I feel antsy tonight.

I get that way sometimes these days. It feels like there’s a lull in the momentum of my life, and I get antsy.

I felt stuck for so many years, at the mercy of a life that wasn’t my own (after all, I was “bought with a price,” as Paul wrote). In order to honor the God who loved me, I had to keep my life a blank slate, so that all that would be written on it would be whatever he would write.

But he didn’t give me life so I could hold it for a few moments until he could take it back – so that I could keep it tucked away and safe until he comes for it. He gave me my life – this one life – so I could live it. So I could make things happen with it. That’s not safe; it’s risky. I could lose everything. But maybe that’s the point.

Somewhere over the past few years I discovered something: my own agency. The gift of my life, of making choices and messing up and sometimes soaring.

Choices used to scare me frozen. There were too many implications, so many ways to get it wrong (I must not get it wrong). So I would pray and wait for God to show me his will. It was like a celestial game of “Mother, may I?”

It’s hard to live when you’re always trying to avoid messing something up.

And it rang wrong somehow. In the middle of this amazing world God made, full of beauty and possibility and choices, it came to feel like refusing a gift – the gift of living my life.

So I’ve grabbed on to it with both hands and jumped in. And on this beautiful summer day, when there’s a pause, I feel antsy.

I know I’m not stuck. I know things will continue to happen and choices will continue to come. The next step – for my vocation, at my job, in my dating, into my future – will come. But something in me remembers the long stuckness, and that something doesn’t want it again. And I hold on to my agency, the gift of living my life.

And maybe eventually I’ll learn to feel the difference between stuckness and stillness.