“May your road be long and prosperous. Not short and futile.”

This was the thought that popped into my head last night before I went to sleep. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been really anxious about dance and exercise and nutrition and the whole ‘what am I gonna do with my life’ thing. I was trying to piece together my school goals and my dance goals. But they wouldn’t fit. While I had a dream of becoming a World Qualifier… or a World Medal Holder… or a champion, I also wanted to be an engineer. I wanted to travel the world, learn new languages, and make devices that would one day save someones life.

I used to have it all planned out on paper – what I was going to do and how I was going to get there. Yet, by writing it all down I boxed myself in and failed to recognize the serendipitous opportunities that passed by every once and a while. I became a formula. A ‘do this get that’ equation. I’m beginning to realize that’s not how life works. Its roads meander and twist and rise up and slope down and sometimes it’s best to carve your own path for a bit.

I think my goal for this year is to be more spontaneous. Responsibly spontaneous. If I make a decision, I won’t dwell. If life takes a turn to the left, I won’t fight it. I know that God has a plan and a purpose for me, and I think it’s about time I stopped doubting it. I can be an engineer and a dancer because those are the passions I have been blessed with. However, I now want my dreams to follow God’s plan, not my own. So far my plans have got me stumped and questioning the activities that not so long ago brought me joy. I tried squishing everything I thought I desired into the duration of my undergraduate degree, because I thought that after university everything was over. I thought that I had to drop my passions and get a job and join the millions of people that did the same thing everyday, like clockwork.

I had made my path short and futile. I closed my eyes to what lay ahead, because I feared it. I didn’t like what I thought was inevitable. Now I’m beginning to realize that there’s so much more to life. The great years of youth and imagination don’t die when university is over. Rather, it’s a time to turn goals into a reality greater than anything I could have imagined. It’s the journey that God has in store for me, and as long as I keep dreaming and believing and doing, my futile path will transform into a long and prosperous road.

~ Ailish

P.S. The featured image was taken by me in Hallstatt, Austria during the Summer of 2013.


4 thoughts on “Roads

  1. I recently discovered your blog and have really enjoyed reading your posts. After reading this post I wanted to encourage you with a small part of my story 🙂
    When I finished university I had planned to dedicate a year to dancing and becoming a ‘World Qualifier’ while doing casual teaching on the side. One term into my grand plan, I was called up by the Head teacher of my high school and offered a job. I wasn’t sure I was ready for the role so I initially said no, I don’t think she liked that answer, so she told me to pray about it. I was obedient, I prayed that God would find the right person for the job and, that it wouldn’t be me. I guess I thought I could trick God into giving me what I wanted if I pretended to be obedient (ha!) but, I also prayed that if I was meant to get the job that he would give me the confidence and strength I needed to fulfil the role. When it was apparent that God had chosen me for the job I realised that I had to let go of my dream of qualifying for the world championships, after all I was 22 years old! I continued to dance but I wasn’t able to dedicate as much time as I had hoped. I was at peace with the decision and didn’t look back. However, five years later four of our dancers went over to compete in the
    World Championships. The dedication that they had made an impact on the whole school and raised the standard of our classes. I remember looking on wishing that I had the time and energy to put as much effort into my dancing. What I didn’t realise was that by being in the same class as these dancers and working along side them, I was pushing myself too. That year we had 3 champions and 19 world qualifiers at our regional championships and I was one of those qualifiers. It was at that moment that I had remembered what I had though of as a long-gone dream. While I had almost forgotten, God hadn’t. He had a plan to fulfil my desires but it was in His timing. When I arrived at work the next day I noticed the inspirational poster that was on my classroom door. These had been posted up earlier in the year by our counsellor to help encourage resilience among our students. The poster on my door read “just because your dreams have been denied, doesn’t mean they have been delayed”.
    I can’t guarantee that God has the same plan for you but we know He is faithful and His plan will be the greatest one. As long as you love dancing, keep at it. I qualified at 26 and 27 years of age, against a whole bunch of 21-23 years olds (and I thought I was old at 22).
    Oh, and if you haven’t already, you should read Hinds Feet in High Places. It was such an encouragement to my heart.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write that comment. So often I find myself asking God to take control of my life, but I never actually give Him the wheel, so to speak. I’ve been thinking about what you wrote for the past few days and it has definitely helped me put school, dance, and life in general into perspective. I’ll also try and find that book 🙂

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