Traveling home with the golden light of sunset streaming in my window, my mind wandered over my afternoon. An afternoon spent with inspiring women. An afternoon spent by the side of a river in conversation both light and deep. An afternoon spent making connections that I hadn’t anticipated just a few months ago. Do you ever find yourself in a moment of time that seems surreal and invites you simply to savour it?
At the start of the year, I could see some challenges ahead. I had some goals I wanted to achieve. I had some predictable choices in front of me and knew that there were many unpredictable ones would arise too. In many ways, this year has felt longer than a standard year. There has been so much packed into it- heartache, growth, vulnerability, failures, re-starts. I am not the person I was when I entered this year. I’m guessing you aren’t either. Life does that to us. We cannot help changing in response to our experiences. The only question is what changes we allow in. Will we allow our experiences to make us bitter, hard-hearted and selfish OR will we allow growth through the tough times to make us empathetic, wiser and more grounded in faith?
When we look back over our journeys, we see the moment by moment choices, unexpected opportunities and challenges, and brave yeses weaving together into this rich tapestry. In the midst of those moments, it can seem like a chaotic mix of colours with no clear pattern to follow. If you’re like me, you want to control it all and make it fit into neat and predictable rows. I’ve realised this year that I have taken more steps forward in letting that need for control go. I am more at ease with letting those chaotic and unexpected colours swirl around me and weave where they will. I am able to trust more that the final version will be more than I can imagine.
Sometimes it is only in the moments where we are still long enough to connect with someone, gather around a table and share our stories that we start to see the patterns and progress along our journey. And yet, at least for me, that is what I often put the least priority on. I can blame my introvert nature or the busyness of life but it comes down to choice. I have made a conscious effort in these last few months of the year to take opportunities to connect with people and invest in those relationships more. It feels like the start of a new blossoming in my life, an expansion towards something new that I cannot yet see. It feels like the next step in a journey towards being fully me and living wholeheartedly.
What area in your life is in need of that conscious step forward? Maybe in this season, you need to explore that for yourself. Maybe you need to get around some people to help you review your year and talk through what you have learned and what your next step needs to be. Maybe you need to journal and delve into some true reflection. We have this opportunity to pause and be intentional moving forward. That doesn’t mean we have to be striving for change and making burdensome expectations of ourselves. It could be as simple as shifting your focus slightly, making one small change or reaching out to one new connection. It could be saying one small no or maybe a small yes. Those little choices have a habit of creating a ripple and carrying us forward.