When my heart gets messy or undone or overwhelmed…when I need to work out my mind as it drowns with ideas or memories or both….whenever I need to find the heart of God in the heart of me, I go find water.
If you ever can’t find me, there is a good chance that you are not looking by bodies of water. Just a helpful hint should you ever be searching for me.
It has been a busy season. A lot of change. Grand-scale disappointments alongside jaw-dropping opportunities. I have had to shrink my schedule, my people, my tasks, my commitments just to survive. Then as I added slowly back, I found the strangest thing had happened…I had changed. People and places and tasks and things and dreams no longer fit me, and I struggled with understanding why. I am not the type to take change without asking questions. I have a curious nature that never fully left the toddler season of “Why?”
I also started reading again. New books, previously-read books, and what I was reading challenged further some deeply rooted truths. Those truths in you and your character that are bedrock, unchanging. I find myself standing in sand. New sand suddenly deposited in the last place on earth it should be. As I have walked the trails alongside the Arkansas River this past two days in an effort to gather my thoughts and regain my sensibilities, I can’t help but notice all of the sand…fresh sand deposited all up and down the banks of the Arkansas River. It smells like the beach and these windy days only add to feel of it. “Where am I?” I keep thinking. Right here. Listening to worship music in my ear and watching the river roll by.
I am on the precipice of change. All the signs are here. Uneasiness, newness, long walks at the river’s edge, and ALL the words rushing my mind in waves crashing quickly and then receding often before I can capture them on paper. I want to yell at God. “i am at 48! I am tired! I want a season of rest NOT change. For the love, not more change!” I know he hears me, because I keep seeing hearts (our love language) so it isn’t like isn’t making his presence be known, he is simply not appeasing this 48 toddler. Sh*t.
The problem is the same old problem that has always been here. I don’t want to do what he is asking of me alone. It makes no difference to me if the ask feels good or bad, I am stuck on…”Alone? Again?” Damn.
I read “Educated” by Tara Westover yesterday. For the very first time in the whole of my life I want to write my story. Not a story. Not a season. My story. For the very first time I don’t care if the cast of characters is living or dead or estranged. I just want to get it down on paper. I’m suddenly aware that some of the dearest and closest people in my life have no idea WHO I AM, what I have lived and walked through, survived, done, loved, lost, chosen…they don’t know ME. Could I have really lived 48 years only to leave this life unknown…not social media know, KNOWN?
Did my one life here matter? Does it matter today? Will it matter tomorrow?
Legacy is a slippery slope, and one I don’t know how to navigate.
I was giving a talk last week and suddenly a woman raised her hand and asked, “Have you ever received validation from “X”?” All the air left my lungs. No. I hadn’t said it though, only thought it. “No..” I answered. I had no other words. The moisture gathering at the corners of my eyes said more than my no did; I still have pain…THERE.
I have cried a lot of tears the past few days since that talk. Not because of it specifically, but it is just another domino falling. It is time to grieve…again…all that I have lost. All I do not have. If I don’t grieve it, I cannot experience the fullness of the joy that is here from all that I do have…all that has not been lost, or simply all that has been restored.
Wherever or whatever you are feeling yourself drawn to today…listen to it. Lean in and ask God what it is and to reveal himself to you. He has shown up these past two days in calls from friends, in my tears, in words read, words written, in sunshine, in rest, and in the water…the water rolls on and on and on. It deposits and takes and flows on. Water is life. It IS life. So right now…THIS is holy ground, and I am grateful in this moment as I wait for God to tell me what’s next.
*please forgive any typos, etc. written and posted by the water on my iPhone.