“HE HAS AT LEAST PLEASURE IN THE GREAT POWER OF CHOICE.” –– Elizabeth Bennet
God has placed me at a crossroads. As I wait at the blinking red railroad light I have the opportunity to look behind me and see how the last four years has been a series of happy moments that are masked as a healing period. As a nurse, I understand the healing process well. We all have had that injury or scratch that we get that slowly starts to heal but eventually gets to the point that it becomes itchy. It feels confined. Irritated. And the newly formed skin tingles with every movement. We rub the scratch. We pat the scratch. And finally without realizing it, we scratch the scratch and we are reminded that we were once hurt but the old wound is healing and is fresh and ready to serve as the protectant that skin is supposed to be.
Years ago my heart was scratched deeply, and it probably needed stitches from its repeated injury. But God has allowed me 4 years to seal the tears and wounds before he placed it at the crossroads it is in now. For the first time in years, I feel like I have options in front of me besides wake, work, sleep, repeat. I just bought a wonderful house that is very nearly everything I could wish for. It is on a full acre with a pond, chickens, and rabbit barn, but takes a great deal of work. I just published my first book, Mr. Darcy’s Promise, and am amazed that the reception has been so good. I am also for the first time considering letting my heart feel things it hasn’t felt in years. I am literally sitting at the railroad crossing realizing that my life is changing. Although I have never been happier, God has placed choices in my life that can alter the path ahead of me. Crossroads. I have had to make a decision this week on whether or not to allow a traditional publishing company pick up and publish my second book, Pride and Persistence. Crossroads. Do I repeat the very hard but rewarding self-publishing process, of which I truly enjoyed, or do I choose to traditionally publish it? Each has their benefits and each has their downfalls. I am flattered that a company feels my book was worth picking up but I really enjoyed the autonomy of self-publishing. Crossroads. Choices. Past vs. Future. Red blinking railroad crossing signs warning me that change is ahead.
My heart skips a beat as I decide what to do at these crossroads. Do I stop the numbing cycle of wake, work, sleep, repeat? Do I take that last look backward at the dormant heart and existence and make the choice to move ahead? Crossroads. Either way I decide, I’m here to say that I notice the sunsets and sunrises now for the first time in many years. I feel things that my injured heart has not felt in even longer. Contentment can lead to happiness, which can lead to unabashed joy if I just make the decision to step on the gas pedal and allow God’s hand in my life to push me into a much more rewarding and exciting life. Not all crossroads are meant to be crossed and just like the red blinking lights warn of a train or other impending danger, it does allow us the chance to pause and fully examine each choice and opportunity placed in front of us. Either way, crossroads of change are exciting and break the monotony of wake, work, sleep, repeat. We just have to recognize the choice in front of us as an opportunity to see the healing and growth in our past. For me? What will I do as I watch the red blinking light? I’ll look fondly on the past with gratitude but wait patiently as God lifts the gate of opportunity for my future sunrises and sunsets that I most definitely am now noticing.
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