It’s been a while I know. Let’s just say I’m working through some things. Perhaps I will write about them later, for now, I’m writing a valley of compost. Some of it will be seen. Some of it will be heard. Some of it will be tucked away in the folds of my heart, for my soul alone. Today, I want to give you a brief update on how my one word is going.
I had my word, intentional, before the year began. I didn’t pray about it. I didn’t really mull it over. It just came to me. I needed that kind of grace. I like the word intentional, but does it ever come with a commitment I didn’t see coming.
To be intentional is to be:
- On task
- In the moment
Well, I don’t know about you other “intentional” folks about there, but the bulleted list above is not necessarily any of my strong points. What I thought I would be working on hasn’t happened in the neat and tidy way I thought it would. Isn’t that just like life?! It rolls up on you, making demands, and veering way right in a different direction you didn’t see coming.
I want to tell you about the not so pretty side of intention, the side that zig-zags, meanders, and lurches. It is the kind of intention that invites a holy reckoning. Maybe you’ve been there too. It’s where I find myself in the middle of this year, the year I thought full of hopeful, flourishing possibilities.
None of those possibilities have happened. There is no flourishing here, at least not the kind visible to the eye. Intention called me to take a seat in discomfort, not the invitation I was looking for, but it’s the one that came. It called me to examine my life, heart, and soul more deliberately. It called me to be in the moment and fully present. It called me to task and bid me be purposeful in how I use my time and energy. It called me to plan one week day a week for ten weeks to the business of mending the soul.
Let’s just say it is a messy business to deal with the soul, but if we are intentional about the healing we say we want, then, Intention will demand our commitment, our willingness, and our concentration. So it is with me. I am willfully choosing to sit in the pain, the heartache, the upending agony of deep brokenness stemming from years of neglect, numbing, and avoidance.
It is counterintuitive to do so, but it’s the way freedom and authentic being come to those who’ve walked in solemn shadows. To take down darkness and overcome its looming shadow, I must come into the Light – all of me. The whole of my being, even the bent and broken shameful pieces, all of me belongs in the Light. Light is God. It is Christ. It is the Holy Spirit. It is wholeness, but it means giving up my pain, hurt, avoidance, numbing, and ignorance. As a friend of mine would say, “you cannot heal, what you cannot feel.” I don’t get how it works, but I know it’s been true for me.
Being intentional has led me to the place of confronting dark truths about myself, truths I’d rather have kept hidden in the darkness. Freedom doesn’t come when we’re still hiding in fear and shame. My intent for 2014 is to fully be myself, real and authentic, and to live out the calling on my life. The reality is she (me) was a wee bit broken without realizing it.
I’ll be talking more about freedom on the blog, but you need to know right now that freedom is precious. Freedom is worth the temporary sting of painful realization. Freedom is worth the release of tears suppressed for a lifetime. Freedom is worth the light warming on the soul as you learn to sit in the pain and discomfort. Those feelings are temporary. They won’t last forever. Freedom is worth agitation, disruption, and discombobulating temporary turmoil. It will pass.
Truth awakens the soul to the love of God. The process of being intentional about getting free, living free, and daily walking out freedom awakens the heart to the healing power and love of God. The process of being intentional has given me strength to not give up when things are overwhelming. The process of being intentional in connecting with a community of women seeking wholeness has given me courage I didn’t have before. Being intentional has allowed me to link arms so I don’t sink and drown.
To you who are reading, know that you are loved. Freedom is for you. Healing is for you. Wholeness is for you. If you take up the challenge to be intentional in being heart, soul, and mind free, you will find a grace in uncommon hours that will steel your resolve and strengthen you to finish the race.
Maybe you want to write your way through the pain too. Let’s be daring and brave. I’m taking bigger steps towards living intentionally. I’m inviting you to join this space to hash out what it’s like to live in the ordinary, everyday mundane. Each month we’ll talk about issues that matter. There’s a place for you at the table. Your voice will be heard here. The first link up goes live June 10th. We’d love to hear your stories.