Summer Questions: I Don’t Know What’s Best for Me

I knew it had been a while, but I was blown away when I realized my last Struggle Sunday post occurred on…

May 27th of last year. Yikes.

Please don’t let me go that long without getting messy with y’all again.

While my life seems to be peaches and cream at the moment — regularly working, working out, and writing once again — there also exists one mess of a decision at the core of all that peachy cream.

The decision? Where to spend my summer.

For the last two summers, I’ve ventured to Milwaukee and then to North Carolina. Two similar though vastly different summer camp experiences that broke me and made me all at once.

My life has been more greatly altered by these last two summers than anything else.

YouthWorks 2011 Milwaukee Staff

There’s something magical about disappearing for a summer. Leaving your mundane “regular” life behind as you boldly voyage into something completely unknown. For the last two years, my soul has thrived on those summer adventures.

I’m desperate for another one. And while summer still remains 5-6 long months away, the process for solidifying summer plans begins now.

Up until now, my decision has remained mostly jumbled inside my head. A few thoughts have trickled onto my journal pages. I’ve exchanged words with a few dear individuals. But the soul-piercing question remains:

Where will I be spending this summer?

On the one hand, I could very easily work at a local day camp here in southern California. Could continue living at my new house and even work additional hours at my learning center. Could continue turning the gears on Korea and determine whether my first flight over the Pacific indeed transpires in August.

Could continue building relationships within my church and with my new housemates while continuing to recuperate financially from a tough close to 2012.

Staying makes sense.

And yet on the other hand, my North Carolina camp from last summer beckons my return. Despite the turmoil of those first couple weeks (a blogging topic for another Struggle Sunday to come), I left that place changed forever. And while I certainly hope to have impacted those dozens of kids for nine weeks, I feel it is they who left the greater mark on me.

I miss those kids. Miss them dearly. Words fail me. My recent return to a local middle school flared up those painful separations all the more. I just want to hang out with those kids all summer again. Play ridiculous kickball games with them again. Comfort the homesick ones again. Answer their questions about the Bible and faith again.

Simply cross paths with them again. If only for a few more weeks in this fast, fleeting life.

I mean, I’m Traveling Golden Trout. Of course I should drive all the way back across the country again in five short months. Film my adventures once again, chat with random homeless guys once again, be broken and made anew once again.

Leaving makes sense.

Choctaw staff at camp

My head and my heart feel engrossed in an epic ping-pong match, and truthfully, my soul is growing weary over the constant battle. I just don’t know what to do.

I don’t know what’s best for me.

The Christianese answer to my dilemma is to “pray about it” and “wait on the Lord.” But I pray and I journal and I blog, and I hear nothing. I talk to others about my situation, and I receive rational arguments for both scenarios. Staying versus leaving; starting anew or returning.

Forget the summer: where do I see myself in 5 years? 10? 20?

I have no idea. No clue whether I’ll be living in California, Korea, or the North Pole. Whether I’ll ever get married, have kids, or be a middle-aged loner.

Whether this writing career thing will ever actually pan out for me.

So for my first Struggle Sunday confession in eight long months, I admit not knowing what’s best for me. Not having a freaking clue.

Dear God: step in. Step in soon, and lead me. Across the city, across the country, or across the world.  Take the reins.

Because I don’t know what to do.

  • Aaron

    I’m starting to think about my summer and beyond to a possible move across the country. Its a little overwhelming.

    • TMZ

      Can completely relate, having moved across the country myself. Twice. The unknown can absolutely be fun and exciting, but it’s overwhelming and scary too. Sometimes I feel the former, but right now I definitely feel more of the latter.

  • StevenFuller

    Here’s a little something I’ve learned about decisions: if you’ve opened yourself to God speaking and haven’t heard anything one way or the other, then maybe you just need to make a decision and then devote that path to God. If its the wrong path, then he’ll find a way to reroute you. I guess what I’m saying is sometimes there isn’t a “right” decision. Just go and ask God to be with you.

    • StevenFuller

      and missing the kids is always a big draw to return to Ridgecrest.

      • TMZ

        Fuller! Thanks for commenting. I miss you. Best co-counselor ever! (Don’t tell Streeter.)

        I really like what you said about God “rerouting” us with our decisions. Have never thought about it that way, but I like it. I like it a lot. Can honestly see God doing awesome things with either side of this break in the road.

        As for returning to RC…the kids are the big draw. The only draw, really. Certainly not the money or even the road trip adventures along the way. So it’s kinda refreshing to want to return for solely that reason. The primary reason that should even matter anyway.

        We’ll see what pans out.

        Much love, brother. Hope our paths cross again soon regardless.


  • Rebecka

    First of all, it’s nice to hear that your life seems to be going well at the moment. 🙂

    I know exactly how it feels not having a clue what to do next. It is a really scary place to be. You’re right, both staying and leaving make sense, but reading this I really got the feeling there is one of them you’d rather do. I’m praying for you.

    • TMZ

      I’ll take all the prayers I can get. Really appreciate both your comments and prayers, Rebecka! You’re awesome.