I wanted to be a lawyer because Claire Huxtable was a lawyer. Claire was married to a doctor, raised five children, and was well respected. I was eight years old when I made the declaration, and aside from one year of deviation when I wanted to be a fashion designer at age nine (and who didn’t), I stuck to my goal. I didn’t really get that it was television and the real world would be different. I knew I did not want anything to do with criminal law. I made the law my life in high school and college. I think the law is what attracted me to my ex-husband. He had some situations in his life that allowed me to flex my legal muscles. But, when that relationship ended, my life went into a tailspin. I fell out of love with the idea of practicing law. And now, looking back, I don’t know if it was because at the time, I didn’t feel capable of making rational decisions about my life. I am just wondering if my confidence was shaken so bad by one situation that I threw away a lifelong dream. I practiced law for three years, but it brought me little joy and loads of anxiety. The initial draw to teaching was the interaction with the kids and the fact that I had not worked year-round for so many years that I thought I would be unable to adjust. Even on the days when I am frustrated with my job, there is usually at least one present or former student who reminds me of why I do what I do. I am just not sure if I gave practicing law a fair opportunity to provide me with the same experience. For the years that I practiced, I always knew that my law practice would come to an end. I did my best for each and every client, but never gave that career path a chance. Did I make the right turn?
In college, I made two very close friends. We talked about being in each other’s weddings, being godmothers to each other’s children. In fact, one was my maid of honor. At the time, I could not imagine the rest of my life without these two people. As I began to grow in Christ, our lives took different directions. I was so terrified of moving backwards that I made myself distant and eventually, lost touch with these two young women. I have since reached out to them, but I feel that the damage done by my attitude is irreparable. The saddest part of the situation is that I have no children of my own, but I know there are at least four children who were meant to be my godchildren and I am not a part of their lives at all. I can pray for them from afar, which is the best I can do for them, but it could have been so much more. I have great friends now, who I am spiritually in sync with and I would not trade for the world. Yet, I still wonder…did I make the right turn?
I am not sure if I will get the answer to that question on this side of Heaven. And, I am not complaining about my life because I love my life, my career and the people in my life. In pondering whether or not I made good decisions right now, I am not engaged in an exercise of ‘coulda shoulda woulda,” but I am thanking God that for every turn I made, He worked it out for my good. I am discovering some areas in which I may not have forgiven myself. I can use these past experiences to create less questions in my future when I have a choice to make. I could play the “What If” game incessantly, but that is an exercise in futility because the past already happened and it cannot be changed. I also do not want to project into the future because I think that an irrational vision of the future led to some of my worst decisions. So, I think I will just enjoy WHAT IS knowing that God is in full control and I have every reason to be content and filled with joy simply because He has redeemed me, not to mention all of the other blessings He has bestowed upon me. Did I make the right turn? You can say “yes” with confidence to if your turn turns you towards Christ! Ms. EV