Walkin’ in Sunshine

Having a spiritual breakthrough, no matter how large, is always a surreal experience. I think it’s because I’m different but everything else is very much the same. The changes are in me, but the rest of the world goes on. Even my days look much the same. I get up at the same time, go to work in the same place, and have the same structures in place and the same people who I’ve come to know and care about.

Sometimes, this means that I feel out of place in my world until I can somehow make it all go together. Other times it means that I minimalize my own experiences because they don’t fit in with the reality I perceive. This time, I feel like I’m coming home. But I should back up, because I’ve only told you part of the story.

It’s easy to say, “I’m a flower, not a tree,” but it’s much, much harder to actually live as a flower when you’re habituated to life as a tree. I should know. The be-petaled live seems to be where God is calling me, but I can’t see the way there because all I’ve ever been is a tree.

I don’t now what it means to be a flower, what it means to let others see who I really am instead of who I feel like I should be or who I think they want me to be or who I have to be so I’m not afraid of them. The life I know is self-protected. I feel like one of those tiny, funny presents that someone has wrapped in 17 boxes and 39 layers of tissue and wrapping paper and then buried in the ground. I’m definitely in there, but I don’t get out much.

So I’ve been in a fog. And I’ve been rather stubborn about it. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to fall, or stumble, or hurt myself. I don’t want to get banged up or walk into a wall or go over a cliff. Moving is scary, and I’m used to overcoming the scary with anxiety, but I can’t do that here. Oh, I can get anxious all I want, but it doesn’t make me less afraid. And so I’ve stood, hand in hand with Jesus, refusing to move.

Until yesterday.

Honestly, nothing major happened. This story is seriously lacking in the way of climaxes. I simply sat down with Jesus and found that my heart was ready to move. I was ready to inch its way along, to start putting one foot very, very slowly ahead of the other.

I’m definitely not “there yet.” I still have no idea where this train is going, and I really rather would. But at least for the moment, I can live with that. There’s a sense of home in this travel. I’m not sure if that’s where we’re headed or if it’s because he is my home, both while I’m on this earth and after.

I can walk the path, as long as he holds on to me.

And that, I suppose, is something I can lean on.

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6 Comments

Filed under Becoming

6 responses to “Walkin’ in Sunshine

  1. oh little baby steps forward are such a relief when you’ve been stuck a while. enjoy the sunshine. bless you sarah.

  2. Mmmm, this is so good. I love the way you express yourself in so many pictures. And I feel like the story you’re telling is one that I know so well, too, so it helps to hear similar feelings and perceptions and rootedness and riskiness coming from someone else’s voice. Makes the journey feel validated and less lonely.

    I’m so glad you’re taking those tiny steps forward with Jesus holding your hand. I would love to hear more about the experience of home you’re feeling, to get a better sense of how that feels for you, what it feels like it’s composed of, why it has that particular texture to it.

  3. Terri: Thanks so much–sunshine is good for the soul (now if only we had some around here…)

    Christianne: “Home” is actually a good idea for a whole post, since it’s been a powerful image for me before. I’ll think on that and get back.

    Isn’t it wonderful to know that others travel the same path? Such a relief, at least to me anxiety-tending heart.

  4. I’ve been thinking a lot about that Sarah…how even when we feel completely bewildered and alone we are actually walking a very old path with many, many pilgrims coming before us and after us. It is a comfort. Somehow hearing the stories of others reassures me.

  5. Terri, I hadn’t even though of the journeys of people I don’t know–the pilgrims, the sages, the ones I never heard about–who have walked where I’m walking. Wow! Thanks for the idea…now I want to know who they are!

  6. Hurrah!! Breakthroughs are great … feeling lighter, clearer, out of the fog, taking in the whole scope of the landscape before us … breathing the breaths of those who have been given new eyes, whose burdens have been lifted.

    I love what Terri says about knowing that pilgrims have walked these paths before us. It is good to know that while we must walk through these dark places ourselves, we are not alone in having done so. It’s how each of us makes her journey toward God: taking our own steps on a path well-worn.

    I love the contrast you describe: everything appears to be the same from your job, your daily activities and routine … but what has changed has taken place in our own hearts. Jesus meets us when He knows we’re ready.

    Blessings & peace, sister!!

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