal, private, vulnerable thoughts that probably don’t relate to you and your current life-situation.” That’s kind of where we are tonight. Also, I think I’m going to steal two of Julia’s images. So I’ll dedicate this to her, just because.

Juli-YEAH in Spain. (Take us back, though.) (As IF we're not only on a different route.)
Juli-YEAH in Spain. (Take us back, though.) (As IF we’re not only on a different route.)

=====================================================

I went to confession on Friday
Sat across from my tiny-parish priest
Told him all of the things,
The worst parts of me.

He said to me,
“It sounds like everything is
Out of your hands/ your control
In your life right now.”

Upon reflection,
It’s probable that there
Never is a time
When things are
“In your control.”
Considering that even your
Breath is a gift to you
And what not.

Even so,
(as I told my mother later)
There are times when
People have more answers
Than I feel like I have
At the moment,
My life purpose-statement currently
Summed up with a piece of punctuation–
A giant question mark.

There are the small things:
“Should I grow out my bangs?”
“Do I need more sweaters for winter?”
But larger ones, too:
“Grad school? Job hunt?
Relationships (gasp!)?
Those (nice) Atlanta-folk?
GRE? Detroit or elsewhere?
Stay nonprofit? Branch out?
Move forward with shaky plans?
Hold off until something (better???) comes along?”

I was tickled when we read
(last week, was it?)
Biblical pointers for different folk:
Old men should be this way
Young men that way
Old women, behave like this…
But,
(and maybe I just missed it)
Young women were never addressed.

I like to think that
(maybe)
The church regards young women
With a giant question mark, too.
“All this mystery.
We don’t know how to address this.”
Ha.

And tomorrow is Thanksgiving.
And I am grateful.

I have said it before
But I’ll say it again
And again and again
Because it’s the one thing I know,
The one truth I cling to:
God is good to us
He cares for us
He will not leave us
He is here with us, now.

I look forward to celebrating this tomorrow,
Me whose life is a giant question mark,
Celebrating with
The experts-of-gratitude in the midst of
“Wait, how?” situations:
Job, Mary, Moses, Peter,
All the saints, really.

This evening the preparation started.
Thanks be to God.
I smashed and juiced two perfect lemons.
God is good.
Dill, I used fresh dill, what a wonder for this Pole!
What a gift to us.
My mother and I
Cut up four bags of root vegetables
Marveling, with each cut,
Over the marbled patterns
Surprising us inside.
This, too, is grace.

I could list my thankful-points tomorrow,
Until everyone was restless and bored:
Friends
        who tell me truths,
Sunsets
        reminding me of beauty,
The crosses God has given me,
        for the compassion they instill,
But also this:
The question mark.

Because:
I trust that God will not leave me,
That things will unfold,
That He’ll care for me then
As He always has now.

If this is where He wants me,
This is where I want to be, too.
And when something changes,
I’ll be grateful for that, too.
(Ha.)

Happy Thanksgiving, God.
You who have given me every good gift,
Thank you
For these things.
For where I’ve been,
Where I am,
Where I’m going.
For these: I am grateful.
And I accept these questions marks
As you walk with me.

Continue to unfold your will,
I’ll continue to follow.

*sigh.* This buen, buen camino.

It's beautiful, though.
It’s beautiful, though.

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