I HAVE READ about women taking off to travel the world in order to discover themselves.
They journey to beautiful places and they meet interesting people, try irresistible food, and gain perspective into their souls. I have often thought about how much I would love to do that. I would love to go somewhere beautiful and release myself to it. I would love to go to Paris. But I have a family and a life that calls me to the normal everyday lifestyle, so I need to figure things out in my soul right where I am.
Some of you might relate. Some of you might feel suffocated and are just about dying to get away or figure out your life or do something that gives breath to your soul. I get it. And so I’m asking, how do I navigate the tensions between my longings and my reality? How do I figure out how to enjoy my life right in the middle of the normalcy of it all?
As I wrestled through these questions I discovered that there were pieces of my soul I had hidden away, parts of me that I had decided years ago to snuff out in order to live right. And those pieces, those parts of me that God wove together, were not content to stay buried. They wanted out; they wanted to breathe and be resurrected from the dead. No, they wouldn’t stay underground. Thumping on my soul, these longings for beauty and art and adventure wanted to be seen; I couldn’t ignore them. But I didn’t know what to do with them. Were they just selfish things trying to make a comeback into my life, or were they justified in wanting to be acknowledged? I could push the longings away, but it was clear they weren’t going to heed my instruction.
I began to gently peek at them in order to discern if they were real or just something I was going through—a phase that would pass. Nope, not a phase. I asked the Lord about them, and I discovered that there was a yearning in me that wanted something more, something I couldn’t quite place. But on the surface, it looked like a desire to explore more of life. I was desperate to see and experience new things. I wanted to get out of the dailiness of life and into an adventure. I wanted to travel and see and touch and do, but my life didn’t afford me that luxury. I couldn’t just up and leave my family in order to figure out what was going on in my soul. On the outside, I wanted Paris. But on the inside, what I was really searching for was a filling to the deepest parts of my soul. And I wanted to know what to do with Paris and my soul and my every day. This book is the story of me untangling my life and figuring out how to experience and enjoy the good things all around me. It’s me doing something about the fact that a half-dead life is no life at all.
I know I’m not the only one who struggles with longings and the desire to understand them and do something with them. I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to live like a zombie. I believe we need each other if we are going to keep on. Life is hard enough; we shouldn’t attempt to survive on our own. We need each other and to hear each other’s stories to know that there is hope and that our being alive and awake to life matters. It’s what the world needs. So this book is me allowing you to watch my evolution, to come into my unfolding story, on the chance that your soul has some longings and questions and color that wants to come out as well.
Thank you for coming along. It’s so much better doing this together.