These past couple months have turned into a bit of a weird season for me. There has been a lot of unknown, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of phone calls and showing up at friends’ houses saying, “I have no idea what I’m doing.” I’ve been second guessing my dreams, wondering if they’re worth it, getting impatient and wishing God would just clear write it in the sky what He wants me to do. It’s been hard to pick up a pen and piece of paper because I don’t know how to make the words come out in a way that will sound good or be pleasing. I feel confused on how to explain how I am feeling, or worse, fear that maybe I’m not feeling a whole lot. You see, this is unusual for me as I am a rather emotional person, one who does feel a lot. Like the kind that lays on the floor listening to the sad John Mayer songs on repeat. The kind that tears up over every single hand written letter. And I’m always concerned about how people around me are feeling, because I know how heavy hearts can be sometimes. I think it’s one of the prime reasons I turned to writing. It helped me let it all out in some sort of calm(ish) way. I used to sit down to journal and would write pages and pages. There have been so many seasons of life where I would feel so many different things. But these past couple months, its been harder. I sit down and struggle to get thoughts across paper. Sometimes I feel that I’m just exhausted due to feeling so much from before.
“We often go numb because we think we can’t handle the darkness: the darkness in us, the darkness around us. Our hearts grow tired of carrying hurt, and it feels much easier to disengage.” I read those words in a book called “Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard” by Jennie Allen and wow, how they hit me hard. I write a lot about how I moved to New York City last year. It’s just been one of the biggest changes in my life recently. I am what they call a “post-grad” trying to make a career in the fashion magazine industry here in this crazy place. New York is a place I always dreamed about ever since I wanted to work for a magazine. I would flip through the beautiful pages of the big name issues as a young girl and be mesmerized by them. Then when I turned to writing, I knew a magazine was where I wanted to be.
But a couple weeks ago, I was on a flight home. I looked at the Manhattan skyline from the plane window. The flight was delayed for about three hours, and they decided to keep us on board the plane during the waiting time. So I sat there for those hours and looked at the skyline, waiting and waiting to feel something. I was hoping for that excitement and sparkle and adrenaline rush to come on that I would feel all the times before when I would come to this ever so magical place and look at that skyline. I felt nothing.
As I am trying to grasp the whole concept of feelings and emotions, I try to look where my heart is really at. Maybe I’m scared to take a closer look at if the dreams I’m chasing are really my dreams. And it’s not only dreams. Maybe I’m also scared to look at my heart and see if I ever really let the hurt out and let things go from the past, because I don’t want to face them and go through the darkness. So I result to the numbness. Because it seems less exhausting and less painful than accepting how things have panned out or how they have changed. And maybe I’m scared to take a closer look at if my dreams have changed. Because that would require starting over again in a way. And trying to “figure it out” again. And let’s face it, we all dread that season. But maybe it’s okay. Because maybe it means that the Lord is growing me. That He is aligning my new dreams with the plan He has for me and the desires He has for my life. Maybe I am finally beginning to make that leap from plans dreamt up on my own to the dreams the Lord has created for me. And we all know, His dreams for our lives are far bigger and better than anything we could ever imagine for ourselves. So maybe this whole going through the darkness thing is worth it. Maybe letting go will be for the better. And besides, it’s okay for your dreams to change. No one ever said, “Never give up on your old and faded dreams.” And I want to know the difference between the old and the new.
I’m going to quote Jennie Allen’s book again, because it’s just so good. She says, “Emotions are designed by God to point to an ache for Him and for Heaven. Emotions are compasses, not destinations. We don’t ignore them and we don’t camp out in them, but we let them show us the places God wants to meet us and the places we need to do work.” We need to act upon these feelings, and also the lack of feelings. Because the numbness we might feel can also be telling us something. We fear going through the darkness, we fear facing the hurt or the unknown.
I want to stop fearing the “figuring it out” seasons of life. Because what I’m starting to see is how we get to figure it out together. I’m starting to learn and realize that that’s when we learn to love one another the best. And that’s when we get to push each other towards Jesus. So thank goodness we don’t have to fear facing our feelings, because we can go through the unknown and the darkness together and run frantically to the arms of Jesus. It’s in these moments, and in these seasons, where we get to rely on Him the most. And maybe the “figuring it out” seasons are the best ones, because it causes us to take a step away from the ever so busy and fast-paced days and to desperately seek the stillness in order to hear the only voice that truly matters, the voice of Jesus.
words by Megan Sauers and photo by Sarah Mohan