It's been a year since my last blog post! Being out of the habit has made the idea of a post really daunting. Life has so many facets it's hard to start with one post because there is so much to it.
I keep getting this image in my mind, that life is like a map. You have all of these roads that intersect. I think of those roads as stories and circumstances of your life, each are their own road with their own name... but then they all connect at some point, and in the end, it's like a web.
That web is your story.
Anyway, that is just a mental image I was trying to find a word for (like "facets"?) and then realized I should just explain the picture I had in my mind.
I can find it hard to share sometimes. I'm still figuring out where I came from and where I'm going. I don't mean in an eternal mindset. That's locked in, thank heavens. But what I mean is that life is continually changing, and new paths and choices are being forged. Some choices are small daily ones. They add up. Some are once in a lifetime. You're growing and stretching and changing, moving & climbing. You know? It's a lot!
You meet a new friend and they teach you new things.
You live in a new society and you learn new ways of living.
Or the Coronavirus hits. You see your life in new lights.
It would be nice to just package it all up as a finished novel, knowing the beginning and end, and THEN share it, but you can't really. I can only share this chapter.
There is vulnerability in that hanging space of unknown.
Of course, I can share past chapters, but sometimes I hesitate to, because the more life I experience the more I seem to be able to interpret my past. So let's just wait until I'm 80 for that. haha ;)
Back to my point about the road map. We don't know exactly where each road is leading, and so, it's hard to invite others on the road trip. We feel scared and vulnerable, I think, because WHAT IF we don't want to take them to where the road ends up going? There are a lot of uncertainties in life...
But I think if we're open to knowing that it's about this journey we are on, together, then it feels ok to share.
The destinations aren't the point as much as the ways we've journeyed, and hopefully journeyed together. No one has full certainty (except hopefully they do in Jesus) so everything here on earth can crash and burn at any point, and we are left with pieces.
Gah! Sorry to get dark and scary. But I say this because I think the exciting part is that we are given the chance to live again. Maybe your life won't go on as before, and that can be excruciating sometimes... loosing who you use to be... maybe through lost health, or someone you loved.
Life leaves you burned.
That's been a really interesting (maybe shocking is a better word) ;) part of growing older that I wasn't expecting.
Meeting new versions of yourself and life.
When you are a child looking forward, childhood is a lifetime to you. It is all you know. It is everything. You feel essentially the same... Time moves slowly. You don't really meet new versions of yourself or life.
But once you are grown, the same amount of years that were in your childhood can fly by in a moment, and suddenly, you have been stretched and morphed into this person you don't recognize. You are handed experiences you didn't ask for faster than you can breathe.
I think sometimes that can be hard to come to terms with.
Who am I now with this new condition? Car wreck? Relationship? Children? Body? That person who left me? Lost dreams? Maybe you even got famous over night.
We can wonder why we're not like who we use to be... Maybe life was simpler and you were kinder. I think we should take into account all of the new and extend a hand of grace to ourselves. Because truth is, who we use to be didn't live and experience what the current you has. You are dealing with more.
At some point in our lives our magical, childlike view of the world will get smashed in an instant.
I'm rambling now. But what I'm trying to say is that life changes us and sometimes the weight of change is fast and heavy. I think it can be easy to move forward hating the new and hating what it has done to us. Maybe we want to run from people, hide parts of us we don't like, be safe from their offenses... and sure as heck don't invite them on your journey with you!!!
I think life gets harder as you get older.
There is this tendency to back down from life because you are not strong enough to face it as it becomes more intense.
So, I started thinking that if life gets harder that means we have to get stronger. We can't expect to face it like we did before. It's new. Welcome to level 2! ;)
I guess what I'd like to say is don't back down. This struggle you feel is real and you are not alone. A lot of growth comes through acceptance. I am NOT saying to be apathetic in acceptance, more like, put on your boxing gloves!
Get strong. Face the new life, the new you, the new battles. KNOW that it won't be magic-easy-land and that you are going to have to throw punches, take hits, draw closer to God, get back up again even harder than before...
Man, it's easy to wish for someone to bail you out.
I do think God always sends us an angel, a blessing, in some form. People do bail us out.
You know, and maybe through all of these hard changes, we just peeled back layers and found problems within ourselves that we have now faced and fought to end. That's a good thing. Maybe these hard things in life helped you to level up as a human.
I did not intend to say all of this. In fact, I was just going to share about my new life in Bend, Oregon! But as I thought over my year, how I've grown, and what is happening right now in the world, it all came to mind.
Just going to hit publish on this, so stayed tuned for the Bend Life Update next!