In our lives, we search for many things.
We search for meaning and for worth, both in our own eyes and in the eyes of others.
We search for a spouse. We search for friends that know our hearts and our intimate secrets and love us still. We search for a career that leaves us feeling, hopefully, something more than just thankful for a paycheck. We search for spiritual truth and understanding.
We search for purpose and for peace.
At times, we even search for ourselves.
It’s so easy to get lost in our search for everything else, that we forget who we are in our innermost being.
We forget how we’re wired and what our strengths are and how to be at peace in our own skin.
Growing up I admired my parents and those of my friends. They all just seemed to have it all together.
I never once considered that they might be wrestling with insecurities, failure, problems at work, or at home. It never occurred to me that those things were even remotely possible.
Yet, as I grew up and entered adulthood. It was there. That inner struggle to be comfortable in my own skin to be content and confident in my self and my abilities.
And I’ve realized that I’m not alone.
I see it so easily in those around me, and looking back I see it in the adults I knew when I was a kid.
One day last summer, something changed. I reached a new level on my own journey.
It wasn’t a spectacular event or a major revelations, I was simply living life, doing something that I do every day.
I stood at the kitchen sink washing dishes while gazing out over our land. The sun had well begun its lazy descent for the day and was just starting to cast a beautiful glow as it prepared for the golden hours of a summer evening.
Looking out the window and taking in the beauty of the scene that was beginning to unfold before me, I felt it, felt it in the very core of my being more sure and more certain than I had ever felt it before.
Completely and utter peace.
I finally felt, in the core of my being, that I was truly doing what I was made to do and being who I was made to be.
I’ve done many things in my life.
I’ve been a student, a missionary, a teacher, a financial analyst, a speechwriter, a protocol specialist, a homeschooler, a daughter, a spouse, and a friend.
And somehow, finally, in all of that mix of things, I’ve finally become who I was made to be. And that has left me more at peace with myself and with my life than I have ever been in the past.
I know that there are many roads left to travel and many experiences left to have in life. But I think, I hope, that my journey to this point of self-realization has reached a new height.
I don’t expect the journey to ever really have an end, but I’m grateful for this level of peace.
The journey to this point has had many stops and starts, and a few derailments. Yet, the journey has led here. In my college years it was a new thought to me that joy could be found in the journey to get to a place rather than just in reaching the destination.
Since then I’ve learned to remind myself to do what doesn’t always come the most naturally to me…to stop and take in the beauty of the people, places, and the moments that I’m in rather than looking frantically to the end and the accomplishment of each one.
I’ve learned to seek more joy in the process of life than in the mere outcome of life, to let the words of Jim Elliot more fully rest in my heart…
“Wherever you are, be all there!”
Stripping my life of unnecessary commitments and vain strivings in order to seek simplicity and rest has helped paved the way to this place. As a family we’ve worked hard to clear the clutter, not only physically from our home, but from our schedule, our routines, our habits, everything we can think of.
Each time we’ve said “no” to one thing so that we could say a stronger, more emphatic “yes” to living the life we want to live and the life we want to live as a family has brought me to this place of peace.
I hope that you are coming alongside me on this journey. I hope that you are closer today to that place of peace and rest than you were 5 or 10 years ago, or even yesterday. And I hope that tomorrow we are all one step ahead of where we are today.
Life’s all about the journey my friends, may it be a lovely adventure for us all.