On Not Knowing

I know that my watch is 60 ticks away from 6pm. I know that today is Tuesday, and I know I still have more things than I would like separating me sitting in this chair in Starbucks, to me lying in my bed.

However, today has been filled with a lot of unknown. It has been filled with friends asking questions that I cannot provide an answer to. It has been filled with test questions that I don’t know, and feelings that I cannot identify the origin of. I am a yes-or-no, on-or-off, black-or-white girl. I flea from the world of mush and gray because it is sometimes scary and usually overwhelming. Black and white gives us two options. Gray, on the other hand, gives us 50 shades (sorry, I had to).

I don’t know how you stumbled upon this, whether your friend tweeted it or someone texted you. I have no idea how your day has been. I don’t know your story and I cannot claim to know what season of life you’re in at this exact moment.

So to my sweet friends who ask caring questions and get a chilled unsure response–I’m sorry. To my even sweeter family that asks simple questions on the well-being of their daughter and sister, and then conversations immediately get cut short–I’m sorry. And to everyone else who has asked and not gotten the classic Erica-polished answer . . .

I don’t know what I am doing next summer. I don’t know which internship I am taking or if I may cocoon into a three-month hibernation or if I may have a brief stint in Peru. I don’t know what I want my weekend to look like, let alone the rest of my life.  I don’t have a five-year plan and I am tired of being constrained by expectations and structures.

I don’t know when someone asking how you are became this daunting game. Because if you answer with the one syllable “good”–what they’re really looking for–you feel like a fraud. Yet, if you answer how you really are and that today might not be your favorite Tuesday ever, well now, please don’t overwhelm anyone here. I don’t know why hearing “Ain’t No Mountain High” almost caused me to cry this morning, and when I heard my favorite version of “Amazing Grace” yesterday, I hardly moved.

I don’t know who my favorite political candidate is and I don’t always know how I feel about the death penalty. I don’t know how many kids I want (years and years down the road, people), and I sure as heck don’t have their names picked out. I don’t know why I miss Jess on some days a piercing amount, yet on others I am okay. I don’t know where I want to live when I graduate, and you rephrasing it as my “ideal place to live” isn’t helping me out here, either.

To those of you who cannot remember and don’t know what they did this past weekend–it is okay. To the ones who don’t know how they are still loved–you are. To those who don’t know why they feel heavy and broken–let your burden be removed. To the girl who doesn’t know why she was dumped, and to the guy who doesn’t know why she doesn’t like him back–it is okay. To not knowing how you got in a sticky situation and to being unsure of what tomorrow looks like, or if there even is a tomorrow–He’s got it. To the group of us who are tired of not knowing what we want out of this vapor of a life–it’s not about this life.

I don’t know what I’m eating for breakfast tomorrow and I don’t know what hair style I will have in a year from now (probably the same one I’ve had for the past 20 years?). I do know this, though. I know I am loved–fervently, fiercely, and fearlessly. I know that I was bought at the steepest and highest cost by the greatest and most gracious man. I know that there is an intrinsic, perfect, precious plan for my life that I cannot see at 6pm on a Tuesday. I know that God knows how many hairs are on your head and I know that you are His most beautiful and precious creation.

I know I am worthy and valuable, and I know that you–you that’s reading this right now–is, too. While I don’t know how many years I have on this earth, I know they will be full and crazy and painful and wonderful because my story–the story I don’t have any idea what it looks like–is full and crazy and painful and wonderful. I know that I shouldn’t feel weak in the unknown because I know I am held by God, but that doesn’t stop me from shaking in his palm. I know there is strength in surrendering, so this is my surrender.

I don’t know when a girl who became so sure of what she wanted lived and spent time in the mush, but maybe that’s just because I know she’s secretly always been there, and the world encourages us to suppress it. Here’s to being bold and confident in the unknown, and to being bold and confident in Whose we are and Who we are loved by.

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