To everything there is a season.
For the past 4 months, I've had an ache in my heart that I just can't seem to shake. And for the longest time, I've tried to push this ache away. I've tried to tell myself that it's stupid, that it's dumb, that I need to move past it, forget about it, and keep trucking along.
Yet, I'm starting to learn that the heartache is okay.
You see, 4 months ago I packed up and left the place I've called home for the past 4 years. I'm a lot luckier than most because my college experience was life-changing, life-giving, and transformative.
It was in that place that I first understood my identity in Christ.
It's there that I made friends like nothing I've ever known.
It was there that I took risks. And made choices. And learned.
It was in that place that I experienced authentic community.
It was there that I experienced comfortability, vulnerability, and understanding.
The list could go on and on and on...
But the bottom line is this: My heart aches because it misses the place and the people and the reality of what was. And what I'm starting to learn is that maybe this heartache will always be here, maybe it won't really go away. Maybe when we go through seasons in our lives that mark us, change us, and transform us--an imprint is left on our hearts forever.
This ache in my heart reminds me of beauty, of love, of transformation, of life, of peace, of strength in my times of brokenness, of hope in my times of doubt, of unconditional, desperate love. This ache reminds me of learning how to live selflessly, of giving of myself, of making a choice to daily pick up my cross. This ache reminds me of community, of relationships, of the kind of bond God desires to have with us. This ache reminds me of the freedom to be myself, without expectation, without the need to be more and do more--it reminds me to find rest in the person God has created me to be. This ache reminds me to take risks, to move outside of the things I've known my whole life, to make choices for myself and not because others made them for me. This ache reminds me to try new things, to stop and spend time in silence, that every moment matters, every thought counts, and every word we speak has the power to bring life or create death. This ache reminds me that God is here, even in the midst of my misunderstandings, confusions, and doubts. This ache reminds me of a God who knows far more than we will every understand. This ache reminds me how to trust.
And as formative as these past 4 years have been, maybe it's time to apply those lessons learned in other aspects of my life. Instead of letting the ache go, maybe I'm suppose always have the ache and learn how to experience it here, in this new place. And the next place I go. And the next after that.
I'm sure someday, I'll talk about this current time in my life with the same words--I'll ache and hurt and long for this time now. Because inevitably as the next few years of life roll along, I'll look back and have and long for the things I'm learning now, in this time, in this moment.
And part of me just sits here and laughs. Why? Because somehow I've tried to pretend that I can have everything I want in one place. I've tried to have it all at once. But I'm learning that it's better to acknowledge the end of a chapter, to give it the weight it deserves, to grieve the passing of it, and to take the things I learned in this time, carry them with me, and bring it to where I am in this moment. Over the past few months I've described myself as feeling pulled in so many different directions. But the reality is that God is not pulled in different directions and neither am I as I live in Him and He in me. Christ is in all things, through all things, before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And when change and transition come along, He holds us together in Him--firmly, still, and with purpose. So regardless of whatever heartache, I am held together in His peace.
Mostly, I think the ache is due to time passing and things changing. We feel the loss of something. And it hurts. Our hearts notice the passing of a season, the opening of a new chapter, and they hurt. But I've learned it's okay for it to hurt. It's okay for it to be painful. It's okay for things to be different and to mourn the loss of what was. Because in essence that means we are living. It means we are truly investing, and authentically loving. It means we are giving, living, and loving enough to notice a transition, a change.
And so I guess all I'm trying to say is that I'm learning to live with the heartache. I'm done trying to push it away. I'm done trying to minimize it. I'm done trying to get over it and move past it.
I'm learning to live with it. I'm learning to make space for it here. In this new town. In this new job. In this new place. In this new season. In my relationship with Colton and our future marriage. (Only 4 more months! Ahh).
Instead of trying to fight and push away the transitions, changes, and heartache, what if I chose to lean into them instead?
To everything there is a season.