Sunday, November 9, 2008

Going Back To Find Today

This past week marked the 3-year anniversary of my move to the East Coast. As I realized that this milestone was upon me, I stopped to look back over the past 3 years. In some ways it feels as if it was only 6 months ago and then there are other times when it feels as if it has been 5 years or more.

I tend to measure time by way of significant relational and/or emotional moments. The past 3 years have certainly taken me down relational and emotional roads that I had never seen before and some that I wish weren’t so familiar.

Life tends to move in cycles.
The seasons, the tides, months, and moons all come and go time and time again.
It’s a love-hate thing for me.
Sometimes it’s easy to see what has come, go away again. Other times, well, it takes a little longer to pry my fingers loose.

So, I found it noteworthy that this week, as I completed 3 full years of living in a new state and having started a new life filled with many new experiences and new people, I find myself having come full circle.

When I moved, I found a place of contentment in exactly where I was. I found joy in accepting that regardless of the fact that my life had not turned out how I imagined it would, it was ok. I was ok. I stopped striving to stuff myself into the expectations that I idealistically dreamed up and allowed my life to be just as it was and I enjoyed it. I moved on November 3rd 2005 with an openness and optimism that filled me with peace. If things did not follow the outline I had sketched, I felt that it would be ok because I was taking risks and living, for better or worse.

Somehow, over the past 3 years, as I settled into a new life and found a new normality, I started striving again. I walked a path of trying to make my life into what I thought it should be and found myself continuously frustrated by the ways that I couldn’t make it work out how I wanted. I literally spent months with knots in my stomach every day. To use a phrase I heard on my favorite show, Grey’s Anatomy, I lost pieces of myself along the way. I unintentionally became preoccupied with what or maybe I should say, who was in front of me to the point of becoming consumed with getting to the result I thought I could foresee. If only I could reach a little farther, love a little louder and prove myself a little longer, then I would end up with what I wanted. Then, my life would look how I thought it should.

I don’t regret the process or the wrestling. Without it, there might not have been the growth that can only be forged in turmoil.

Today, I feel like I have found grace to return to that place of living rather than striving. I feel, once again, that even though life doesn’t look as I thought it would or should, it’s ok. I find peace and joy in developing the things that God whispers to my heart at the right time. I don’t have to get wrapped around the pole because I’m 31 and not married. I don’t have to feel like my life is passing me by because I haven’t experienced things that I think I should have by now. I don’t have to jump through hoops to get anyone to see me for who I am.

I simply must remember, to live from who I am. Today.

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