For most of my life, I have kept the peace by not knowing. I did not know how to choose a presidential candidate or narrow my job search prospects to a particular geographic area. I did not know the proper way to break a boy’s heart. I did not know when a boy became a man, when I was in fact breaking a man’s heart. I did not know how to get an auto insurance quote or change the oil in my car or buy an EZ Pass transponder.
Above all, I did not know that not knowing wasn’t doing me any good. That there wasn’t always peace sitting inside stillness. There wasn’t always a road map just beyond the uncertainty.
I am so young. Let me just pin that piece of truth to the bulletin board of my life and know it for a couple thousand more days. I am so young and don’t know much of anything. But I know this.
You’re not doing yourself a blessed good thing by wishing to unknow the pain or drama or anxiety or pure adrenaline.
There will be mornings when you expect rain without checking the weather because it couldn’t possibly be sunny on a Monday in December when your black dress is spread across your bed and you’ve only held the title teenager long enough to want to return it to Target’s customer service desk.
There will be afternoons when you’ll have to double-check the phone lines still work because you have been in this house too long without another human breathing in the same air. And you will wonder if loneliness is literal and actual or just a train station stop.
There will be nights when you will wonder how soon you can curl up in bed even when the neighborhood is chanting over games of beer pong outside and you are supposed to be out there. Supposed to be living. Supposed to be wild and reckless and gosh, what a failure you’ll feel like.
And it won’t be easy, knowing funerals before you know double digits or wishing for normal when all God ever wanted from you was a little fight, a little heart, a little push toward newness.
He had His plan and it didn’t include not knowing. It didn’t include quiet uncertainty or second-guessing. It didn’t include always taking the perfect path, the one people want from you, the one that doesn’t make your mother skittish.
He had His plan and it was all about knowing how to slip into what feels right, in the midst of crisis or chaos or control issues, and reassess later.
We don’t always hear that. We focus on the mornings and afternoons and evenings that tell us there will never be a right answer, that making a decision to feel good or bad is just a recipe for disaster, that if we can just numb ourselves into believing we don’t know anything, there will be less pain.
There won’t be.
There never has been.
But in knowing our choices and choosing them bravely, we step farther from the holes. We splash around the puddles. We kiss the curbs we’ve fallen on and stand up, brush the dirt from our knees, and remember that dirt as we trudge onward.
Know this. The way it feels to make a massive mistake and right yourself.
Know this. The way it sounds to hear that voice on the phone say you did good.
Make choices. Take chances. Know them. Own them. And let Him lead you, chance after chance.
Please, oh please, don’t let yourself be paralyzed by wanting to unknow the world. It was meant to be known a thousand times over, all in different ways.