Well, I’m still here in case you were wondering – or even if you couldn’t care less (in which case I don’t suppose you’d be reading this). Regardless, here we go…
For over a year now, I have gone kicking and screaming into a new and uncertain reality. In the process, I have slowly, often unwillingly, been discovering who I am in the midst of loss and pain and sorrow. The world I thought would never change – changed – without any warning.
As I sat in the midst of packing up my former self, one box, one picture, one memory at a time, I suddenly realized the uncertainty I have been trying to suppress with superficial words and inadequate certitudes, “I’m fine. Really!”
Many “experts” encourage us to act “as if” _________(fill in the blank) until it becomes our truth. So, I did – or at least I tried. But, in pretending I was already there I believe I was also denying the necessary process of change. So, does acting “as if” my life is often a total shitstorm count? Because it is – no acting required.
Jen Hatmaker beautifully describes the inevitable change of seasons in life:
“It can be difficult to envision a new start but impossible to deny one. This is your work. No one can do it for you. Something doesn’t have to be bad to be over. That season has possibly given you everything it has to offer; it shaped and developed you, it stretched and inspired you. We are not entirely rebranded with each new season; we simply build the next layer. Throughout transitions, we embody permanent virtues and become deeply shaped, and as a testament to our design, we are capable of preserving the best of each season while rejecting the worst. The human heart is shockingly resilient. We need to get better at permission and grace.”
As the pictures have been packed up leaving bare walls, it has become all too clear to me that I have been stuck in the past. God tells us to stay out of there and move on, trusting him every step of the way. The past certainly formed my identity to this point and I am truly grateful for all of its lessons, but, thanks-be-to-God, that’s not the end of my story or my journey. Hatmaker says: “You can care about new things and new beginnings and new people. Carry on sister!”
God wants me, wants all of us, to boldly step into each new day believing each life experience, good or bad, will influence how we impact our world. Our loving God has created our most outlandishly gifted, magnificently designed selves for that very purpose.
It’s time to grab onto that desire of my heart that has been sitting too long and aching to be acknowledged; that one passion refusing to fade away no matter how much I have tried to ignore it.