my 60 second quarter-life crisis…

Tonight I feel, oh I don’t know. A bunch of things. Since I’ve been in Nicaragua my life has slowed down, while for everyone else it seems to have sped up. My sister is weeks away from having her first child, college friends are in the process of adopting a baby, another friend is moving across the country to begin a new life with her future husband, one friend is newly engaged and another is emailing me about picking out an engagement ring with her boyfriend.

Here I am, on the brink of 25 and having sleepovers with a bunch of girls every night. I sleep on a thin mattress that has teddy bears and clouds for a design.

My girls predict that I will be the first or second one of us to get married – I know they think that because I am the oldest one in the group. But I also know they are wrong.

My freshman year of college I fully believed I would graduate with a degree and a husband. I was so cute back then. After college I left my degree and my fantasy in Ohio; I packed two suitcases and ventured across the country to California. Unfortunately, while I was there I found the perfect man. He was handsome, hilarious and a hit among adolescent boys. I stared at him for a week and tried not too drool. My friends urged me to talk to him, to give him my email address and tell him I fancied him. Um, fat chance.

He left after that week and I’ve never seen him since. During the week I was infatuated with him I asked God why He would tease me when it wasn’t yet my timing. God showed me that if I had married any of the guys I liked in high school or college (…or summer camp) I wouldn’t be living the life he had for me. “Not yet,” he said.

So here I am, sleeping on a bunk bed and sharing one shower with eight other girls.

The other day I was walking on a dirt road – the sun beat down on my skin and the smell of trash filled my nostrils. I thought about my life, about how I know what I’m doing for the rest of the year but it’s all pretty vague after that. Shouldn’t I have it all figured out by now? For a minute I nearly panicked. I don’t have my entire life planned out! I don’t even really know what a 401k is! Everyone else is getting married and having kids and working real jobs while I’m walking on this smelly dirt road, wearing the same cut-off jeans for the second week in a row and dreaming of a 25 cent popsicle. OMG where did I go wrong and what do people think of me!?

And then God sweetly reminded me that I was thinking in North American terms, not Biblical terms. Nowhere in the Bible (at least to my knowledge) does it tell me that I should have my life planned out. On the contrary, James says, Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

Okay, phew. If it is the Lord’s will for me to lead a group of girls in Nicaragua, I will do that. And I am.

Lately God’s been reminding me how I got here. He reminded me about all the jobs I applied to and got rejected from, of all the times I prayed on my hands and knees on my bedroom floor. He reminded me of the stranger who prayed for me and told me that even though I was confused at the time, God knew exactly where he was taking me. He took me back to the exact moment I realized I would be leading a Real Life trip – this was before I had even applied or been accepted – the idea caught me so off guard that I literally lost my breath.

I’m happy for my friends and family – I’m happy for their romantic relationships and babies, for their new homes and good jobs. And I’m happy to be here in Nicaragua with my girls, sweating and walking down dirt roads with them. If I was married I wouldn’t be here, and what a shame that would be!

I don’t know the big picture that God has in store for me, but I do know I’ll be single for a while yet. And I’m okay with that. I’m okay because this teddy bear/cloud covered mattress is actually pretty comfortable, and while I may not have a man by my side, I do have eight other girls nearby to get me through the night. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have many more thoughts, but the hour is late and this post is long. Goodnight.

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About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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15 Responses to my 60 second quarter-life crisis…

  1. chelseakim says:

    isn’t it funny how we can be so tempted to be jealous of the other, when the other is tempted to be jealous of us? i’m here now, but that doesn’t mean i know what i’m doing tomorrow. or next year. i sit at this computer 20 hours a week entering data to make money to buy groceries, but my heart longs for smelly dirt roads and wearing the same cut off jeans days in a row and 25 cent popsicles. we all just have to trust that wherever we are, God has us here, and God knows us here.

  2. i concur with chelsea.
    also. i cannot wait for you to be down here so we can be real life friends. praying for you and your girls. but mostly for nicaragua and the kingdom they are encountering through each of you. blessings, friend.

  3. Jen says:

    i also agree with chels.
    i had a mid life crisis this week too when i realized i am 26 with no husband in sight working a job that will no longer exist in june. maybe we had our freak outs at the same time. let’s pretend we did…it’d be more fun that way.
    i promise to email you back asap…it’s been a crazy week at work (and yet, i have enough time to read your blog. k i’m dumb.)
    LOVE YOU.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Hope, the fact that you aren’t out there “beating the bushes” to find Mr. Right is a good thing. Praying for His timing for romance though most of my married friends speak of marrying their best friends. Hope the same will be true for you one day.

  5. i love you and i think you are awesome. all this vision project stuff and life plans and whatnot are so hard. its good but its rough. i cant wait to be near you. i’m so glad that your girls get to spend time with you everyday and that you are where you are.

    big huge squeezy hug
    -b

  6. caroline says:

    i love you and i love this blog. it’s so honest and real. i’m excited that this season is filled with dirt and lots of girly pillow talk, and of being out there in the nations as His plan. you are amazing…. changing lives around the world.

