Broken-in vs. Worn-out

I’ve been feeling restless. Out of place. Like something is not right. As people we are made to flourish, designed from the beginning to thrive. To last. But for too long life has not felt alive. It has not felt wide and open and like I can breathe.

I mostly ignored it. That nagging feeling in my soul that something was wrong. That this is not where we are suppose to be. I pushed aside the feelings of frustration and prayed for endurance. Just keep going; press on a little longer. Because with two little kids, one on the way, and a man who is depending on me to stand by him, I don’t have the luxury of stopping. I don’t have the luxury of being burnt out.

But slowly this unsettled voice inside my soul became too loud to ignore. The Holy Spirit moved within, stirring me to action. And in the grand mystery of His ways, He softened the heart of the one closest to me. Drawing us together, uniting His vision in our hearts. Making us one.

Because deep down, we both felt it. The exhaustion of running from one crisis to the next. The mold–however innocent–that living in a nice house in a big city forces a family into. We felt the irony in loading up for a day of hiking only to sit in smoggy traffic on the way to a crowded trail. The sinking feeling of boarding a plane, saying goodbye for months on end to family we love so far away. For years we’ve justified a way around it, searching for the positives, focusing on the wins, trying out new coping mechanisms, and reminding ourselves of all the difficulties a big change would bring. But really all the positives we found were far from our hopes and dreams. The wins were a long way from our vision for this family. And all the while I wondered, where is the peace? Where is the simplicity? Where is the space and the joy and the giving?

What good is an established life if its killing you to live it? What good is the most well-intended plan if it’s not working?

So we stopped. We looked up over all the obstacles and rehashed plans, over the expectations and pressures we placed upon ourselves. And He opened our eyes, giving us courage to follow His lead. Humbling our hearts, moving us to change. His plans are far better than ours, even when we can’t see the end.

And now, in a state of flux when everything is unfamiliar, somehow there is peace. Harmony. As a refreshing wind blows us north, a feeling of rightness has settled in. It is never easy to leave the known. To say goodbye to what is comfortable and broken-in. But the line between broken-in and worn-out is thin, and we crossed it long ago.

So we thank this chapter for it’s gift. We remember the wonderful moments it has brought and the teacher it has been. With anticipation we close the door, stepping out into a wide new land with adventures and lessons of its own. The future stretches before us, calling us forward and bringing us closer to home.

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