This Journey

I've been going on several weeks now of finding it a bit difficult to write.

There's been a lot of different reasons. Busyness. Tiredness. Nothing really coming to mind. Distractions. Lack of time. Just not feeling it.

The last several days though, I've felt the weight of wanting to push through it. I'm trying to offer myself more grace when I cannot write. But also I know my tendency to slip and not pursue the things I'm passionate about. I've learned the importance of fighting for the important things. But also not feeling guilty for opportunities missed.

So this afternoon I'm pushing through. Sometimes I have topics in mind to write about. Sometimes I at least have a starting point. Today feels more like a stroll. Meandering about without a real destination in mind. But I guess that's when the purpose is more in the journey.

I have several things that I feel like have been happening in my heart.

Today emotion has felt a bit more raw. A little more closer to the surface. And that's always a bit scary for me. Maybe not as strong of a word as scary anymore, maybe more unsettling. A bit of relief yes, but also a bit of fear and anxiety. Emotions are still tricky for me. I see their worth. But I also feel their vulnerability.

It's been a good weekend. I even commented to Greg yesterday about that as we were driving. He quickly agreed. It's been a long time since I had a good Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday. Where they haven't felt heavy.

Today we had church. I got to talk to a dear friend. It was one of those real and deep, genuine conversations. The kind that you can't always have with just anyone.

I got to talk to a lot of people actually. Some casual and some with more substance. But I felt a bit of life being restored in me. A few glimmers of what used to be and what is going to be. Some excitement and peace.

Slowly though I've noticed strands of heaviness starting to creep in. It started in the emotions. It started in the sadness I felt in things that I wish for. People that I love. Lives that I long to be changed and set free from the hardness of this world. Sadness in seeing the hurt and pain that still exists.

I feel the weight of decisions that must be made. Decisions can be hard. Decisions can feel so burdensome. I long more than anything to make the right ones. The right choice. The one that benefits not just myself but those around me. My husband. My friends. The God I love and serve.

I don't want my life to be just about me. But I also know there is worth and value in the things that I want and desire. God did not save me to just mindlessly do things. He doesn't just want me checking off items on a list so I can call myself a Christian. He made me His daughter and calls me His own. He loves me. He bought my life. And He places it in my hands and asks me what I want to do with it. I have the choice each day to follow Him or do something else.

This feels heavy. I wasn't expecting to take such a serious approach and go down this road today. Right now. With you. It's easier to process on my own. Where it feels safe. But where the weight can crush me if I'm not careful.

I just want to follow Jesus. I just want to honor God with my life. But I know there is so much in me that is left undone. And this doesn't overwhelm me like before. It doesn't make me want to give up for the fear of failure. Instead it allows me to feel a bit of peace in knowing there is grace. I won't be finished in this world. I am made new but still carry my past. I am in process. On a journey.

But when decisions are involved I just fret a lot. I worry. I don't always trust. Because I fear my ability to mess things up. I look towards control that has helped me, but I know that I'm learning to let it go. I feel a bit uneasy still when control gets messed with. Old habits and ways of life, survival techniques actually, die hard.

I was telling someone today about how crazy adult life is. How I have no idea how I even got here. How am I married, own two houses, pay bills, have credit cards, responsibilities, and all the other adult things? Who in the world entrusted me with this? Am I really an adult? I don't always feel like it. He reminded me that it should bring a peace. So much of this has worked out, and so little of it has been from me being in control. Something else lined it all up. I couldn't have done it so perfectly.

Today I hugged another friend that I hadn't seen in weeks. I missed her. Actually two different friends. Two wonderful women that I love so much. As we held each other I could literally feel the love in her touch. I could feel the closeness in her presence and also in our hearts. I have a completely different relationship with the other woman, but certain elements are the same. We've been through some of the hardest times together. We've talked through the worst. We've loved each other through it all.

I feel a deep hunger in me that pops up now and again. There's this something that I know I'm missing. Something that has not yet been satisfied. I've been given so much, but my heart still aches sometimes. There are things I'm missing. Hurts that taught me to be closed off. My heart is expanding. Walls are falling. But there is still a distance from the One who knows me. Not on His end, but mine. Still teeny bits of areas not redeemed. I'm beginning to not feel guilty for this. I'm starting to not feel shame. Instead I know. I cannot fix myself. I cannot attain this on my own. I'm in process. On a journey. I'm not in control of the destination. Some decisions but not every turn.

There is a deep joy in my heart. Tonight sitting in church service with 3 of my kids. Well they aren't so much kids anymore. High-schoolers. Teenagers. They are getting so old. Becoming adults. I watched them worship. I saw their hands raised and their hearts open. I felt the emotion well up inside me. Feelings of so much joy and of being so proud. And I've had a role. I've gotten to love them and listen and stand beside them. I remember times of taking them in the auditorium when they were younger. Standing on the back wall and worshipping with them. Alongside them. Recognizing this was something that was important to do. A part of living life. Welcoming them into parts of my life. Being a part of theirs.

I'm learning about community. How it's not the idea of what you'd like. Of waiting until you are someone who has something to offer. It's about living life right where you are. Being mindful of who is there. Sitting beside you or in the same room. Being available for them. Being open to them. Allowing yourself to be who you are. The imperfections and grace. The mess and the loveliness. The hardships and celebrations. It's all life. And it's meant to be shared. It has a purpose. And none of it is on accident.

So guys, there is a whole lot that I don't know. And there are some bits that I do. And there's a whole lot that I get wrong. And there are times where I laugh hard. Where I lose the thoughts of what I look or sound like and instead let myself be free to enjoy. To savor and delight. I don't know what tomorrow is going to look like. I mean I have glimpses and a schedule. I have a meeting at 11am and another at 1pm. But I don't know the details. The lives I'll meet and be a part of. I don't know about next year or the next ten.

But I've learned to trust the one I follow. I've learned that a whole lot of things don't matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. I've learned there is grace for my mistakes and shortcomings. There is a hope that I cannot hide or deny. There is purpose in my life. In what I'm doing and where I'm going. My decisions have impact, but I don't have as much control over the world as I think.

I'm doing okay. I'm doing well. I'm feeling things that I don't always know what to do with. And tonight I am again filled with hope. I am again filled with an appreciation for this journey. Because I'm not in it alone. And the journey has a purpose.

Tonight I can smile. Tonight I can even feel sad. Tonight I can enjoy where I am.

Oh this journey. It's pretty wonderful. Wonder-full. Full of wonder. Full of joy. Full of things to not be taken for granted. I want to enjoy it more.


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