Being brave, then and now

Being brave, then and now

In another lifetime I wrote a different blog.

One full of prayer and grace and carefully crafted essays that I was brave enough to share with the locals because I wasn’t actually local. I was over 8,000 miles away. I stumbled across that blog tonight and I sat in bed crying, with my husband asleep next to me, as I remembered that girl. She seems so brave to me now. She boarded a plane with strangers, found solace in the Indian sunsets, relied on daily ramen noodles, and rode into the village on the bench seat of a beat up jeep to help care for the lepers. Those words she wrote… oh, what she says to me now… I need to hear it. Life is good. Community is good. Give thanks for joy and grace.

Lord, let those words soak deep into my days and permeate those dry, deprived places. Navigating life, personally and professionally, can wear a girl thin. I’m in the last stretch of school, which means a breadth of opportunities and also fear of losing each one, of making the wrong decision, of saying the wrong thing, of not checking off each to-do box. Never again will I be in this moment, with circumstances both so big and so small. So I can’t help but be grateful when I know some where half way round the world is a priest who once told me to take it slow, to avoid the temptation and downfall of “proving oneself.” I won’t allow myself to feel the frustration of still treading through those same thoughts; I’ll only be satisfied that she recorded those words to remind me yet again of such basic truth.

In another lifetime, maybe I was braver. In a different way. But I’m pretty brave now too. I’m brave enough to say that it’s still not all figured out, that I can find comfort from my college-senior self, that I still believe life is good. Community is good. Give thanks for joy and grace.

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I want to live everywhere

I want to live everywhere

If money were no object, I would be nonstop on the move. (you too, right?) There is an uneasiness that lives deep within me, an ever-present itch to plan, move, travel, and see. It took mere days after our California adventure (enough sleep to overcome the redeye headed east and enough organized thought to throw our photos together in an album) for me to start the imaginative process again: what next? I would like to chop it up to wanderlust, to attribute this constant motion to a sundress on a sunny afternoon, carefree kind-of attitude. But most days it feels more like a fear of missing out, discontentment with the ordinary, oversized sense of pressure. This feeling that tells me if I’m not constantly pressing harder, working harder, trying harder, I must be failing. The one that tells me that back porch sitting is time poorly wasted, that nearby cafes and first-name-basis baristas are overrated, that walking to the neighborhood playground is mundane, that being born and raised and still anywhere is boring. Y’all, I am so wrong.

Today my husband text me I want to live everywhere, and I smiled because I know he said it for me. He said it because I have a heart bursting with dreams, driven by goals, yearning for simplicity while fighting off the enemy of wanting more. My prayers sound like a mind game. Please help me find contentment. Please help me to want to find contentment.