I didn’t understand what a bucket list was until I was at least 19. By then, I felt like I had wasted a lot of my time, especially in my teen years, doing stuff that I didn’t have any real passion for and letting time pass me by the without any sense of fulfillment or satisfaction.
When I was told to create a bucket list, I honestly didn’t know where to start. There was, after all, so much to do and so many things to see… what could I possibly do first? Nevertheless I created my bucket list… even if I wasn’t sure if I’d accomplish anything on it.
For the longest time I was sure I would never be able to do anything amazing. I had been fed terrible lies-that I wouldn’t amount to much and that I wasn’t meant to do nor have nice things. Of course I wasn’t told these things directly, but mental manipulation/abuse can toy with your subconscious in ways you never even realize until you start to think about what you’re thinking about (re-read that sentence a hundred times if you don’t get it the first time).
It hadn’t hit me how much I belittled myself until I realized what my train of thoughts mostly consisted of. I knew that needed to change, so I decided to start doing things afraid.
I prayed for miracles and asked God to grant several requests I had buried deep in my heart.
I was not used to asking God to grant me requests, so of course I doubted. What happened next was enough to make me wonder what had taken me so long to ask Him [God] to grant me my heart’s desires- Busch Gardens… the place I’d always wanted to go to as a child but thought I’d never ever get to see in person… had become my employer. This was the first of many miracles/bucket list accomplishments I’d experience.
From there on I continued living with positive expectations; believing that amazing things were going to happen. Fear often gripped my heart, as it still does even today, and I’d start thinking the same ole’ ugly thoughts- I don’t deserve this. Why me? This isn’t right.
Of course, life is never perfect. Bad things DO happen either because of my own choices or experiencing the consequences of another person’s actions… but living in fear and defeat was not the way to go.
As I stepped out of my comfort zone and began learning to enjoy life, I realized there wasn’t room for fear in my future… at least not if I wanted to make the most of my life.
Adventure became something I pursued. I asked myself what it was that I wanted to do, what or whom I wanted to see, what I wanted to overcome, who I wanted to become, etc., and the more I explored these questions, the more I realized how amazing life truly is.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
After losing my daughter, experiencing sexual abuse and assault, neglect, abandonment, and other forms of abuse, I chose to draw strength from God, forgive those who’d hurt me, and walk in freedom… because life wasn’t meant to be lived with bitterness, resentment, and unchecked anger.
I didn’t just create a bucket list of things I wanted to do and accomplish whether in my career or for fun & adventure, I wanted to create a bucket list that challenged my views, my character, and even my relationship with God.
The last several years have been met with so many wonderful memories, accomplishments, challenges, and difficulties, but I’d be damned if I gave up believing that there’s no place for more growth, no place for more adventure, and no place for hope and God.
There is still so much to see, so much to do, and so much more to live for.
Of course, everything is for nothing if I don’t have God- the one who truly satisfies my soul and spirit. Life in Heaven is the ultimate goal, and it will be greater than my wildest imagination! But for now, I make the most of what I have here and now…
“Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Till this day, I must have crossed off at least over 50/200 something things on my bucket list. It’s been one heck of a ride, and I look forward to the adventures-or bucket list adventures- to come.
What’s the best bucket list adventure you have experienced to date? Do you believe a bucket list should simply consist of things you want to see or do for fun, or also of things you wish to see change within yourself?