Today marks my year anniversary of the day I officially moved back home.
I can’t believe it. And yet, in the same breath, I can. This year has been a YEAR. One of those mighty years where so many lessons are packed into 12 months, it takes courage and a lot of chocolate ice cream to keep up. It’s been a year to explore life and not only imagine life’s possibilities, but act upon them.
It’s the first year in about 5 that I haven’t lived in a Christian bubble. My college years were spend at a private Christian school and my first year and half spent in the working world was at Christian conference center. And when I left those bubbles, I was glad. Very glad. *
In a way, during this year, I was slipping into my own personal autumn. A season of colorful death settling into hibernation. Last year when I moved home in my early twenties and away from those Christian bubbles, I felt quite lost – and quite liberated. If you look closely at the picture that was pared with this post you’ll see the perfect picture illustration of my last year. It’s one that I took while on a hike during the first weeks I had moved home. It’s from an autumn day when my dad and I decided to heroically hike up a hill to see the snowline that had suddenly graced the treetops overnight. What ensued felt truly magical.
Instead of walking into a complete winter wonderland that is in and of itself breathtaking, we ascended from bare, needle carpeted ground…to snow laden tree branches tottering above our heads…to snow on the tops of the bushes we brushed by…to snow covering our toes. We had climbed up a steep, lung-zapping hill that shifted us from fall to winter in 53.6 seconds. And little did I know that this moment was to be creation’s incarnation of my transition home.
Last year, I entered a winter soon after settling home. It snuck up on me. Or rather, I snuck up on it. I started up one of the steepest hills I’ve ever climbed, and I left Jesus at the bottom. Purposefully and gladly. And as I climbed, my soul felt colder and drier and the freedom I thought I was allowing myself to finally experience was, in reality, death in a guise. It was the first time in my life I really experienced life feeling alone, parted from my God.
But I don’t regret it.
I realize that is a dangerous thing to say, especially since I don’t wish to promote a life without Love. But if we honestly think about salvation given to us by God, we need to know what it is we are SAVED from. Maybe some people can figure this out without going through a godless spell. I pridefully thought I could. Until I reached a time in my life when theory and analysis of other people’s lives wasn’t doing it for me anymore. And I no longer wanted a savior. Or at least one who seemed to be empty and unnecessary. Distant.
But a funny thing happened, after a long, mountain winter of Herbal Tea and Bicycle Tracks, spring hit our little town. And with it, spring hit my heart. Which cultivated to a warm, prosperous summer of growth and healing. And now, a year later, this autumn isn’t focused on death and survival for a winter. It’s focused on a harvest. One of the grandest harvests of my life.
But I’ll get to that in another post.
*In the writing world, seasons are an overused metaphor for periods of life. Especially in the midst of the holidays when the poet inside of us seems to awaken with every pumpkin spice latte, and we suddenly start craving a feather quill to record the sonnets streaming from our souls… Yet in order to feel like I’ve been properly baptized into the world of writing, I must make the rite of passage. (Ok, who am I fooling, I LOVE including a seasonal metaphor!)