Unrefined, but Loved, Creation in Progress
BY: KENDRA CAGLE
There are dozens of versions of me I imagined as a child. Research scientist, doctor, gymnast, and a dozen more before I graduated high school. Even when I thought I had figured things out in college, my path changed again. The older I got, the more reality hit, and the more I worried I would see myself as a disappointment.
I wasn't in med school. I wasn’t on my way to six figures. I didnt know how to reconcile the dreams I had as a kid with the reality of my desires and abilities as an adult. How could I look at myself in the mirror if I just became "this?” Who would care about the girl who does "that" for a living?
I could not divorce the idea that I needed to be someone and do something that was impressive. I needed people to know my name and maybe even envy me a bit. It was exhausting always feeling like I wasn't enough or hadn't done enough to be a somebody. But I didn’t know how to let it go. I couldn’t be a nobody, and that is all that mattered.
The only thing that broke the cycle was failure, or what I perceived as such. I left my job to spend a year or two with my son when he was born. The plan was to get him to two, enroll him in a local preschool, and get my life back. Here I am, five years later, and I haven't moved. Being a full-time mom wasn’t my first choice. It was never in the plan when I was younger. And it took me a solid couple of years to even accept I was nothing more than a parent — but I got there.
I failed. I didn't reach any of my childhood goals. Nevertheless, I feel stronger, more self-aware, and more successful than I ever have. I failed, but I don't see myself as a failure. During these last five years, God has shown me what failing at your own goals can do for your spirit. When I had to walk away from my own plans, I had to lean on God so much more. I didn't even know who I was. I wasn’t meant to be an unemployed mom. I wasn't meant to waste my education and career experience. But, I really wasn't. I was finally living outside of the expectations and selfish aspirations, and God began a work in me.
I couldn't have gotten here on my own merits. The life I had planned would not have strengthened me or fulfilled me the way the last five years has. God did that for me. I clung to Him for some kind of comfort and identity and He got to work. He showed me everything He had been waiting to do in my life, while I was running around trying to be famous.
I am a somebody because God grew me into someone. I am successful because God has given me the strength to provide a safe and loving environment for my child. I don't make money. I don't have a fancy work title. But I'm becoming the woman God created me to be. That's who I am. I am unfinished and unrefined, but I am a loved creation in progress.
Kendra is a loving wife, tired mom, and lifelong preacher's kid. She currently resides with her family, 2 cats, and 1 dog in a little blue house in Oklahoma.