Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
And I can't help but ask myself how much I let the fear
Take the wheel and steer
It's driven me before
And it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal
I think it is very safe to say that all of us encounter a time in our lives where we are presented with opportunities. A place where we find ourselves standing there questioning what to do? Where to go? Why?
Those big decisions, recently I've started calling doors.
You find yourself standing before a door, or a decision, and you don't know if you should open it or let it pass you by.
Through talking with many of my friends and family, it's pretty clear that everyone has these doors/decisions to make in their lives. The thing that fascinates me is how vastly different people's doors look like. When I say that, I don't mean how vastly different the opportunities are, that fascinates me as well, but more or less the process. How different people react to their doors, and how in some people's lives there seems to be a pattern.
But I can't speak for all those people, I can only speak for myself.
I have had many different decisions in my life, as everyone has. But when I look back, the ones before high school, they weren't detrimental things. The decision to have barbecue chips or sour cream and onion with my sandwich was probably the biggest decision I had to make. There were a couple earth shattering decisions I had to make in high school, but nothing compares to all the decisions I've had to make after high school.
After I graduated in May of 2009, I had no idea what I was going to do. All through high school my dream was to be in a band and just tour the country with my friends, making a little bit of money off of the tasty jams that we put together. But after about 2 years of playing together, and realizing we didn't have one complete song, we had enough. My best friend and I, couldn't stand each other when we were playing music together so we decided the best thing to do was to stop being a band so we could be friends. So that left me in the summer of '09, for lack of a better term, completely screwed. I had no back up plan, no real dreams or desires to chase other than the music one that failed, so I just started to coast a little bit. I spent that summer working for my dad and hanging with my brothers, and then August rolled around.
In the middle of August of that year, my life long best friend Nathan Graves was turning 18. So as happened pretty frequently, Mrs. Kim flew me down to surprise Nathan and spend the weekend with the Florida Family. The weekend went so well, and I felt more at peace with something in me than ever before. Something about this place, that I didn't even really like mind you, something about this place was calling me.
So I prayed, I prayed and prayed and prayed, and I finally came to a conclusion thanks to many prayers and many many chips and salsa from Lorrie Harden. I felt that my heart was pulling me to Florida for some reason. I had a room with the Graves, but that was pretty much it. haha. I didn't really have a master plan or anything, I just felt my heart pulling me there. Well, as any idiot with a dream would do, I confronted my mother cold turkey. Yeah... That didn't go so well. Word to the wise, give your mother some hints before you drop a bomb like that, especially if your mother is Diana Pemelton(Tucker, Cooper, be taking notes.) I had no reason to move to Florida other than my heart, so without diving into a bigger story, that door closed. The thing that I found amazing though, was at the same time as the Florida door, I had a second door was right next to me.
I've always found in my life that God gives me two doors at any major crossroad in my life.
Door 1: Florida
Door 2: Austin Peay State University
I found that I got accepted into Austin Peay State University and that I would be receiving Financial Aid covering the whole year. So the Florida door slammed in my face, and I walked through the Austin Peay Door still holding my broken nose from the last slammed door.
It ended up being a very good thing that the Florida door closed. Later that year, my Papa died. I only had one grandfather growing up, and that was my Papa. I could write 35 blogs about how much I loved and respected my Papa. So in saying that you can imagine how hard that year was for me, and also for my dad. I knew that I needed to be there in that situation, I needed to be there with my dad as he was going through maybe the hardest thing in his life, as Papa began to slip with the cancer. I don't regret staying in Nashville that year at all. In fact I thank God that I was there.
But that pulling in my heart was still there.
After a couple more months and many more chips and salsa talks with my second mama, Lorrie Harden(I have 2 second Mom's, Lorrie and Kim, Sorry if you get confused, but its my life, I'm not confused. haha) ANYWAYS after talks with Lorrie Harden and prayer, and through this blog, I came to the realization that what I love doing is writing. And then I pieced together my love and admiration for movies and filming video projects and realized that I wanted to pursue film. The doors began to open.
