Is the heart home?

by Anna Blanch on September 28, 2011

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve lived in a constant state of transition for the past decade or so. Have I really ever settled into a place and been content there? I feel that restlessness of seeking what’s next, of wondering what dream may come. That feeling of uncertainty and the tension of wondering what’s next, of dreaming and hoping and planning is both thrilling and disconcerting.

It is in transition that I am often aware of the ambivalence I feel. There’s the glimmers of excitement and hope in the dreaming, the willingness to risk both failure and the achievement of a goal. I enjoy the process of planning and looking forward but I struggle when I am at the whim of another, whether it’s another country’s immigration authority or a university making decisions about jobs or scholarships. Yet, though I’m often filled with anxiety over the nameless faceless persons with my future in their hands I’ve paradoxically been glad that God has my destiny in his hands – that he knows my heart. He knows my hopes, my dreams, he knows what I fear and what I love.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  ~ Luke 9:23-26

What does it mean in this time in my life to deny myself, take up my cross and follow him? How do I dream without being prideful? how do I hope without turning back toward Egypt and hoping for that which is no longer there? What do I do with my wandering spirit?

I feel my heart torn towards different ends of the earth. I am so fortunate to be loved by those who want me near. Who would have for me to call that place home. But where is my place? Where is my home? Sometimes i’m frustrated by the sympathetic wanting, and I want to ask for help. Being on the job market is yet another test of whether I’m just longing for a pat on the head and some reassurance someone wants me. It’s not all like that….but it could be and i’m resisting that tug towards narcissism and pride.

I’m okay with not knowing where is next. I’m okay with my life continuing to be a geographical adventure as much as a spiritual and emotional one! I’m okay with the possibilities hanging in the air like a sea haar hangs in the scottish twilight. Just as a haar is moist and full and yet not foreboding even though the rolling fogs and sea winds which hail its arrival often bring a cold and damp evening so to the idea that there’s something on the horizon is fraught with possibility but not foreboding.

Yet, I’m also not okay with not knowing. I’m impatient. I want to be finished and done. But that would be shortchanging all the work that has been done. There is no joy in the cream without the milk and the butter. Besides, i’m lactose intolerant and I can’t eat the cream; at least not without a dose of lactase. The point is, i’m in that place where I want to know, especially because it seems like it would make the hard yards of the moment and affirm my desire to plan. Instead I choose to find joy in the exploration of these possibilities.

I feel scattered. I get pulled away by things not my thesis too much. I don’t get the kind of work I want to get done done. I’m nervous about whether I’m balancing the need for sleep, as a consequence of the kind of crashing tiredness that comes when your bones cry out for supine discipline, with the compulsion to meet my own goals and the demands of the limits of resources i’ve been given to steward.

My heart has a home. The rest of me is struggling to catch up, however.


Life: UnmaskedThis challenge and invitation from Joy in conjunction with last monday’s post about “getting real” prompted my involvement with This Life: Unmasked.

This is my second post for the challenge. Here is my first: Life: UnMasked and my second, Ready or Not.

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  • Joy

    I wonder if this ambivalence and happy-but-not-happy feeling is exactly what God wants us to feel about our lives here. Content but yearning, finding joy here but knowing the best is still ahead. I don't know.

    Thank you for sharing this week!

    • Goannatree

      thanks for your kind comment. This project is becoming an important contemplative moment in my week, without being self-centred.

      "Content but yearning, finding joy here but knowing the best is still ahead"
      I think that's exactly it!

  • Kelli Wommack

    I know the feeling of scatteredness and of what seems, non-productive time. Thank you for sharing so honestly. I have to trust that God is still at work even when we are unaware and uncertain.

    • Goannatree

      I think it's a feature of being human.
      thanks for taking the time to comment, kelli. I really appreciate it!

  • Amy Nabors

    I agree with joy. Perhaps this in between is where we are supposed to be. Yet I understand. Even though my circumstances are different with husband and child I still feel that tug of wanting to know my place. Not in the physical sense of home as home is where they are but in trying to find my purpose outside of them. To not be defined solely as wife and mom. I’ve often said that I can have peace about waiting on God’s plan but still be restless in the waiting.

    • Goannatree

      it's interesting how this applies to each of us in different ways, at different times in our lives. Thankyou so much for commenting, Amy. It means alot to me.

  • Pingback: Like Fireflies in the night and Swallows in the morning — Goannatree()

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