Today I cried on the floor of the PSOTA art room as I struggled over my feelings, my fears, my envy.
Minutes earlier I had been sketching and journaling while sitting at Refuge Coffee. Overall it was a beautiful time, but it turned negative as I sat listening to the conversation across from me. Two people from a local organization were sharing with a couple (possibly future volunteers or donors maybe) about the organization and the many things it does. In that moment, I grew more and more restless. I grew more and more frustrated with myself. What I was doing in that moment felt stupid and useless. I felt stupid and useless. Here I was sketching, skimming through a magazine, cutting out images, glueing, and circling words while other folks were out there in the world, doing, helping, serving, making a difference in lives. A true difference in the immediate lives and daily needs of people. I don’t really do that. Not in those ways. My practical side craves that. I crave to do, to be useful, yet here I was gluing paper together while sitting alone at a table for four. Sitting alone making something that most people would not see. Making a collage that wouldn’t really create a difference in anyones life. Maybe mine, but not beyond that. What was I doing?
Did it have value? Before I left my table for four, I jotted down my feelings and thoughts on my sketch paper and glued it on the back of my collage. I needed it out. Those feelings. out. to be seen. by at least me. and now you.
Lately I have often had to remind myself “thats not my story” when I look at others lives. I have had to remind myself of some of my story and who I am. This evening I was given the gift of hearing and seeing two friends share about some of that. First was a video post by Nikki Lerner about being generous. She posted it yesterday, but I didn’t see it until this evening. The second was an instagram post pointing to a blog post by Betsy Garmon titled “How to give yourself away properly.” Both of these posts are shared by wise women who I look up to. Wise women who know and are learning to know themselves and what they have to give. I am learning to know myself and what I have to give. at this moment. right now. in this season. I recommend that you go listen to and read those posts. if you have not already clicked on the links, go do it right now.
This is what I have to offer at the moment. My struggle. My tears. My art. My Story.
This week started out cloudy, but its looking like the sun is now peaking through.
With transition comes many things. Some of them are exciting, new and refreshing. Others are like an empty space in your heart, a hole in your life.
I had started this post a month ago when I was preparing to leave for Georgia. I had ideas, pictures, and thoughts I wanted to post on here. Time passed and I did not finish it nor publish it. Perhaps I avoided it. Some of those images and ideas seem irrelevant at this point so I deleted them, but I want finish this post with some similar thoughts. Its okay, its good to acknowledge loss. I was realizing this as I was preparing to drive south a month ago. During this time I was also reading the chapter Enlarge your soul through grief and loss in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. Perhaps that is why it was so on my mind. We need to look at and acknowledge loss. Loss of all shapes and sizes. It is not good to speed past it or act like it is not there. As my responsibilities came to an end, I was thinking about the things I was losing and was about to lose. My losses aren’t permanent devastating losses, but they still are important to see and acknowledge. Losses can add up. My losses add up. They change my actions, thoughts, locations, connections. My losses include weekly rhythms with others in Massachusetts: Wednesday night teen small groups, getting to know the teen girls, picking up Bryanna, Bible study, family dinners, Sunday morning breakfast, time with friends, brother hugs, Hallmark with Mom & Dad, laughing with Landon, missing out on holding a new born “nephew,” building friendships and more. These losses leave a hole in my heart as well as my going has made a hole in theirs.
I have driven through seven states stopping at three different locations. I have arrived to a beautiful home and to a wonderful host. I’ve been in Clarkston for three days and I have felt a variety of feelings. From feeling tired, out of place, & empty to being energized, filled, and at home. I have been amazed at God’s grace and light within some friendships. I am acknowledging my losses, but I am also seeing the gains I’ve already had and will have in the coming months. Losses can open up space for gains. I sit here with an open heart & mind asking God to use me on all my days the weary and the peaceful. He is moving, may I be willing to move with Him in what He is already doing. Here. and Beyond.