Travelling isn’t necessarily about a destination; it’s often more about the journey within…
IT’S SUMMER HERE, BUT I’M IN A SNOW GLOBE
WELL, THAT’S AN EXCELLENT QUESTION
I’ve been travelling for two weeks today. What a journey so far. Presently in between Australia and my next destination (next flight has been delayed 3.5 hours, yay!), I have really been taking advantage of every moment, every sight, every smell (sometimes to my demise), every sound.
Many friends and family members have been checking in regularly to see how I’ve been doing, replying to pictures and stories from my Facebook and Instagram feed. (I have remained disciplined in only posting once a day, #thankyouverymuch.)
In all the questions I’ve gotten so far, only one friend asked me a question that really had me mindfully pondering in considering my response.
“How’s your heart?”
I’ve been asking myself that question for months. To be quite transparent (and vulnerable) the past 4 months have been really difficult. I’ve felt… Fragmented. Tired. Discouraged. Heartbroken. Grievous. A whirlwind of emotions that have been really complicated and meticulous to unpack, examine and understand. And to be even more transparent, I could not get myself to open this Pandora’s box (my heart) to get a proper sense of it at all. I just couldn’t. It was too much. It was just too much. Sometimes it felt as though I walked a path of truths I knew, keeping my sight in the right direction, but my legs and feet were just too tired to advance. And yet the pressure of carrying on… My endurance depleted, and courage was a friend nowhere to be found. (Shout out to Elijah; 1 Kings 19:4-14)
Though it’s hard to admit this as a leader, perhaps maybe even as a human part of a society so geared towards pushing through and seeming put together, the truth is… sometimes we’re just going through a hard time. (If this is you too, you’re really not alone.) And well, I’ve been going through a hard time.
So to be asked to take a pulse on my hearts’ state (no pun intended) at such a distant perspective of my everyday life – figuratively and literally – was not only strange and challenging, it was refreshing. And uncomfortable.
IT FEELS GOOD TO BE LOST IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
I can’t remember the last time I took such a lengthy time away. Sure, there have been short and wonderful getaways, but of this sort… it has been years. Truth be told, I have loved travelling since my mind was first blown in South America at the age of 17. In the past two weeks, I have been on several flights, visited Shanghai and Cairns (Australia), and Brisbane, explored and discovered, hiked and swam and spent treasured time with close friends, discussing, laughing, (crying), singing, driving, eating, reading, writing. I can’t deny that I’ve been busy. Yes, I have been beautifully occupied, but also very introspective.
Anticipating my departure for these three weeks abroad, I was preparing myself for… something. A breakthrough (?) of sorts. I really could not conceive how or what it would look like, or how I would even engage with this process, whichever form it would take. I knew I needed space but not just space to explore and stay distractedly busy, but in some ways… space to think. To ponder. To rest. Space to open the door I had closed shut and watched from a distance for a very long time; I could almost feel that what was on the other side was ready to swallow me whole. (Have you ever seen the movie Jumanji? If not, ignore this line.)
My friends were a huge part of that process, actually. God has used each so far in such specific ways to challenge me and simply accept me. They knew I hadn’t been doing too well these past months, and just being able to exist in a low-pressure environment, yet one that completely and consistently was God-centered and God-honoring has allowed me to put my guard down, safely and loved.
This also helped me allow the Holy Spirit to engage with me in asking some really important questions. To my soul, into my Spirit. I’ve been noting these meditative topics during my trip. Thoughts on acceptance, priorities, being a woman of virtue, sacrifice, trust, bitterness, hurt, heartbreak, roots…
Pondering these sensitive themes has ignited a pretty dynamic and fresh back and forth exchange between me and the Holy Spirit. To be honest, I haven’t LANDED or concluded my questioning, or my answering. Don’t know if that’ll happen by the end of this trip, actually – but the next few days alone will definitely permit space for that. Uninterrupted. Challenging. Difficult space. There are things I need to wrestle through, I can feel it. But I also know that it’s part of the process, and a 2.0-version Melody will emerge sometime… If I don’t rush into or avoid the difficult questions at hand.
Meanwhile, my heart is resting. It has been restless and burdened and grieving and just… hurting for so many months. It feels good that my heart is not anything here.
NOPE, THIS DEFINITELY IS NOT THE NORTH POLE
Though the weather here “down undah” has been in the averaging temperatures of a very humid 30 degrees, the image that comes to mind to describe where i’m at at this point in my trip is something that reminds me a little more of a familiar snowy place. Something… like this:
It’s as though God decided to blow a strong breath into my “life space”. This mighty gush of wind swiftly raises all this dust that had settled and started sedimenting inside me; in my burdened heart, in my tired mind and in my weary soul.
Now suddenly, I’m standing in a cloud of dust that is dancing all around me, as though I was standing still in a quiet and gentle snowstorm. Or a snow globe that’s just been shaken! And God is just kindly pointing to all these dusty problematic elements that I’m just observing floating around me. As though I’m just looking around and being like “Ah, yes, this.” Over and over again. And it’s in the air, and I’m not moving, but I’m just recognizing that I have a chance to now touch it and interact with these certain things that have kind of settled in my heart, and have been making me so uncomfortable.
I recognize this is a precious space I’m in. A delicate yet safe space. Where everything is in slow-motion yet I’m hyper aware. In this snow globe of introspection, I can feel the gentleness of the Father reawakening parts of my heart.
The work is far from done in my heart of hearts (will it ever really be?) I know part of the process is going to lead me to make some wiser, smarter, healthier decisions for myself and for those who share life with me. I haven’t figured it all out yet but… I’m on my way.
For now, I’m on my way to Gate 78! Check in soon! (Again, no pun intended.)
Have you ever felt depleted? How did you handle it?