the things we carry

i have been aware, lately, of how heavy i feel. not physically, but spiritually and emotionally. it is like the constant turmoil and anxiety that our nation is feeling has manifested itself in the center of my chest. but more than that, i am keenly aware of the pain that some of those that i dearly love are feeling. for the past month or so, i am on the verge of tears almost constantly- no longer choking up at cheesy hallmark commercials, but fully on crying at the drop of a hat. my heart has been especially tender as of late…

when i began to examine why my heart has felt so tender, i became aware that this time marks the end of  particularly hard chapter in my life. it was the chapter where so much fell apart, and so much came together- it was the time in my life where i really and truly grew up, and stood on my own for the very first time. it was heartbreaking, liberating, exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time. i learned more about myself, and found strength in myself i didn’t know i had. i cultivated meaningful relationships, nurtured ones that had sustained me through thus far, and let go of things that no longer served me. i put so much down, just stopped carrying it. i let go of caring so much of what others thing, and started caring about what brings me joy and life. i cleared the space of my heart and mind to make room for what matters most to me- and i spent time working on becoming me- the woman who God has created me to be. and most importantly, i learned to stop apologizing.

as i prepare to turn the page to the next chapter- a chapter that will filled  its fair share of joy, tears, love, hard-stuff,  hope, frustration and adventure- i am finding myself needing to attend to the ending of the chapter before. to really make sure it ends well. i think i am mindful of this more now than ever because i know a few woman, women dear to my heart, who are preparing to embark on the same hard, scary chapter that i am preparing to close.

i want desperately to walk with them, knowing i can only do so from a distance. but i find my heart breaks for them- because i know how it feels to look at the carefully placed rocks of your life come tumbling down into a pile of rubble. i know how it feels to have everything break, for it to fall apart…and from where i stand now, i know that it had to all fall apart so it could fall into place. it was hard, like- really shitty amounts of hard- but i survived, more than that, i was able to open myself up to the life God had waiting for me. a life where i don’t have all the answers, where i step out in faith a lot more, where i have come to an inner sense of peace that sustains. a place where i speak less and listen more- i listen more to God, to the desires of my heart, and to the calling of my life. more than anything i am praying that God will do with my life what God has done with countless other things and make something beautiful out of the dust- and i want to use my life to help others recognize that their life matters enough to make the hard choices ahead.

i have let go of so much, because i didn’t need to carry it anymore. and now, i carry so much more because i only carry that which brings me life, and brings me closer to answering the God call on my life.

so as i turn the page, and greet the chapter ahead, i am grateful for the things i carry with me. my prayer is that as the women i love enter this hard and painful chapter, they would know that they do not go alone, and that the time will come where they will bravely turn the page to discover the life that has been waiting for them all along. until then, in the words of ee cummings- “i (will) carry your heart, i (will) carry it in my heart”