Soul Searching

My friend Sarah asked me the other week what I saw up to, and I replied “Enjoying the lake and doing lots of soul-searching.” That seems apt to describe our lives sometimes right? A little bit of concrete “real life” like washing dishes, going to work, and jumping in the lake mixed with a real peak into our souls. Soul searching. There are seasons of action and seasons of contemplation. My season right now is contemplation and waiting. Although a contemplative introvert never REALLY seems to be in action 😉 There’s something about living by a lake right now that invites reflection. Life slows down a little bit. I seem to have all this extra time I didn’t before. Maybe I was it’s because I used to run unnecessary errands, or not having a dishwasher, or maybe it’s just the invitation for this season. Either way, here I am anchored at the dock, floating between seasons.

I’ve been watching a lot of episodes of “The Flash” a cheesy superhero show about a speedster hero with Jesse every night. And playing the new cooperative Harry Potter board game. and jumping in the lake. and paddle boarding. and sitting with my cup of coffee on the deck in the mornings. It’s picturesque (in a nerdy kind of way hahaha), but meanwhile my own heart and head are in turmoil. I have viewed my own journey of grief as taking action. Although it may look quiet and slow, it has taken quite a lot of strength and effort. I haven’t suppressed or ran away from it. That’s not who God has called me to be. I am a brave daughter of the King. But grief takes up all your energy and time, and when it subsides, you’re left with all of the things you were working on before trauma came on the scene. My ability to read and memorize scripture is in shreds. My own goals and aspirations took a temporary pause. Hope and rediscovery takes root again. It’s similar to when you graduate college, and you realize you need to answer the question “Who am I when I’m no longer a student?” “Where do I go next?” Seasons of contemplation often catapult our hearts into a realm of unknown territory where we must ask ourselves, “What now?”

The good news is that Jesus helps us answer these questions. We’re never left without answers (although they don’t always come as quickly as we want or expect).

Something I’ve been saying “Yes” to lately is writing a book. It’s still very much in the beginning stages. But it’s happening! I’m trying to hold on to my own expectations for it loosely, yet I can’t really hold back my own excitement at having a project to work on that requires something I love doing (Writing!). 30 people could read it. Or 300. But more importantly, I have to actually WRITE it. It could take me a year, it could take me five more years. Either way, I’ll keep you updated! I’m ready to start this book-writing journey, and yet terrified where it will lead. Which honestly, is how I feel at the beginning of most new opportunities.

Which leaves me with the question, “Where do I go next?” Well, more soul-searching, more swimming, and more quality time with people I love. Action and inaction. Holding my own expectations loosely, while fully embracing whatever this season holds. In some ways, I’m saying goodbye to fear all over again. Fear and I don’t really get along very well because I’m usually kicking it out and telling it not to come back unless it gets its act together. I usually recognize that it’s appearance signifies a shift or a big change. A little fear isn’t a bad thing if it wakes you up to the refreshing and challenging new chapter you’re beginning. Like a good shot of espresso or the yank of a rope in a game of tug-of-war.

A little fear isn’t a bad thing if it pushes me towards reverence for God and what he’s up to. Like Moses at the burning bush when he needs to remove his sandals and acknowledge he’s on holy ground. So I’m removing my Birkenstocks and stepping out onto the lake. There’s no concrete line between sacred and secular like I wished for in the past. God reveals himself in ordinary bushes and unexpected moments. Perhaps I’m still a shepherd in the dessert like Moses was until he was 80 years old. Perhaps it’s time to bring deliverance to the people and break some chains. I’m not responsible for guessing which part comes next. It’s probably better if we don’t know yet if we’re in for decades more of sheep herding or if its almost time to turn staffs into serpents and send plagues from on high (I’m speaking metaphorically here!). I trust that God’s timing and wisdom is a lot better than my own and hope for patience while I ask “What now?”

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