Stars started to align and life started pulling me back towards florida again, but this time I had a plan. I would move to declare residency and then begin the process of applying to the film program at the University of Central Florida. I confronted my parents again, but was met with a completely different answer this time. I remember walking in my moms room one morning and she looked at me and said, "Tanner you need to go. I can't watch you walk around here depressed and worn all the time, I want you here, but I want you happy too. You need to talk to your dad." That shocked me, still shocks me that she said it, but she did. So then I did the hardest thing I've ever done, I talked to my dad, my best friend, about leaving the house. It was so hard, but he saw my plan, and he couldn't say no.
So life was starting to shape up towards a door again, and then right before I was set to leave God did that thing and he opened another door.
As some of you know, I was heavily invested in my youth group growing up. It was a huge part in my life, so much so that after I graduated, I stuck with it and became a youth leader and or a small group leader. It was hard feeling myself pulling away from the youth group because of my plans for Florida, but I was managing and doing well.
Right before I was set to leave Tennessee, the pastor in charge of all family ministries called me in to meet with him. So, I gladly went to the meeting and we talked about the plans for Florida and everything going on in my life. He then acknowledge my dreams, but then offered me a paid internship with my church...
Door 1: Florida
Door 2: Working for Crosspoint
Honestly, I was pissed.
I said things to God, that He'll probably confront me on again in heaven, and I'll look at him and be like, "Yeah, sorry G, but I still think you were a jerk for doing that. I don't like our 2 door thing. It pisses me off." haha Yes, I know, very reverent, but hey He calls for honesty, I'm just being honest.
I hated that God would put me in that position to have to chose between those two doors. So I stood with both hands on both handles and prayed, and I felt God was still pulling me towards Florida. So in August of last year, I opened the door and jumped through it. As most of you know I now live in Land O' Lakes, Florida because of that door.
I've had a couple other crossroads in my life recently that happened the EXACT same way. God opens one door, and then 10 minutes later He opens another one. It's like He gives me one thing, waits for a second, shows another door and then smiles and says, "Choose."
I went for a walk the other night. Walking and riding a bike in the night for some reason is one of my absolute favorite things to do when my mind is starting to go haywire. Something about the night just puts things into perspective for me. I think I love the fact that in the night, like my decisions, I can't really see what's in front of me. I love the fact that I'm riding into the darkness but a street light is illuminating the street in front of me, and eventually I'll get to the light.
On that night walk I had nice heart to heart/cuss out with God about our little two door system.
After praying about it more and more, I finally have come to a realization about it.
I think He does that for me... because I'm me.
I'm a person who likes options, I love being able to choose, I don't like feeling cornered. Corners freak me out, and I do not thrive in them, ask all my elementary teachers who tried to put me in the corner. But unlike God, i didn't have the ability to cuss them out. haha
But I realized on my walk, I would feel somewhat trapped if He only gave me one door.
And I also realized, He uses the two doors in my life to emphasize things. When I had to decide between Florida and Austin Peay, He still was emphasizing Florida. The desire and pull on my heart was there, it was like He was saying, "Tanner, remember this door."
When I came to the decision between Florida and working for Crosspoint I really feel that it was vital for me to see both doors. Honestly, my family and church was the only things that made me second guess leaving Nashville. And when the pastor proposed the internship to me, sure it was tempting, but I could also feel that burn for Florida a little more. When I had the two options I could see, Florida had more for me.
So even though I'll probably still look up to the heavens and shout my curses to God when I encounter those doors, I know He does it out of Love and out of respect for me and my fear of corners. I am so blessed in my life to even have the opportunities that I have, and I thank God for them, but not nearly enough.
So now you know what my doors look like, what do yours look like? Does God open one door and kick you through it? Do you also get two doors, maybe 3? Is there pattern in your life with your opportunities?
You may not have ever looked at those times in your life very closely, and if so, you're normal don't worry. haha.
I don't know why I've scrutinized those times in my life, but I'm glad I have. I feel that I am growing closer to God every time I realized things like this.
So God, sorry for the foul words, but bring on the doors man.
Can't wait to see what we decide together.
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Album: Make Yourself
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