It amazes me how much time is needed to find ourselves.
As I write this I am sitting at my dining table on a quiet Sunday morning. Outside the wind is blowing and the rain is falling. It is cold and wintry.
Inside the fireplace is on, a few candles are lit and I’ve a cup of tea beside me.
Pure bliss I say.
This time last year I was in Uganda, and so it feels that this transition of fall into winter is a new fresh wonder.
I am loving the smell of the air when I go outside. The crisp tang is invigorating and in contrast the soft lights of inside warm me through and through.
I’ve been relishing in all of it these last weeks, thinking the delight in it is just because I missed it last year.
But upon further contemplation and a real ‘listening’ to my inner being I realize that something much bigger and deeper is going on.
Just over three years ago I stepped away from my very chaotic marriage. At the time I intuitively knew that I would need five years to recuperate so to speak, and so I settled in my mind and life that goal of five years.
It’s been just over three years now and things within me are still coming back to life.
You see, chaos is a thief. It robs us blind of our very heart and soul.
The strongest fibers of our life’s weave are mightily attacked, things we were once naturally good at are destroyed and in that process we forget our passions and the deep yet simple gladness of being.
For me it shows up in the little things. Sure I may be writing books and creating education and building people in various places. But these things are the easy things for me. I’ve always been about the odd and the extravagant.
The chaos attacked in me the simple things and the undercurrents of a ‘normal’ life. For instance, in chaos I lost my ability to make a meal. Chaos destroyed my pride of a clean home and the energy required to keep it so.
Chaos robbed me of simple hospitality and that easy place of having company for dinner. And through the years I lost the gentle expectation of holidays and the celebration around them.
Chaos made celebration a chore.
But this year, this fall season, there is fresh momentum as it continues to come back to me.
The cooking has been returning for over a year now. Bit by bit a desire to make this dish or to create that meal comes to my heart and soul and as I watch myself set about to cook I wonder at the birthing of my old self.
I’m three years past deliberately stepping out of chaos yet it is only in the last couple of months that it feels chaos is truly out the door.
For the thing with chaos is, it follows us. We gave it permission after all. Invited it, mentored it, soothed it, gave it all our time and attention and basically said by action, ‘Sure you can stay.’
It has taken some years to undo all that. It has been an uphill battle all the way.
It is why I am so tickled pink at the holy giddy hush pervading my soul as we gear up to Christmas. I am experiencing within myself that deep gladness of peace and celebration, of contentment and satisfaction that, if I peer back through the curtains of my past, I recognize in myself some twenty years ago.
I am coming back to life again.
Does it ever feel amazing.
So while I knew I needed five years I wouldn’t have even been able to say what exactly those five years were for. The scales and the weights needed to drop off for sure, but what really would be the new, what would replace that yuck? This I couldn’t have named.
Standing back and watching my own life is an interesting thing. The working of the Lord through all my parts is amazing. And so to is this re-birthing.
If I’ve learned nothing else it is this. Take the time to find ourselves. When the core of who we are has been lost in the mix, invest in the months and years needed to reclaim old strengths and fresh vision.
Walking deliberately and intentionally always reaps its own rewards.
It won’t be time lost.