I sat poolside in this Mexican resort town and noticed a tingling clearness in my head and my breathing start to slow down and get deeper. It felt like a watch that had been ticking too fast, suddenly being reset to the correct tempo – an invisible rebooting of my soul.
I recently heard the soul described as the part of you that was there before you were born and the part of you that will live on after you die. The “true” you.
The weeks leading up to Christmas had been hectic and as much as I was looking forward to this getaway and to witnessing the wedding vows of my oldest niece (on my side), the stress of preparing to go got the better of me. My husband and daughter were not going to be traveling with me, and more than a couple times I told Craig that maybe I just wouldn’t go. He insisted that I must and I’m so glad he did. It was wonderful celebrating the start of a beautiful new marriage and spending cherished time with my brothers and sister (and sisters and brother-in-law) and nieces, and I loved having that time to think and dream and to just be me – truly.
I crave for the true me to be the me that I am at every moment of the day. I want to be the same person that I am in front of God, the same person in front of everyone I know and love. But pride often stands in the way. Pride keeps me from holding on hard and holding on long and keeps me from crying and letting others see the fearful child that I really am.
Most winters throughout my adult years have been tough, the lack of sunlight inevitably dragging me down and making me thinner-skinned than I already am. Two winters ago it was exceptionally hard with our adoption of Ludomira falling through. I hadn’t felt that profoundly sad or lost in a very long time.
It’s truly a deep loneliness when you’re grieving the loss of someone who hasn’t yet been with you, and so, many don’t understand. It was impossible for us, much less anyone else, to comprehend or to quantify this loss, to try to make sense of why God led us so far in one direction only to have it all taken away.
The Easter right after, with a house full of company, I was grieving inside to the point that I felt almost too weak to stand. I propped myself at the kitchen sink, tears sneaking down my face, while everyone else was outside watching the kids hunt for eggs. I can’t think of much worse, honestly, than feeling alone while being with the people you loved first.
My role for many years with my family of origin though has been the encourager, the nurturer, the advice-giver, the doer. And so I don’t know how to let them do for me. I don’t know how to allow myself to be cared for, or to show my melancholy and distress and to ask someone to put their arms around me and tell me that their hearts are heavy with mine. Their hearts were broken too, they’d been beyond excited like us and more than ready to love our soon to be new daughter, and I think we fell for the same belief that we’d fallen for in the past, that not fully acknowledging the pain would somehow make it less.
But how life changes in a couple years. Twenty-two months ago we still believed that Luda was going to be part of our family. We hadn’t received the devastating news yet that she wasn’t. At that time we had no plans of selling our home, but now that home belongs to another family and we have started a new chapter in our residence on the lake.
Back then we knew nothing about Marina’s or Craig’s birth families and now we do. This life never stops shifting and astounding us, but it never surprises God. He already knows every last detail.
He knows our true selves, even when we try to hide that self from others. He knew when each one of us was going to be born and when we’re going to die. He knows our true selves intimately because He created every single part of us and designed us for a specific purpose.
God wants and planned every life that was ever conceived and has an individual plan for each and every one of those souls. Mine, yours, all of ours.
Allow yourself today to open up your soul and be vulnerable with your family and friends. We’re all a work in progress and are growing and evolving continually. My dear siblings and I grew up not always able to accurately identify or admit our internal state, where tears were shed mostly behind closed doors, but are learning, a little more each day, the value of openly honoring all feelings – the good, the bad and the ugly. God gave us the ability to feel innumerable emotions and if we stuff down the hurtful ones, they’ll always find a way to resurface.
Let your true self be seen not only by God, but by all those He has placed in your life. Show people around you the true you, so that they can feel safe and secure to be completely and wholly themselves too.
Make that soul to soul connection, with our Heavenly Father and others, then watch in awe as God restores and quenches your utmost and very deepest longings and desires.
Psalm 107:9 “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”