So when I began this blog I had a rather optimistic outlook that I had the energy to write with some sort of regularity. That hope soon faded with the fruition of many things, most of which were indeed wonderful, yet at the same time consuming of time and energy. Therefore, the blog was an extra, something worth starting, but not the most important in the moment. I think now is a time when I am healthier in spirit and have before me a span of time of deep soul-searching…here, in this time, I can make it a priority once more.
On Sunday, while outside the rain fell steady all day, I remained inside the house, and mostly inside myself. It was a day of purgation, a spiritual cleansing to purge that which blocks my relation to the Holy One. Something occurred to me, a question concerning something I was praying about. My prayers were about family, and I asked myself a question I would ask a person who sought spiritual direction from me. Although it is important to have mentors and people who can notice things in us that we ourselves cannot, there are moments when I assume the voice of a spiritual director with myself.
From that question, “What does it look like?” came a flood of memories, thoughts, and prayers. Meanwhile, outside, the waters were pouring down from the sky and rushing over the ground. This is what my soul felt like on Sunday. Drenched in my own sorrow, overcome by grace, I navigated the rapids of past events in my life and the current state of my self.
It all began with an epiphany during an Advent worship at Church of the Apostles. The theme was on waking, and we were asked, “Who do you want to be?” What a great question. But I couldn’t answer it.
Who am I? Who do I want to be? What do I want?
These are all questions I’ve asked myself for years. Reading through my old journals now, I see I unknowingly asked them as an adolescent. I was guided to ask them again in college. And now that my master’s graduation is half a year away, I ask yet again.
However, they are not just questions of vocational discernment. They are questions of identity and relationality. The Gospel calls us to Love God and Love Neighbor. “Who do I want to be?” is not wholly about myself–I believe it is about our deepest desires and longings and these things are not solitary nor purely selfish. Grace is abundant in human relationship.
So, opened the floodgates and let the waters wash away some muck that had distorted my sense of self; in the language of my Lutheran heritage: I have been cleansed by the waters of baptism. I am renewed. I am forgiven. It was amazing and freeing. There’s not a resolution nor answer. But I don’t need one. I’m free to live into the mystery…