At various times in my life I have always wanted just a little glimpse into the future.
I wanted just a glimpse to help me in my decisions. But my present day, the one I am living in 2011, was once just the future of a starry eyed freshman. And for all the good that has happened in my life, I am grateful Jenette of freshman year at Utah State wasn't able to see Jenette of today.
Tonight, as I breezed past Moen Hall in just a few seconds, I remembered that freshman year at Utah State . It was a turning point in life. Previously, life had generally been dictated by the decisions of others--where to move, what food was around, where to go on vacation, etc. Moving away meant decisions became mine, for better or worse. From that day forward, it was up to me to decide. The decisions of others still played a role, often very important ones, but I could always process the results of those decisions knowing that someone had made a decision.
Since then life has always fallen into those two categories of decisions--decisions of others and my own decisions. Often decisions of other have hurt me. Sometimes my own decisions prove to be devastating. Other times I make good decisions and life turns out wonderfully. And often, the decisions of others have blessed my life immensely. It has always been about managing those choices I make and those made around me.
But there is also an option I hadn't thought much about...things that happen that no one decides. They happen through God, or the universe, or mother nature, or the human body, or science--what have you. When these things happen, it is hard to know how to proceed, and I find myself wishing I could see into the future. But in the moment I wish for that, I know I don't want it to come true.
On one hand, I think freshman Jenette would have gained a lot of confidence knowing that she would find a career she loves, go to grad school, live in Washington, DC for a short time, and work at an incredible Museum. Seeing into the future would have been a confidence booster. But on the flip side, if I could see the things in the future that aren't so positive, the sickness and heartbreak, I would be devastated. Knowing such things were ahead, how could I have even moved forward with any confidence?
And that leaves us with hope. Because even in the midst of heart breaking sadness, we can hold on to hope. Maybe the future is going to be no more brighter than it is at the darkest moment, but the hope that perhaps it could be bright again gives us some strength. And when things then turn out better than we could have ever imagined, what amazing joy we can feel. And if things don't turn out how we would have hoped, we can look to the past, knowing we had strength once before, and look to the future, again, with hope.