Stories About Anna

Directions to Where I Am

I saw this idea for a unique post on Stie’s blog, These are a Few of My Favorite Things.  Thanks for inviting us to write out our own Directions to Where I Am.

Start in a hospital down the street from Disneyland five days after Thanksgiving, 1974.  Come home to an older brother and sister and be known from that point on as the baby of the family.  The cute baby who would be severely deprived of pictures for the baby album.

Shortly after the drive home from the hospital, move with the family to a new life in Washington DC when your dad will begin his career in the federal government.  Stay with your sweet granny until he finds the perfect 4BR house for $66,000 in Maryland.  Your mom will be sorta disappointed that he chose a house in the country (my, how city-fied it will soon become).  But it’s a nice house on a cul-de-sac and has a garage for the Chevy.

It’s that Chevy’s door that will almost take off your fingernail for good.  Be comforted by your mom as she tells you about the scar on your pinky finger and how she was really scared but God watched over you.  Go to your mom for everything, she will be the strongest influence in your childhood.

Walk down the road to school (uphill both ways, in the snow) and you will find the place where you spend most of your days ducking behind a Trapper Keeper.  Hope the teacher won’t call on you to solve a long division problem, it might not be pretty.

You won’t like school when you have to speak up, but in 5th grade you’ll get to perform a dance routine in a school play that will spark a change.  Suddenly being in front of people won’t bother you.  As long as you are playing the role of someone else.

In middle school, self-esteem issues will dominate.  You’ll be a late bloomer and teased about what makes you different.  School will stress you out in every way.  A teacher will call your mom about the changes she is seeing in you and your adolescent depression will become an obvious cry for help.

Hop on the Metro to several therapy sessions downtown and they will work.  It will turn out okay; you just needed to talk about your feelings so that you and your family would begin to understand them.  This step will probably save you from turning to a number of other strongholds.  You will begin attending youth Bible Study and having a safe place to be yourself.

You already asked Jesus into your heart when you were 7 years old, but the summer after 9th grade you will realize you want an aunthentic relationship with Christ.  You need Him.  You will hear someone say “He is not all you need until He is all you have.”  In college you will fall but this statement will bring you back to a standing position, knowing that Jesus is the only true constant in your life.

Keep walking straight ahead during those difficult years.  Your parents will get a divorce, your boyfriend will break your heart, and the future will become vague.  Financially and emotionally, you will hit rock bottom but you’ll get a job and see God provide for your needs.  This will be a time that you’ll learn to live without some basics, like having a phone.

Drive down to the pay phone to talk to that guy who is calling you at work, it’s worth it.   He’ll take you out to expensive dinners and drive you around in a sweet ride.  It will pick up your spirits for 9 months and you can trust him to be a gentleman, but don’t get too attached.  Your husband is still out there.  No, he won’t have a sports car and it won’t even have air conditioning, but he’ll make you laugh and you’ll want to spend every single moment with him no matter what you’re doing.

Hold on tight because in the next year you’ll find yourself engaged and walking down the aisle wanting nothing more than to grow old with the man you’re about to marry.  You’ll live modestly in a small one-bedroom apartment, burn some dinners, and share a car.  Soon you will buy your own home and continue to lead a singles Bible Study with him.  Take white-water rafting trips for vacations, camp under the stars, and go to Europe.

You will watch that singles Bible Study dwindle as all your friends get married.  Go directly to a tuxedo rental shop and, if you’re smart, just tell Mike to buy the suit.  Drive hundreds of miles and be a groupie for a Christian rock band.  Sit in the bathroom stall next to the 14 year old girl who swoons over the cute bass player who you happen to be MARRIED to.  It’s okay that you eat so many french fries at diners after midnight.  The weight will come off someday.

Pray about having a baby.  You will accept another turn to a destination that you don’t want to visit: the fertility center’s waiting room.  Learning terms, discussing procedures, feeling like a lab rat, reading probability graphs, and making decisions about IVF will give you no peace whatsoever.  Make a U-turn.  Research and rest easier in the decision to adopt.  You will worry about money but pray with Mike to save $7,500 before starting the process.

Jump up and down when you find out your tax refund will be slightly more than $7,500.  Begin paperwork and make a scrapbook as a way for birthmothers to get to know you.

Six months later, fly to Colorado and hold your adopted newborn son in your arms.  Get goose bumps over the timing.

Four years later, start a blog.

Go through devastating losses in your next adoption wait.  Allow God to hold you steady.   You will experience unspeakable joy when you find out that your daughter is on the way.  You will marvel at the way God worked everything out and perfectly made your little family through open adoption.

Before you arrive to this day, November 4th, 2010, you will make a few more turns.  One important turn will be at the intersection of Answering God and Playing It Safe.  He will ask your husband to leave his current position as $oftware Engineer to serve Him in full-time youth ministry.  You’ll immediately deny that intersection even exists, but you’ll support him fully after only one day to deliberate.  No more time is needed and you’ll know it.

It will be bumpy at first, don’t get me wrong.  But every bump will give you a sense that you’re on the right road.  And the views are pretty amazing if you’ll remember to look up.

You have arrived to where I am.

Your turn. Tell me how to get to where you are, I’d love to read it!


10 thoughts on “Directions to Where I Am

  1. Anna, I love this! Beautifully written, and a beautiful testament to God’s faithfulness throughout your whole life. I…um…am NOT such a graceful writer and so will probably not be writing my own directions to where I am, but it’s fun to think about! 🙂

  2. I loved reading this and learning more about the person you were yesterday and what made you into the wonderful person you are today! Thanks for sharing….it’s something I will need to think about for a while before I jump into doing this exercise.

  3. Wow! This post made me cry like a baby. So profound and honest and beautifully written. Thanks for sharing – and for the challenge to write our own. Might just have to take you up on that. 🙂

  4. Oh Anna, I loved reading directions to YOU. This was soooo wonderfully written and heartfelt–and full of God’s hand working in your life. Thanks for telling us more about how you *got* here.

  5. “Jesus is the only true constant in your life.”

    So, so true. I reached this same conclusion over the past year or two.

    Thanks for sharing this post.

  6. One of my favorite blogs 🙂 It was awesome to follow you step by step! My heart leaped with joy about how awesome God is providing exactly what you needed and some to get “Max” what an amazing God we have!

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