Stymied in St. Louis

Dear Gabby,
A couple of weeks ago, I was presented with an opportunity to go to Turkey for five months. As I was trying to decide whether or not to go, a couple of things kept perplexing me:

1) There were conflicting views on the situation among my family members. I started to lose clarity and was very confused. How does one determine the difference between others’ opinions, one’s own opinions and God’s opinion?

2) One theme that kept coming up was stability. I am only 23 and have no dependents, no boyfriend, and very few financial obligations outside of student loans. I don’t see a big need for stability at this point in my life. What are your thoughts on being stable at my age? Do you feel that is important for someone in my current position… or would you choose experiences over stability?

Well those are two that I really struggled with and still do.
Stymied in St. Louis

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
1 Corinthians 15:33

So stymied, you’re wondering what you should do. But the real question is “What do you WANT to do?” By the sounds of it, Gabby knows your answer. You want to go. Now this isn’t to say that your family’s concerns about stability aren’t justified. But honestly, would you really choose instability as an option for your life? Ever?

Gabby is wondering why instability is even on the table. Instability is about as uncomfortable as an ill-fitting bra. Let’s face it, the 18-hour bra may not be sexy, but it’s not going to let you down. The truth is stability is not in short supply; it’s a renewable resource. You can find it wherever you choose to hang your hat or make your home. It generally comes as a by-product of common sense – something that can be recycled and reused endlessly.

Does your family suspect that you lack common sense? Do you? If you’ve got a spotty track record, then Gabby would say to hold your horses and set your path straight before going off on what might indeed promise to be an unstable adventure. However, if at 23, common sense and you are well-acquainted, then Gabby would say you could take yourself just about anywhere and feel confident that you will make good life choices. Common sense is a gift that God makes available to all of us – just like free will. So Paul reminds us, disciples of Christ and children of God, not to fool ourselves. We ARE the company we keep. Choose safe neighborhoods to live in, keep sensible hours, rub elbows with upstanding people, keep your faith in the Lord and you are bound to find sure footing. That’s stability – not to be confused with unexciting or boring.

You could stay home, avoid this adventure and still have an unstable life. More likely, what your family is labeling as instability is actually fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of having you far away. How lucky are you to have people who care about you and love you enough to worry about you!

You need to take an honest assessment of yourself. If you have the emotional stability to take this trip, then Gabby feels you should dust off your suitcase and load it up with faith, love, common sense – and your 18-hour bra. All of those together are bound to give you the support and stability you need, wherever your path leads.
Happy travels,
The Gabster

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