Monday, March 28, 2016

A Season of Transition: Finding My Roots

I've now been back in the States for seven months, which is crazy to think about. Time sure does fly by and yet stand still at the same time. So, can I still say I'm in a season of transition? How long will my transition home take? I've moved often, and am quite familiar with the tasks and feelings involved in starting over and establishing a new life, but this returning and re-establishing is a new experience. It might seem like a minor difference, but it's actually been quite substantial for me.

I was away for nearly a year and had some significant life experiences which have shaped me and contributed to my continued growth. Returning to Denver, I wasn't sure how the "new" me would fit in and where I would belong, but friends have welcomed me with open arms. Some saved space for me while I was away, and others have made new space for me. What I sometimes forget, is that others also had a year's worth of life experiences that I was not a part of, and so when I can't figure out where I belong or why I no longer have the same place, I have to remember life continues to move forward for all of us.

Beaches always remind me of the fluidity of life

Now that I am back, I find myself struggling with finding my place and purpose in this season. My life looks almost exactly like it did before I left, which can be comforting, and I have received it as a gift; yet, before I left I was restless and dissatisfied, looking for more. So I went away and had a life-changing adventure, which was not at all what I had expected, but exactly what I needed. And now, I find myself with the same shell of a life, but my soul has changed, so things don't fit the same anymore. It's kind of like going back to visit your childhood home after being away for many years - it doesn't seem as big or grand or impressive as it once did, yet it is still so comforting and full of sentiment. You can cling to the memories and be disappointed with the reality, or you can embrace the reality and treasure the memories for what they are and how they brought you to the present.

This sign above the door at a local coffee shop recently caught my attention
In times of transition, I often find myself on an emotional roller coaster - loving the thrill of the new discoveries, the excitement of new routines, and the richness of new relationships; but also the exhaustion of unfamiliar rhythms, the burden of discovering all of the necessities of daily life, and the loneliness of casual acquaintances. In this time of returning and rediscovering, my roller coaster is off the rails as the juxtaposition of new and old, familiar and foreign collide.

I realize that some of my tension comes from trying to keep a foot in both worlds. My dad has often told me, once you make a decision, be all in, don't look back and wonder "what if", because you'll never know. Instead, embrace the decision, and if you don't like the results, make another decision and keep moving forward. So, rather than wondering "what if...." I am continuing to practice being present and making decisions that will keep me moving forward on a journey of growth and discovery, embracing this crazy adventure called Life!

I don't know the name of the artist, but what a perfectly lovely sentiment


  1. Matthew 9:17 - ...neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burs, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins , and both are preserved."
    When Dennis and I first moved back to Dallas after 6 years of being in Denver, 4 of which were the years I was at DenSem and he was being recalibrated into a chaplain from being corporate. We wanted so badly not to go back into what we were once were because we had experienced so much and learned so much and had been changed so drastically. We were new wine and did not want to go back into old wineskins! But, that's exactly what happened for almost 2 1/2 years before a "new wineskin" was laid before us in the form of a new church plante. New ministry, new discipleship, new patient, my friend...God is still doing a new work in you - keep moving, looking, experiencing everyday...steady is real...stay the course, but keep baking! I love you