  7. Alexi says:

    Hope, you are so encouraging! Love you!

  8. brandy says:

    wow do i know how you feel! 🙂 but marinate in this season hope…He’s got this. love you!

  9. Lydia says:

    Hi Hope,
    You don’t know me at all but we have a mutual friend. I don’t really know how I came across reading this blog post of yours but I think it was the Lord. I am a missionary living in Tanzania, East Africa running an orphanage. I turned 45 last week. I have been living here in Tanzania for almost five years.
    When I was 16 a pastor I heard speak said that we should pray about our future husbands/wives even at the age of 16. So since that’s how old I was at the time I prayed. The Lord spoke to me and said, “If you will give me your heart I will give you your heart’s desire.” Then in college when so many of my friends were finding the love of their life I asked the Lord about this for me and He said, “I want to show you my love in a way that is the most amazing way and I am asking you to wait.” So I began to seek the Lord and not for anything or anyone but for Him…it got to the point where I realized that loving God was what we were created to do and so much of our lives get distracted from fully giving ourselves to Him. During these years of seeking to know the Lord in a deep way the Lord told me, “You were created for me.” The Lord asked me over and over through the years if I would give Him my heart…to Him alone. Then the Lord asked me to move to Tanzania and I felt Him say, “Will you do this for me?” At that point I felt almost as if the Lord was asking me to choose between TZ and being married. I weighed my decision as if I were making that choice. I don’t know if that is truly the case but I do know that we were born for a purpose that is greater than living for what we want. It isn’t wrong to be married but for many the Lord is asking us to wait because He has something He wants to say and do in our lives and there are things He needs us to do for Him in order for His plan to be accomplished. I have learned over the years that my plan isn’t always the Lord’s plan. The Lord told me one day when I was discussing my singleness with him, “I have asked many people to wait to get married. You are not the only one who is waiting.”
    I no longer wonder about whether or not I will be married one day…I have fully laid that down to the Lord. I now wonder what else the Lord will bring my way as I give my heart to Him and wait in His presence. I am completely in love with the Lord and with the children at the orphanage He has put in my life. I also find that each new challenge that comes my way each day is an amazing opportunity to grow and change…God is so good!
    I hope you are encouraged Hope!

    • Hope Naomi says:

      Lydia – thank you so much for your comment, for your story. It definitely encouraged me. You set the example for the rest of us…may we walk in your footsteps of trust and complete dependence on the Lord! And I’m sure you are a bigger blessing than you will ever know to those children in Tanzania. God surely is a God of love to send you across the world to care for his children…

      • Lydia says:

        Thanks Hope for your message. I prayed before I wrote my first message to you. I don’t talk about “being single” much to anyone because it is not something that people want to hear about…but I really felt like the Lord wanted me to encourage you. There is a deeper place with the Lord that comes when we give ourselves completely to the Lord, not wanting anything in return except to love Him. He wants us to know Him deeper than any relationship that exists on earth…that I know for sure! Marriage is something that is from God but a deep, intense love relationship with Him is what we were born for. I pursue after that with all my heart and leave all the other details of this life in His hands because I only want what He has for me and when I am in His presence nothing else matters!!!
        Bless you Hope! 🙂

  10. Chelsea says:

    Hope-
    I think of you often and am encouraged by prayers and conversations we were able to share over the summer. Specifically, I have been encouraged by your dedication to seeing men as brothers and desire to continue building upon who you are as a woman…those thoughts meet me at the right times and give me hope:)

    I love reading about your overseas life and knowing how blessed those young ladies are to have you as a leader. I miss you, selfishly, but I’m so glad you’re doing the Lord’s work where you are right now.

  11. marissavilla says:

    i remember when i had a quarter life crisis when i was 25. and 26. and 27. and now, 28. uh….maybe i need to learn this whole God’s got me where he wants me lesson soon. so, thanks for this reminder. anyway, i’m glad yours was only 60 seconds. i miss and love you. (and kinda, really can’t wait until apt 1621 in gville is God’s plan for you.)

  12. Shannon says:

    It’s so funny, but I feel for the first time in life that I think I’d rather walk down smelly roads and lead people than ever get married. I don’t know how long that feeling will last, but it’s great. And I would give so much to just be where you are right now. And I am so glad that you are leading and know that you are where you’re supposed to be. And I’m so glad you’re still blogging, making me feel close to your heart when your body is really far away… But I love you and can’t wait to see more of what God does in and through you in Nicaragua!

  13. Anna Notario says:

    Oh Hope, as always, I love this blog.
    I feel like I go through life crisis every other week. I’m struggling to find the tension between desiring the things that God has for me, and living in gratitude for what He already has done. And this trust thing- man- why do so many things have to be blind leaps, you know? But, looking back on everything, I see His faithfulness and love touches throughout my life. I guess all the sacrifices have been worth it.
    like you,
    anna

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