I've had a lot more on my mind than the words to express it all. I thought if I didn't process my feelings, they'd somehow miraculously end up in the sea of forgetfulness. This is what I've been taught to do with trauma, at least. Acknowledging grief, loss, pain, anger, frustration, despair doesn't make me the most welcoming person to be around, after all.
But something deep inside me beckons me to try again, to dig deep and unearth those boxes, to delve into my feelings -- understanding that I can do this without indulging my darkest thoughts, without becoming them. Because in order to "take every thought captive", I first have to acknowledge that they exist.
And so here I am, spring cleaning my heart, mind and soul (with the active bi-monthly help of a therapist). And here you are, reading this. Thanks for coming. Amen and áṣẹ.
I am in a desert season of life. I had this epiphany moment while riding shotgun between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon this month. Mere miles as we drove away from The Strip, we found ourselves in a barren land. We drove up in between two mountains and down into a literal sandstorm, and once it cleared all we could see was solar fields, wind farms and dusty earth. Yes, there was some vegetation, a beautiful river, and breathtaking views that stopped me in disbelief. But there was a constant (sometimes overwhelming) reminder that I was in isolation, disconnected from any hint of city life. I was a long, long way from what I knew to be my reality. And no T-Mobile. *tear emoji*
Perhaps it was while reading the story of Hualapai Nation, an indigenous population who was forced onto the land overlooking the Grand Canyon via President Andrew Jackson's Trail of Tears. Or the strange looks from White folks everywhere we went. Or listening to the history of the miners who gave up their lives to find wealth by riding a daring cable car across the cavernous stretch until the cable itself broke too many times to be worth fixing. Either way, while I was in complete awe of the sights, I knew that it wasn't a place in which I would consider making a home.
I think of Abram in Haran (literally means "parched" in Hebrew!), living in between where he started and where he was meant to go. He first followed his father's idea to leave their homeland; he then followed his father's idea to settle down in this city, rather than continue to his desired destination.
At times, I feel like closing up shop at this halfway point in my life. I followed (most of) the rules and guidance offered by those ahead of me and I turned out okay, I've come this far by faith... so why should I go any further? It's peaceful here, and it's comfortable here. I know everyone, it's familiar and understanding and safe... and, perhaps most of all, within my control. Nostalgia beckons me to settle here, to take what I can get. I almost forget that I'm all dried up when basking in the sun of my so-called glory days. Whew, nostalgia is one helluva drug.
I find myself at another crossroads: do I settle into my surroundings or continue the course towards my calling? My mind knows the right choice lands with the latter, but my heart is wrapped up in the comfort of what is already known. So while it's taking me some time to pack my bags and get going, I'm (slowly) releasing my grip to control what this next leg will look like. God knows I'm scared! But I'm going to do it anyway, because He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it, one step at a time.
I'm hoping I find my way to a lush rainforest season ASAP. I still desire to discover paths that have not yet been fulfilled, like owning a home, starting a marriage, embracing ministry, having children, becoming financially secure... not necessarily in that order! I know I'm "only 32" but at the same time, Lord, I'm 32! #IYKYK
Yet as I wait for these new roads to reveal themselves, I find solace in knowing that because I recognize and can embrace the season I'm in, I can highlight the opportunities that this life in the parched desert still offers me. It's in this acceptance where I acknowledge that I am enough, that I am worthy, that I am all the woman God made me to be. In times of weakness, I can always rest in the shade of a Joshua Tree and get refreshment from that beautiful river in the valley (after solar distillation, of course).
I'm believing in myself to get up and go this time. Joy will come along the way; I'm counting on it.