"They Don't Have to Match"

I looked up from a pile of single socks and into the bright blue eyes of a girl 20 years my junior.

We were spending the morning together talking about Frozen characters and coloring with broken crayons. Being with her was a welcome break from the early days of RDing, when my mental task list runs a mile long and I'm the only one responsible for checking off each box.

I set aside my mental list to be with this small friend, but my anxious need to tie loose ends was still right by my side. Sifting through a load of fresh laundry, I asked if she'd seen the companion to a tiny white sock. I wanted to be helpful, to ease her momma's burden even a tiny bit. Sure, there were plenty of socks of similar size laying on the couch, but when my small friend suggested them to me instead, I was quick to shrug her off.

"No, they have to match!"

With her blue eyes now focused on a page of princesses, she calmly replied:

"They don't have to match. You just want them to."

We live with a lot of loose ends each day.

Some of us engage our whole heart in work that never feels "done" because-let's be honest-it never really is.

Some of us are moving down roads we've never traveled before, with little more than an acceptance letter and a gush of wind at our backs to guide us.

Some of us keep choosing joy in spite of the facts, in spite of our own minds betraying us with whispers of fear, worry, jealousy, anger.

Some of us place the pot of our biggest desire on the back burner in order to attend to a hot pan of whatever's-cooking-right-this-minute.

We believe there is more to the story, and so we move. But even as we consciously choose to step forward, there is so much we don't yet know and no amount of our concerted effort could will assurance into being. We must live with the loose ends.

My small friend has a word of wisdom for us in the middle of our undoings, if we have the ears to hear her.

This new place we're moving toward so courageously, will it only "match" the destination we hold in our hearts if it's the specific color, size, or shape that we've already conjured? If it reminds us of the last place we've been or looks just like the next place on our bucket list?

What if the goal, or the relationship, or the career we long to attain continues to elude us?

"Behold, I am doing a new thing," God beckons to the Israelites in the book of Isaiah.

These days I go back to that verse; a gentle reminder that the shape of the coming days won't look anything like August/September 2013, no matter how good or how right August/September 2013 seemed to me.

And that's okay.

"Now it springs up. Do you not perceive it?"

There is a new thing at our doorstep.

Let's not allow the perfect, imaginary match we long to hold in our hands keep us from grasping the unexpected and gloriously real thing that God is doing, right in front of our eyes.