I didn’t know what I was looking for when I climbed in my car to head toward the Tennessee mountains. I think I was growing more and more desperate for some time just to breathe. Continuously feeling as if I were gasping for air and trapped by the familiar structures that I pass by every single day of my life, I needed to get out and see something not made by human hands.
I was longing for an answer, but I wasn’t even sure of the question. Anxious, I started on my journey. Five hours later, even when I arrived to my destination, I couldn’t seem to wind down and rest. The next twenty four hours consisted of things that started to breathe life back into me. Worship with several people crammed wall to wall in a small room turned out to be the first place where I caught my breath. Stuffed between strangers in a cramped space made my physical self feel smothered, but even in the middle of that, I found my heart finally able to exhale and I knew I was in for something.
Over the next part of my trip, I found myself in resurrecting conversation. Whether it was telling a funny story from my trip across the world or listening to stories of people who had been strangers before that moment, I was once again able to lean my head back and gather air in my lungs. Throughout my time there, I was consistently being encouraged and uplifted. The family that I stayed with was absolutely amazing; always making me laugh and treating me as one of their own, I was so incredibly blessed to have time with them. The morning I left was filled with beautiful conversation on the porch as we watched the sky leak fresh rain that injected a sweet scent into the mountain air. I was able to talk about some things that had been weighing on my heart and was able to listen to words that brought clarity and strength to my soul.
I was sad to leave this precious family, but there was such an eager desire to begin the five hour drive home. As my little car glided down the mountain, I found myself beneath layers of fog and drizzle and it the beauty it held left me speechless. Only a few hours away from where I’ve been all my life was something that echoed of splendor and majesty beyond what I’ve experienced; even greater than some of the things I was able to behold nearly a year ago across the world. I realized in that moment, I was staring straight at the magnificence of God and that I was finally able to see it in a way that my heart had so desperately been longing to.
Forever trying to make an escape plan from the life that I now have, there was a moment when it changed. I finally was able to smile as I looked up at the mountains that previously screamed at me to search for adventure. I no longer felt the need to climb them, conquer them or be as magnificent as they are…rather, I was just content to pass by them on the way to a place where God has planted my heart for this season. As I followed the winding path, I heard words that helped me to understand the question I’d been asking when I first departed. “Sometimes you need to leave the place you’re in to realize it’s exactly where you need to be.”
Seasons shift, times change and nothing is ever truly a constant. Circumstances occur that change our positions and sometimes we are called to follow the Wind in a different direction than we first anticipated. But I now hear words repeated in my head that were told to me on the cloudy morning that I sat with an incredible woman of God. “Our commitment is not to the direction of the Wind, but to the Wind itself.”
Always waiting for change, always ready to move and worried that I’ll miss it; I realized I was wrong all along. My commitment and the life I’ve chosen is about WHO I’m following, not where I’m going. And when my heart is pointed in that direction, He always leads me to the place I need to be and sometimes takes me out of it just to remind me how wonderful it is and how grateful I am for the season that I am spending in the place I call home.