Advice from my Cheesecake Factory waiter this evening.
As many of you know, these past six months have been testing me emotionally, spiritually, physically, and there are several situations that factor into this. As I have look toward the future and analyze how I spent the past couple years, I have been left in a sort of “controlled panic.” I can remain in control of my appearance, while on the inside, I occasionally reach panic mode.
Realizing that my future is so up in the air right now, leaves me constantly thinking about possibilities. Realizing that I am 21, single and about to graduate from a university that is known for producing marriages, leaves me sometimes wondering my problem is (OK, that took a lot of letting go of pride to admit that, go easy). Realizing that I have so much life ahead of me that I can experience now, no matter if I am alone for one month or for the rest of my life, leaves me with my bags packed and ready to go.
Law school applications become available tomorrow. Pray.
Now, on another note, I had a surprising encounter with a voice from heaven today.
Mom came down from norcal with some colleagues for some meetings, and she had time to grab dinner with me. We went to The Cheesecake Factory and I never expected to have the brief encounter we had with our waiter.
My mom was talking with me about my law school applications, but as I was talking about it, I couldn’t stop thinking about how some part of me desperately wants to travel, leave and experience the world. I was thinking how uncertain I am about about the whole application process and what God has in store for me in the immediate and long-term future. Right then, our waiter came up, unannounced…
He was a middle-aged, married, black man with a voice that sounded as smooth as his gentle hand gestures looked as he spoke of baked potato soup. He spoke with eyes searching the skies for clarification, seemingly forming his sentences from an unknown source. Initially, I took the minimal eye contact as lack of preparation for the job, as he looked upwards, slowly reciting the specials. However, as the night progressed, I grew to understand his deliberate care taken with each word.
He came up to the table (it was clear, however, that he hadn’t heard anything we had just been talking about), and said to me,
“I’m going to offer you some advice. You are a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman and I want to give you three pieces of advice to never forget.”
I was thinking, “This should be good,” and answered wittily, “Oh really?” I laughed.
“Yes,” he said,
“First of all, Don’t rush. Ever. For anything. Take time to breathe, relax. Go for a drive sometime on the freeway, and take your time. Don’t rush, leave early. People may honk at you, let them. People may pass you, let them. Just breathe and smile. Fifty years from now, it won’t matter, take time to take life in.
“The second piece of advice I can give you is, don’t settle, for anything or anyone. Ever. No matter how good it looks, no matter how good it makes you feel…don’t settle. Don’t prevent yourself from finding something better.
“The third piece of advice I want to give you is, don’t be sorry. You are a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman and don’t ever be sorry for that. There is a very rare group of men out here, but we are here, and you will meet someone who will appreciate that more than you know. So, don’t be sorry, embrace it and don’t let it go.”
Wow. He did not realize that each bullet point of advice spoke directly into a three different areas of my life that have been consuming my mind constantly. It took more control than I anticipated to not tear up during his last statement.
As much as I put on a smile and convince others (and try to convince myself) that I don’t worry about future relationships or finding someone to appreciate me, for me, it’s a very real fear.
Who am I though to try this on my own? I need to rest in the Lord and to continue to seek His wisdom through these trials. How incredibly cliche that sounds… but I want nothing more than to rest in Him, and to relinquish control of my future to Him.
Don’t be sorry.
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