Saturday, May 1, 2010

16 Year Old Maegan VS 20 Year Old Mae, How I Found My Purpose

Today as I was driving around listening to Taking Back Sunday, planning my chore list, dehydrating recipes, diaper schedules and my purpose, I felt a familiar pair of eyes glare at me. Sixteen year old me was judging away, again. She sat in the seat next to me, one foot hanging out the window, hardly able to see through the eyeliner and bangs, shaking her head.

"Who are you?!?"

I felt...shamed.
What did she know? She's never been outside her spoiled little beach town. She wasn't even planning to be alive, yet alone live. Why should I let her look down on me?
Because she had big plans, though she didn't want anyone to really know. She was gonna be a college graduate to go on and teach underprivileged youth how to play music. She was gonna organize protests, write scathing letters to the New York Times, only to be offered her own column. She was gonna travel the world with her college graduate husband who was taking time off from teaching music theory at Oxford. We'd feed the poor, eat exotic foods, make passionate love with no consequences, and take on the world, one LP at a time.

I heard her first "tisk, tisk" when I dropped out of college. I told her, my family, my friends, my employers, co-workers, casual strangers, and myself over and over again "God told me to!" And no matter how many times He reassured me, her nay-saying stuck.
Then, after negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test, she rejoiced. Leaping for joy screaming "HELLO!?! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!?" Get you're butt back in school and stop acting crazy. You're 19, you can't have A BABY!"
After Lily was born, she softened...but just a little "Oh, she's SO cute! Now that you're home all the time, get a sitter and get online! You're too smart to just sit there."

But once she started to manifest herself in other people in my life, I started to call her bluff. Several of my friends started to point out that the majority of my highschool class is pregnant, engaged, married, or a combination of any two. And it started to anger me. As if it was something to scoffed at. An old mentor started to change her tone saying that she was glad her kids finished college because they aren't having to go through what we are...[what?] These things started to seem more and more ridiculous.

Today I shut her up and started to ask the questions. While I was slicing fruits for our dehydrator, she raised her finger to wag and I shut her down. After years of growing further and further apart, I finally asked the one question that mattered "Why are we so different?!?"
And the answer came immediatly.
Sixteen year old Maegan didn't have Jesus. She didn't have purpose, and she didn't know love. Sure, she was ambitious, drivin, and determined, but her wisdom was enormously limitted.

All of this has re-affirmed what the Lord has been teaching me the past few weeks: my purpose. During our bible study a few weeks ago, the author of our book led us through an incredibly hard challange; pray through our personal purpose statement. Eamon laughed when I told him "I need to be alone for about an hour, I'm gonna figure out my life" and truth be told, so did I!
But through this, I came to some amazing truth for my life, that will help shape our purpose statement for our family.
I've been debating on sharing this with my readers, but after talking with 16 year old Maegan, I felt like I should ;] Accountability, confession, praise, are all reasons why I want to let you in on this. And who knows, maybe this can be some inspiration for you!
As I began to pray, I asked the Lord to reveal some scripture to me that are specific to my heart, my purpose. Without even finishing my sentence, Proverbs 31:10- 31 came to mind.

"10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat t
o her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth am
ong the elders of the land.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."

I prayed over and over for the Lord to be clear. I love this verse, and was wondering whether or not this was my decision, not His. But He confirmed.
He then pointed me over, and over again for about 30 minutes to Titus 2: 3-5

3Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, F)">(F)not malicious gossips nor G)">(G)enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,
4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
5to be sensible, pure, H)">(H)workers at home, kind, being I)">(I)subject to their own husbands, J)">(J)so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

This was very daunting. This is who I am to be. To be a teacher, having my passion confirmed. WHEW!
Then I had Him lead me through a prayer, and what happened next was an absolutely goosebump inducing experience that I am longing for in every prayer I have with Him. His prayer for my life was a parable of gardening...HOW FREAKIN COOL?!? So, I'll leave you with what I wrote that night.

I ask that you break* down all expectations I have for myself, my family, my friends, and of You. I ask that you grow* my heart for the contentment of simplicity, cleaning my home and heart of blinding clutter. I pray for nourishment* in my home through wholesome food, receiving only what is good for our bodies, as our hearts receive only Your word. I pray my knowledge of you blossoms*, allowing me to teach Your word to my chidren and the women in my life. I pray that I will be capable of loving unconditionaly by the time Your bounty has come to harvest*.
As I wrote this, a very specific vision came to mind:
Break- The Lord tilling, and breaking the soil unearthing the good nutriant on the top soil
Grow- a sprouted sead that requires specific Sun and
Nourishment- water being poured over the sprout resulting in...
Blossoms- the first sign of fruit that will be ripe in the Spirit
Harvest- hefty, full, vibrant fruit, worthy of God's praise

What has He shown you for your life? Have you ever taken the time to find out? Do you have a similar experience? Would the sixteen year old you approve? ;] Tell me all about it


Chelsea Robbins said...

this is good.

thanks you

Cali of PassionBird said...

Hi Mae,
Wow, I am very speechless as to what I have just read. God has definitely given you His wisdom in the past couple of years. This was amazing to read. Thank you for being so vulnerable & writing about your struggles in such a creative way. There has been much of the same thing in my life with struggling to stay in school & things like that. I found your blog through Rachel's blog, Smile & Wave. I saw that you are from DFW & so am I. I'm very glad I found your blog. And please keep writing. It's very inspirational & God is using it.

Mae Burke said...

Thank you, Cali! That was very encouraging to read

rachel.lyn said...

God is so good.
Don't you just love those gentle reminders
of his love towards us?