Brent is in Toronto. The girls are with my parents. The campus is mostly empty… I have locked my door, and closed myself in. I have been given the gift of SPACE and TIME, with one purpose and one purpose only – write this book!!
How frustrating that I’m still talking about it and haven’t finished it yet!! (Though I’m making real progress and hope it will be worth the wait!) But it is hard to find space and time…
These last couple days, delving back into my journey, into my soul, into Truth… I feel like myself again! I feel like a human being again!!! And I feel normal again.
I had moved away from my ocean view house on PEI to marry the most exciting, energetic, optimistic, loving, and conquering man of God. In a few months, we’ll make it to our 3rd anniversary, quite a feat! And though I love him more everyday, one of the hardest parts of this transition was sacrificing SPACE for ADVENTURE!! (Big sacrifice, I know!) And even though everyone in my life must be exhausted hearing about it, it’s still true… I lose myself in busyness every time! I lose sight of who I am, who God is, and what I’m doing here without the time and space to be my honest personal true self with Jesus, to be unashamed in his presence, to gaze upon his beauty, and inquire in his temple (Psalm 27:4)… I can’t be human without it.
What is a girl supposed to do with herself when she loves so deeply that she refuses to be alone, but then starts to resent her family for existing, longing for solitude and space to think and write?? How impossible can a person be?
I’ve been trying to figure this all out… in true Natasha form. Overthinking, over analyzing, and being way too hard on myself and the people closest to me…
The most frustrating thing for me after getting married, was feeling like I was supposed to be done my journey, even though I knew I wasn’t. I was married again, I had re-joined society! Ta-da! So I was supposed to buck up, pull up my bootstraps, and get back to normal living! But I still had no normal… Nor did I want a second-rate status quo kind of normal that happens when you short-cut your spiritual journey and don’t travel all the way through to full healing and restoration… (writing about that in my book right now). Everyone seemed to think that Brent was my restoration… because in many ways he was. But nope. It’s still Jesus. And my soul was still a mess. And the journey wasn’t over.
When I moved here, I found I had to re-learn everything. I had to learn how to grieve differently, more privately, how to live differently, more publicly, and how to communicate differently, more… positively? However a normal person is supposed to sound, not a griever. And I had to learn how to write differently, without as much raw vulnerability. But it wasn’t natural. It wasn’t me. I didn’t fit in. I didn’t have a normal…
In this last season, God gave me 3 incredible gifts. First, my job as a worship pastor at Sussex Wesleyan Church. I didn’t expect ever to have that opportunity! Especially after Lynn died! But I think God knew it would remain an unanswered question in the back of my mind, sowing seeds of doubt into my future. Was I supposed to sing? Was worship my true calling? It was God’s gift to me, giving me my dream so I could let it go. I did reasonably well at it! At least my church thought so! (Maybe not the band so much…!) But it did bear fruit! And I loved having the platform to shepherd and lead… But my insides were screaming, “I’m not done! My journey isn’t over!” I was hungry for space to write and was laying awake at night anxious to return to the journey God had been leading on… and to devote myself to a larger audience through the written word. “Nope, this isn’t it, my daughter. Just a quick stopping ground so you can find peace and let this go. Let’s keep moving.”
The second thing, and likewise, is that I was ordained through that ministry platform. I had always dreamed of being an ordained pastor. I think, knowing God was calling me to serve him, I thought that being ordained was the only way to put shape to that service… to put skin on it and turn it into a real, tangibly productive thing. I am so glad to be ordained, and so thankful for the Wesleyan Church, our Atlantic tribe! This is a dream come true, with no regrets. Still, it is not my landing platform. “We’re still moving on.”
The 3rd thing was finishing my Masters degree on Pastoral Ministry. I love the Church, and I love pastoral ministry. I get so worked up about vision and leadership and all that God wants to do in and through his people… But still, I heard the whisper. “Not here, my daughter. Don’t stop here. We’re just moving through.”
My landing platform, the place of my true calling, the place of destiny if you will… has to do with my true self. We are only really available to do what God has prepared in advance for us to do when we accept and live into the true and honest self he created us to be. I’m not saying we don’t do and just be. We have to do. There is so much to be done!! But it just doesn’t work when we’re trying to do something we’re not supposed to do, or be someone we’re not supposed to be. I have a terrible habit of wanting to be someone else… I fall into it time and time again.
This is partly because, everybody knows that what matters in life is people, but my honest self doesn’t actually like people. She LOVES people, but doesn’t like being around them all the time. When I hear people talk about the importance of community, I’m either diving in head first, forgetting who I am and quickly getting lost. Or I want to roll my eyes and go, blah blah blah. Not because I don’t long for community myself, or understand the importance of it, especially in spiritual formation. But because I’m exhausted by the pressure to be with people all the time when it honestly drains and suffocates my soul, squelches my creativity, and leaves me useless, drained with no life left to give.
How anti-Christian! How un-Biblical! and how non-Canadian of me!! I know. This is why it’s a struggle.
But my true self, she just won’t go away. She wants to sit by herself for days at a time and think, ponder, reflect, pray, and write. And when the time comes, she wants to get up out of that solitude and walk into the world so full and powerfully built up in God. My true self dreams of being so full of God that like Peter, the touch of my shadow heals people as I walk through the streets. I don’t want to be bothered with most of everyday life. I don’t want to spend my life socializing, running errands, appeasing our cultures need for mayhem. I want to live in stillness. A productive kind of stillness, not laziness or passivity.
So many of the things we do in our day to day lives, matter. It’s just that they don’t matter most. They aren’t why the church exists. The church exists to make visible the kingdom of God here on earth. The church exists to be the dwelling place of Living Water, the Source of Life who offers his Spirit to anyone who thirsts, that they might never thirst again.
How can the church make visible the kingdom of God if it is empty of its presence, or at best offers just a trickle of its living water flow?
Men and women of God, like you and me, must remember who we are, our true selves. And we must bring our true selves before a real God, remembering who he is. And we must remember why we’re here, and realize that there is no short cut out of this mess. There is no status quo worthy for us to miss the adventure of a lifetime… The one we live when we follow Jesus further still…
Growing up, my Dad always said, “Curries don’t quit!” (Currie is my maiden name). It was terribly frustrating at the time, but did its job in turning our family into one committed bunch! I dedicate this post to him for his tenacious spirit and ever-growing love for the church.
Church, we’re not done. You’re not done. I’m not done. This is not our stopping place. We are going further still… stepping onto that next platform of glory working unto glory…
Keep going in your journey! You are the Church! “…and the gates of hell will not prevail against [you]” (Matthew 16:18)!