This past year I have learned a lot, but probably the most impactful thing that I have learned is to love the journey. I used to always think that the mountain tops and the destination were where you experience true joy, and so I was always so quick to want to make it there. I was constantly asking like an impatient child in a car ride “Are we there yet?” I never took the time to just enjoy the sights and sounds along the way. The moments. The people. I was always just so focused on my hopes and dreams. I was ready to be married. To be in ministry full time. Always so disappointed that I was still single, or was in a job that was leading to another job. I rarely took time to truly sit and take it all in. To feel all the feels. To experience and truly digest the conversations. But I am starting to now.
I am starting to truly love the journey, and not be so disappointed that I’m not where I think I should be at this point in my life. I’m starting to just be present with it all, and it’s pretty amazing. I’m learning that here in the present there is so much. There is much laughter. Days of struggle. Great conversations. Beautiful moments. It’s all here in the present.
I’m learning that here in the midst of the journey that I truly get to see myself in the fullness of my humanity. I get to see what moves me to tears. I’m getting to experience what I want to protect. Who I love. What my hopes and dreams are. Where I’m insecure. I’m getting to see in the midst of the journey that there are no good or bad days, but instead moments of struggle and moments of triumph. There are moments of beauty, and there are moments of heartache. Even within a day drenched by pouring rain, or a sky covered with fog, there is still beauty that can be found in all of it.
Being healthy and whole used to mean perfection. Counting days. Hours. Minutes. It used to be a strict set of locks and keys that would keep me out. Now I’m learning that our desires are not things to be afraid of, but instead things to be laid at the feet of Jesus.
I read this quote today and it was pretty impactful.
“My life of following Jesus has not been the life I envisioned for myself, but it has become the life I want” (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/disowned-for-jesus)
I love that. Because it totally just summarizes where I’m at in this season. I didn’t envision that this is where I’d be at this point in my life. I didn’t envision that I’d still be single, or without kids. I didn’t envision that I’d be out of vocational ministry, or doing college admissions, but here we are.
This used to really bother me. That I was not where I wanted to be, or where I thought I should be. But I had to realize that this is where God has me, and that where I’m at, that there is beauty here. That there is goodness here. That there are friendships here. And love. And hope. And freedom. And breath. And peace. And joy. That my gifts can flourish here. That my love can blossom. That my life can be used.
Like the quote says, this is not where I envisioned myself being at this point, but this is where I WANT to be.
I want to be here. In the midst of the uncertainty. And the struggle. And the loneliness. Because it’s here where I see the beauty of the moments. Where I hear the sounds of the rain. Where I experience the sunrises. And the birds. And the mountains. And the seas.
It is here where my writing is raw to the touch, but oh so real. Not fluffed up, or undercooked, but real, honest, and tangible. It is here where my passion is. Where my relationship with Jesus is hard, but good. Better than it has ever probably been even though it doesn’t “feel” that way.
It’s here. In this journey. That I get to see Jesus’s love for me. How He holds me, and knows me. Where I get to see that my relationship with Jesus is more than what he offers me, and more than where He will take me, and what gifts he has blessed me with. It is more than using him as a slot machine, reading the Bible, and praying, hoping to punch in the right numbers to win the lottery. No. It’s so much more.
It’s hearing Him speak to me clearly as He is tonight. It’s a random act of kindness to someone in need as our hearts our prompted by Him. It’s a sharing of fellowship with a community of believers with all their bumps and bruises. It’s taking it all in. Breathing deep. Feeling it all. It’s enjoying our time with Jesus.
I’ve grown to love the journey. The journey of the bumps and bruises. Striving with faith and grace towards Jesus. Falling down and getting back up. Time and time again. Worshipping and hoping. Writing and taking pictures. Crying out to Jesus constantly and believing. Fighting against temptations and praying. Trusting and following. This is the journey of life, and it is here, that life is so beautiful.