a year has passed since I first embarked on this journey. a year ago, I was in a little pink house, finishing school with high hopes and dreams, painting at a little hand me down black desk in a messy room strewn with art supplies. it was there that the concept of wonderlust was born. not wanderlust, but something similar in terms of craving. a hunger to regain delight, joy, a sense of wonder. a created, creative person, I knew this was something that my soul needed.
I still paint at a hand me down desk, although this one is much nicer. my room is still a mess, and even worse since I've been collecting things for a more permanent home someday. I'm actually writing this from my bed, since my desk is currently covered with wedding invitations, books, candles, paper, rulers, and a tiny hand stitched whale I made a few weeks ago. I'm really proud that I've made twelve steps in this journey in the twelve months it has been alive.
I'm beginning to realize I stepped into something much bigger than I realized a year ago. the challenge to be introspective has become greater and greater as this stage of life continues to throw curveball after curveball my way. it has not been an easy year, but it has been a fantastic year.
I used to run away to the sea when I was sad, or angry, or confused. I would get in my car and fly to the coast, run out barefoot onto the sand, and fling myself into the waves fully clothed. I would stand as far out as I could bear it in the freezing cold water, feeling it wash in and out, over my legs and back again. sometimes I would cry and feel the salt in the air mixing with tears, dripping into my mouth.
I would wait as long as I needed. my soul would heal as the vastness around me begin to pound into my head that I am so small, and there is so much that is bigger than me. there is Someone bigger still that holds that sea in His hands. and those hands that hold the sea once bled for me.
once the wave of dramatics passed I would come out dripping wet, but grinning. sometimes you have to feel lost to find yourself again.
these days I can't run away to those healing waters. things are different. it's been a year in a new city, a year of discovering and learning and growing. and so much stretching. and when I am sad, or angry, or confused, I still have to get up, dress up, and show up. being an adult means not running from your problems.
I have had to learn that God is not just in the waves. he is all around, always accessible. he is in the hot cup off coffee I hold to my lips every morning when the sun starts to wake. he is in the train ride to the city, the streets that I navigate. he is in the people I see, both strangers and not. this is something I am still learning. that he is still able to speak to me, even if it is in a different way now. and because I am not used to listening, I sometimes miss his voice. though his love is always extravagant, it is not always loud. sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day, the one that whispers cast your burdens on me.
I have felt as though I have nothing to say because I have not happened upon anything profound lately. When I embarked on this project, I wanted to scream my lungs out with all the truth I was bursting to tell. Slowly all of that energy dissipated and I was left wondering what I could possibly write about that someone else hasn't already.
I no longer have the time to run away, to cleanse my soul in the waves of peace. At least that's what I tell myself. I am too busy to let myself be drenched in a downpour of truth. too busy to soak any of it in, let alone share it. this is the problem - to reflect and learn, one must be willing to be taught.
but once this occurred to me...I have been unhindered. I have something to say again. and so, for the last Wonderlust note for this year, I leave you with a few humble thoughts.
this entire year, I have gotten lost enough to find myself again. just like in the wide sea, God has thrown me into this wide city to show me something. floundering around, waiting for him to drench me in something good and holy, I've learned so much.
the question I've been asking the whole time - "is what I do worthwhile?" in the most unexpected (but then again not) of places, I've found my answer.
I just finished reading this massive book called "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn, this morning in fact. I've always known that the answer to my question "is what I do worthwhile" lies within in the question "will this be worthwhile in eternity?" and yet I never pursued answering that subsequent question. I've been so convinced my whole life that we can know so little about eternity that I figured we'd get there when we get there and find out when we're all floating around in the clouds.
Oh, what a tragic impact that has on life! Without even realizing it I set myself up for failure, for doubt. "When we think of heaven as unearthly, our present lives seem unspiritual, like they don't matter." How could I possibly see how design, creating with my hands, or anything else I have been gifted with fits into life without first seeing how it will fit into my second life? And by not envisioning that second life clearly, how could I possibly find meaning in either?
Understanding the New Earth and eternal life has changed all of this, changed my thinking, changed this life. "...work, leisure, creativity, and intellectual stimulation matter. Laughter matters. Service matters. Why? Because they are eternal." And my favorite line in the whole book? "It wasn't an accident that Jesus was born into a carpenter's family. Carpenters are makers. God is a maker." And we, made in his likeness, are also makers. We'll never leave behind creativity.
In light of this, I'm so excited to continue to discover how the Lord wants me to use my passions for creating. The Wonderlust Project is far from over! I hope it is not yet finished in your heart, as well. I am sure this is but a small taste of all there is to learn.