Tag Archives: transition

Home?

My flight touched down in Chicago last night after almost 24 hours of traveling.  I am home now, close to six weeks after I left.  And while in one sense it is so good to be home – to have a hot shower for as long as I want, use a real towel, sleep in my own bed with clean sheets, walk the streets of my neighborhood in the cool morning light as I head to one of my coffee shops – in the other, it is terrifying.  I had six weeks away from the day to day – six weeks of self-discovery, of newness, of walking slowly, of inhabiting silence, of learning to listen to God, to my body, to others, to the world around me.  I had six weeks where I did not eat a single meal alone.  It was lovely.  Six weeks of talking to strangers and finding that we weren’t strangers at all, but family.  Six weeks of simplicity – of sharing – of community – of delight.

Joy

It has changed me.  I feel more free – more myself – less afraid – less isolated.  More who I want to be, more who I was made to be.  I return tired, but full to overflowing.

And the thing that gives me pause – that scares me more than anything – is that I don’t want to lose that.  Now begins the process of learning to walk the Camino here in Chicago.  Friends have told me this, and commented on it.  I have read that the true Camino begins once you arrive in Santiago, and realize that your entire life is a pilgrimage – and that what matters is not only the destination, but the process of arrival.

I remember returning back to college after spending four months in Nepal and India with WMF, and being terrified that I would slowly forget the lessons I had learned – the relationships I had made – the people I had met – the growth that had happened.  And I didn’t want that at all.  So I made changes to my life.

That process begins again today.  As I look back on this last year, much of it seems covered in fog.  I was existing, but not really living.  Isolating myself from those who loved me, seeking intimacy and relationship from books and TV and movies and fantasy and imagination…  So, time for changes.

I’m not sure yet what those changes will look like.  Simplicity.  Relationships.  Sabbath.  Community.  Slowness.  Grace.  Celebration.

Toast

But my goal for the Camino was to learn to hear God more clearly so that I might be more closely attuned to the things that really matter upon my return to “normal life.”  Now begins the hard work of continuing to walk when there aren’t necessarily yellow arrows spelling out your next destination.

Or maybe I just need to learn to pay a little closer attention to what’s around me…

Arrow

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New favorites

The last two months have felt like trying to ride a bike on a treadmill – fun, but you just know it’s going to end badly.  Lots of stuff on my plate as I transition slowly from and to: complicated (in good ways) by beginning school again, work, and the delightful visit of my favorite Korean speaking sister (which included bike rides through the woods, visits to the apple orchard, road trips to Indiana, Peruvian food in Chicago, and lots of laughter and good conversation.)  But in light of all that (plus a few other things here and there), I haven’t made time to write.  But here’s the deal…  I want to.  I need to practice gratitude – search for beauty in my daily life – and live intentionally – and writing here helps me do that.  So, in light of all that, here’s a few things I have been delighting in about this transition:

– fascinating classes, exploring family dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and delving into theories of the mind…  challenging both my mind, heart, and spirit.  I’m loving it.

– four fun guys to share a home with – an oasis (and occasional place of celebration) in the middle of the city and the busyness.

– runs down by the lake, enjoying the play of colors on the water, the way the city looks like a different place depending on whether it’s a gray rainy morning, a blustery fall afternoon, a crystalline sunset, or the contrast of city lights shining in the darkness – the interplay of light and shadow…

– a cohort of solid, passionate, compassionate students who are learning with me.

– the gift of being with people who know you and know you well, even if it’s unexpected and short.  Spent a weekend w/ Liz and Car – we’ve been present in each other’s lives for over 20 years, and sharing a plate of ceviche and lomo saltado while savoring a pisco sour just made it that much sweeter.

– glimmers of community, belonging, rootedness, worship, and a place of service that I’m VERY excited about.

– reminders of beauty, hope, adventure, laughter, community, creativity, and play, such as this video by Ben Howard:

 

 

– near daily reminders and challenges (both in class and out of class) to take risks, to engage, to move forward, to enter into relationship and life with others, and not simply be content with safety and comfort…

Today in class, we talked about C.S. Lewis (in The Four Loves), who says:

          “To love at all is to be vulnerable.  love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung, and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

Sobering words, as I ask myself, what do I really want?  Comfort?  Safety?  Normalcy?  Complacency?

Or do I want risk?  Adventure?  Movement?  Growth?  Discomfort?  Failure?  A life lived for others?  Giant slip-and-slides down mountains?

Yes.

I’m thankful for the big “Yes” that this transition has been so far.  And I’m excited and eager to see what unfolds as I continue to respond “Yes…”

 

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Prayer of a Wayfarer

So I’m in Philadelphia – last night I spent a bit of time wandering home, thinking, a little overwhelmed, and asking myself, “What have I gotten myself into?”

But after a time of prayer, heart-settling, reflection, laughter, and connection with those I love, feeling excited and hopeful once more.  Sometimes, I think that because I have been transitioning for my entire life, I should be better at it.  Yet each major transition still seems to rock me to my core, revealing how I am not yet who I imagine myself to be, who I want to be.  It throws me back into my deep need to rely on the Lord.

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”

Is. 48:17

Then this morning, I came across the following prayer:

Father of all humankind, who keeps my journey and marks the horizon of my destiny, love me through my journey towards tomorrow.

Son of God, leader and keeper of the maps, show me not the whole road at once, but give me the distance to be gained in single steps.

Spirit of God, who holds my inner compass, may your presence on the journey awaken trust within me when I don’t know what lies around the bend.

Father, bless to me this day, then I shall make my journey by sunlight and know the way.

Christ, bless to me this uncertain step, then I shall find the step more certain.

Spirit, bless to me this lonely moment, then I shall not be alone.

O Three-in-One, do guard my steps.

Travel with me, Father, and I shall travel with the darkness at my back and the sunlight on my face.

Travel with me, Christ, and I shall mute the thunder, and walk through the lightening unafraid.

Travel with me, Holy Spirit, and my solo anthem shall have accompaniment throughout the journey.

I am coming to you, O Three-in-One,
one day at a time,
one hour at a time,
one step at a time.

Source: Unknown.

—–

via Dave Bayne @ Prayers and Creeds.  Thanks Didi…

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