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 I write and edit for Red Tent Living, an online magazine and gathering place for women living intentionally and reframing femininity. Read more of me here.


What if?

What if?

I perused the terms of the lease renewal briefly, checking for any alarming changes in cost. Then I shoved the document back in the manila envelope and tossed it all on my desk. I walked away with purpose, telling myself both the envelope and its contents were a concern for the 30th of September, not today.

“Maybe if I don’t sign the lease and just keep making payments nobody will say anything.”

Incidentally, I’ve also avoided telling my landlord for the last month that my bathroom vent needs repair. Just in case it caused her to remember that yes, we’re technically supposed to commit to one another for twelve more months.

To be clear, I don’t want to move—not at all. I finagle my key in the lock each evening, swing open my door and breathe in happiness as I kick off my shoes and turn on the lights. Life feels good on my red couch with a glass of chardonnay, reading a book while the candles burn low and the rain beats upon my roof. Life feels full with nights of sushi and laughter while friends stay circled around my table till late.

Still every day this month as I’ve passed my desk, that envelope has peered back at me and induced the cracking of my knuckles. Short relief for some of the strain I feel.

Someone’s asking me to leap towards a future I can’t guarantee.

Someone’s expecting my certainty.

I crave that certainty. I wish it were mine to give. God, I’d like a definite: just a single area where faith is not required and the outcome is clear.

But I don’t have a path. I just have the present.

And what if?

What if my job changes? Or my family moves? Or graduate school sweeps me up in a different direction? What if I decide I want to “pursue my craft” off the Adriatic Sea and start filling my days with shawarma and sunbathing? What if I snap this February because I just can’t take another Michigan winter?

What if I can’t be quite sure?

Last night, pouring through some light graduate homework, I read Martin Luther’s Treatise on Good Works. In it Luther writes, “there is no other work in which trust and faith are experienced and felt so noticeably as in giving honor to God’s name.”[1]

Those words beg me to question: what if this moment, and my lease, and my life goals, and my love life aren’t about finding certainty?

What if a plan isn’t the point? What if the ending isn’t my worry? What if my world is held by someone good?

I do not know that I am particularly gifted at honoring God. My constant questioning feels more like an interrogation than a worship service.

I’m still learning. And I’m also still here; I don’t want to live for my own security. I want to surrender to the story. I want to release answers in order to embrace moments where my existence makes God more known.  

I want to sign the lease.

 

[1] Wengert, Timothy J., ed. The Annotated Luther Vol. 1: The Roots of Reform, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015), 287.

 

On sometimes sitting in a parked car

On sometimes sitting in a parked car

Yes, darling yes

Yes, darling yes