Have you ever been in the middle of a crazy, busy something or other fighting a meltdown and then the perfect words come along and all the sudden you have nearly an out of body experience? I did this summer. All my life, I have fought the battle of "who am I?" and "there's nothing special about me."
It was even worse this summer when I was on the creative arts team with four girls more talented than me in one way or another. I know what you're saying here, "Jackie, you're talented too" or "Maybe you aren't an amazing singer but you have other talents." But for the sake of this blog, just put away those thoughts and start with the premise that most of the time, I feel plain and inadequate for recognition.
Back to this summer, one of the songs we performed was "Free to Be Me" by Francesca Battistelli. One of the times in July after I had just turned 20, I was having a really rough day of feeling like there was no real reason for me to be there. Then came time for me to sing this song with two other girls.
At this stage in my life, nothing describes me better than that song. Even more specifically, the first line could have been written by me. I do not know who I am or where I will be in a few years even though I am constantly asked the question of what I'm doing after graduation.
But that hot July day in Orlando, Florida when I was close to tears and falling apart, I realized that it was okay that I didn't have a clue because God is in control and he has plans for me. I could live in a big city or a tiny town. I could get married in the next 6 months or I could stay single forever. I might graduate and start working right away or I might go to grad school or even seminary.
Who knows? Oh, wait. God does. And that is what gives me peace in the middle of chaos.
One day I might find a dream but for now, it's just loving God and his people and that's alright with me.
The lyrics to the song are below in case you don't know it and you took the time to read this far. If you did, feel free to say paisley out loud... Promise I'll hear it :)
At twenty years of age, I'm still looking for a dream
A war's already waged for my destiny
But You've already won the battle
And You've got great plans for me
Though I can’t always see
‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me