The longest I’ve lived in one place, for my entire life, is five years. The house where I’m living right now, it wins the prize for longevity.
In the early years of my adolescence, after my parent’s divorce at age three, my mother moved us into a new apartment in a new suburb every couple of years, usually at her emotional low point. Change seemed like the best solution when everything else was falling apart.
Hope smells like new carpet and a fresh coat of paint. Except once the newness wears off, you’re stuck with the familiar odor of yourself. The same reflection looking back in a different mirror, it becomes a deeper disappointment in new circumstance.
Soul change doesn’t come from changing things on the surface. It happens when we wade from the comfortable shallow end into the deep unknown waters of life’s pool.
After H and I got married, the moves became less about escaping circumstances and more about hearing God’s familiar voice say, Go. A few months after we got married, we were confident (or naively foolish) enough in His intonation that we packed up a U-Haul before H’s seminary acceptance, the security of paychecks; before casting a single glance on the town where we were moving. We still look back on that desperate time as newlyweds with fondness and deep gratitude.
I experienced living in a house with my last name on the mortgage for the first time when I was pregnant with my second child. Every three years, the moving fidgets return for me. It’s part of my DNA to change locations. While contentment in the same place is a given for some, for me it’s the victory dance after a tedious, sometimes painful, inner struggle.
When Jesus approached the disciples after a disappointing day of fishing, he climbed into one of their empty boats, pushed off and taught from his watery pulpit. Afterward, He instructed the disciples to push out into deep water and let (your) nets out for a catch. (Luke 5)
The disciples recounted their experience, in case Jesus wasn’t aware they’d been fishing all night, doing what they always do in the same spot, without a single slippery, bug-eyed catch. Providentially, they decided to appease him, pulling in miraculous mounds of scaly riches.
I would’ve loved to see the looks on their faces.
I like to imagine that the disciples had the latest fishing rods, years of experience, premium bait, perhaps even the sage advice of mentors regarding their careers in the fishing industry. They’d done everything right, without results.
The difference that day came with intentionality — in listening to Jesus and going deep.
I happen to believe this is the prescription for finding true fulfillment, the largest catch of your life. Take the time to listen to Jesus and allow Him to take you deep.
Why else would the disciples drop everything to follow Him?
In October, we’ll let go of the fallacy that loving yourself means changing circumstances or doing the same things while hoping for different outcomes. We’ll dive in to the deep end of wholeheartedly living, swim around a bit in the uncharted waters of your soul, buoy each other with encouragement while holding onto the lifeline of Jesus.
I’m joining the Nester and over 1,000 bloggers, writing 31 Days of Letting Go in the Deep End, using The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown as a companion to posts. I’m doing it not because I have all the answers, but because I don’t. And learning how to love yourself in the embrace of community is much more appealing than attempting it alone.
Every Thursday, I’ll host a redemptive guest post from some of my favorite writers alongside a book club discussion at Redemptions Beauty Book Club, a private Facebook community. Click on the link if you’d like to join in.
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For easy access to the entire series, click on the button below or on the 31 Days tab at the top of the site. I’ll see you tomorrow? I hope so.