That One Time at Ellis Island




Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 

~Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

In the movie Hitch, (which is apparently my favorite rom-com ever because I keep finding random ways to analogize it to my life), Will Smith’s character Alex “Hitch” Hitchins takes Eva Mendes’ character, Sara Melas, on a first date, which includes a trip to Ellis Island. Hitch eventually ends up showing Sara the signature of her distant relative, and she becomes highly emotional and starts into a weird, panicked crying spasm of sorts. It was a strange, albeit funny, reaction to Hitch’s plan. And for the perfect comedic punchline effect, as Sara runs away in a fit of semi-hysteria, Hitch remarks, “I saw that going differently in my head.”

And that phrase is the perfect response to my life in its present condition. My personal and professional worlds have been simultaneously colliding and unraveling in front of my very eyes. Or at least, it feels that way. I am not as sharp as I once was, as an attorney, and I am not sure why. At home, I am out of place and out of sorts, with no clear path back to normal. The funny thing is, the more effort and energy I exert in trying to keep these planets of my life in orbit, the more they seem to want to crash and fall. I am in my 30s, a wife, a mother, an attorney. I have checked off all of the boxes that I wanted to have checked by this time in my life, and yet I am faced with the undeniable feeling that nothing is as it should be. Just like Hitch, I saw this going differently in my head.

So what do I do now? What do I do now that I find the vision of my life and what I thought I wanted lying at my feet? I pray, that’s what I do. Because in spite of all of the confusion around me, I know that the Lord promised to give me guidance if I acknowledged Him. He also instructed me not to rely on my own understanding of things. Not to worry God, because I can’t tell my up from my down right now, so no need to pretend like I understand anything about my life right at this moment.

And yet, I have an inkling, a feeling that God has me right where He wants me: confused, unsure, and ready to rely totally on Him. There’s a lesson to be learned here, and I want to grasp it, in part, so that I hopefully don’t have to come back to this place. But I also want to learn this lesson because I believe that the Lord is really trying to show me something. I don’t know what it is, exactly, but I sit with open ears and an open heart. And I believe that He will direct me. He will show me which way to go. I know the Lord will reach me to guide and give me direction–even if He has to go to Ellis Island.

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