A question to consider while reading: Are you willingly choosing to carry your cross? Or are you begrudgingly forced to bear your cross?
I got married at 22, had a baby at 23, and today I turn 24. To say I took the road less traveled would be an understatement. In today’s world everyone uses their 20’s to focus on themselves and figure out what they want. This is valid except I’ve always known what I wanted. For me, getting married and having kids was the dream. Now, I am living my dream.
These life events have changed me and shown me who I really am. My 20’s are a time of self-discovery, but I’m doing it with a partner and a kid in tow. This is the life I would choose for myself a thousand times over.
What I want you to know is that it’s not easy. I don’t think any path you choose will be easy. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s hard work, it’s self-denial, it’s pushing me to my limits. I absolutely love it. This life I have chosen is the battle I want to fight for the rest of my life. I am blessed to have my best friend fighting it with me. He supports, encourages, and pushes me. His job takes him away a lot, but when the nights and days are long, he is always there to make it better.
I know some people look at my life and wonder why I would choose this when I’m so young. It goes against our culture that focuses on career. I have chosen a way of life that isn’t all about me. It’s okay if you don’t understand, nor want this for yourself. There are so many different ways of living out a faithful life. God may have plans for you that you didn’t even know possible.
All our paths are different. One is no better than the other. Picking up your cross and living it out with love is what we are judged on. My love resides in my family life. My purpose is found in loving those whom God has entrusted to me. He has given me an opportunity of growth through the challenges and the joys. I’m sure he has given you this opportunity in whatever state of life you’re in, as well.
The little way of family life does not allow you to stay the same. It calls you to a higher purpose, to a higher being. This is the way of love. The kind of love that Jesus calls us to, not the kind that the world wants to believe in. It is self-giving. It is all-in.
This is what sets my soul on fire. My purpose is to pick up my cross willingly and fearlessly love my family. My purpose is to rise to the best version of myself, so that I can lead my family to the best version of themselves.
I don’t want a lukewarm life. I don’t want to idly sit by and let things happen to me. I want this life that I have chosen, and I want it in all its fullness. I choose adventure, I choose difficulty, and I choose the way of the cross. This is the road less traveled, but I feel it calling to me.
If something happens to you that you wouldn’t have chosen for yourself, I challenge you to embrace it. To accept it. To let it be. Here you find the most unexpected blessings if you keep your heart open. Difficulty is a sure sign that God is very close to you.
I hope you choose your cross and I hope you choose it unapologetically. I hope you pick it up every day with a fire in your heart. I hope when you feel like you’re going to fall you find God’s hand holding you up. Most importantly, I hope you let your path change you for the better and push you on toward higher things.