Someday I want to live here...in Italy. Nothing about this picture pertains to my recent thoughts necessarily, aside from the fact that I am in the midst (in a more full-on way than perhaps ever in my life) of looking for and anchoring to concrete bits and pieces that I know to be true in regard to me.
Transition is a full-on process. I would be willing to say with relative certainty that each of us have experienced a transition in our lives. Clearly, as we grow older, life brings more and more of these times of change, evaluation, and shift. These passages carry within them alterations in what we know to be "normal" or "familiar". These moves require us to navigate a circumstance or world unlike the one we have become accustomed to in our day-to-day. As mentioned, we all have times of change and movement in our lives, some more radical, abrupt and/or manic than others.
My current state is, without question, a time of said flux. In recent years, my immediate reality has held much changeover, so I have become somewhat accustomed to this process. However, the added elements of relocation and repatriation are deeply felt at present.
I am...well, it is difficult to sum up "what I am". But, as I know some of you are wondering, and as I feel the need to process, I will simply say...
I am "in the midst".
Some days are full of joy, laughter, and pure appreciation of my numerous blessings. Other days bring sadness, longing for my London life(which is a such a deeply layered statement-"my London life"), and frustration that I am unsure of where this path I am on is leading.
Keeping proper perspective is key, I know. My world is safe, full of friends, and provision is present, while people in places like Haiti have utterly nothing and are in a state of immense struggle and desperation. I also know that God is concerned with both of these very real circumstances. He cares about the little and the big. I am humbled by and thankful for this truth.
A good friend and I had coffee yesterday, both of us feeling rather downcast. We chatted a bit, and then without intending to, both became quiet and stared in different directions, lost in thought about our own story lines that are in process. One of our observations as we traded tales was that during these times of unknown and confusion are the very times we are reminded that our faith is a choice and not a feeling. Thanks be to God. Love is a choice. Yes, we do feel it, but in the tough spots, in the "I have no idea" moments, in the "What on Earth?!" situations, we ultimately must make a decision. Do I believe or do I not?
Do I believe what I tell people about this faithful God who has protected and provided for me the whole of my life? The God who literally moved me across the world, from Arkansas to England? For that matter, the God who took me to North Carolina to camp and saw me through a "hair-raising experience" on a ropes course?...and, this just in, all the other millions of other loving acts He has done for me along the way? I get to choose. And my choice?...
Yes, I absolutely choose to believe in Love. Though I cannot see or touch love, I know it exists. I am convinced of it. So, all the more in times such as these, I must return to my anchor "in the midst" of the storm and haze...
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Twenty ten is proving to a new decade in loads of ways. I am finding it to be a challenge, to be full of potential, and to be overflowing with movement.
Funny how truth remains, is it not? Truth is constant. My thoughts are taken back as ever to my favourite verse in Scripture...
Remain in me, and I will remain in you.
The Lord consistently honours this promise in my life. He teaches me lessons that hold up even "in the midst". Remembering these lessons is how he fleshes out His "remaining".
Remember how I love cobblestones...their age, their character, their aesthetic appeal...?
I have photographed these bits of imperfect, unique stones in many different countries, as I adore them. A fact about said broken, flat stones? You cannot walk on them quickly or without careful attention to their contours, edges, and imperfections. You must be present in your stepping. If not, ankles tend to twist.
So, I return to my love of cobblestones and the truth the Lord has revealed to me in this seemingly insignificant component of paths that exist across the globe. Step carefully, and stay present, trusting that the Truth-teller is who He promises to be. Remember.
The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.
I choose to believe.