the thunderstorm seasons of life

The last eighteen months of my life have been this mixture of awesome and fear and joy and sadness and a whole bunch of new. When I packed my family in my van and moved almost one thousand miles from the state I’ve lived for forty plus years I was brave, but didn’t realize it until months later. I want you to hear this, because I know there are so many of you wondering about your own bravery.

You see, I let go of everything I knew, every safety net, every normal.

And part of me wants to filter it, like that Sierra filter on Instagram which smooths everything out, and make me  want to tell you how easy it has been, how great it has been. Because most of the time it has been freeing. But in the midst, in the challenges of it have been these growing places of newness.

I’ve struggled with worry.
I’ve struggled with fear.
I’ve struggled with what have I done?

And in the process I wrote a book which unearthed so many mindsets I’ve had. As a result these eighteen months have been like one of those summer days where the sun blazes and then a storm rolls through and then the sun blazes again followed by another storm. The humidity never settles, you always feel another storm on the horizon, in a way.

It’s hard making those big life changes.

But just because something is hard and challenging does not mean it is not the right path.

I think it’s easy to live in comfortable and to allow the fear of the unknown stop us from following our heart or doing the hard things. I knew I needed to move – not just for work – but for my family. I knew we needed a fresh start, a clean slate, a breath in life again. And even though it is wonderful and I’ve seen them grow in amazing ways, there are still the storms that roll through because our atmosphere is still unsettled.

That’s what change is like: that thundering days of summer.

The funny thing about that is that I love those days. Even now, I’m sitting on my front porch listening to the rumbles of another storm approaching and feeling the weight of the humidity on it. There’s something electrical and energizing about it because of the unpredictability. I know there are so many of you who have those dreams in your heart, but following them means walking into a season of unknown. Don’t let the unknown freeze you from moving.

You see, when you’re in the midst of change and unrest you are also the most alive. Have you ever been on a porch while the storm rages around? It’s a mixture of fear and elation and energy and awareness. You are looking and pushing and trying and learning. And you are teaching your children to no longer fear the storm but to thrive within. Life was never meant to have this place of utopian chill. Life is full of daring adventure. It’s up to you and me to grab hold of it.

I know the challenges. I know the tears shed and the nights where you lay awake wondering what you’re doing. I also know that when you choose to no longer let fear stop you that there is unbelievable joy and bravery.

I believe in you.

One last thing, finally, after eighteen months, my home in Nashville feels like home. I knew it when I flew back from my daughter’s graduation in Seattle. As the plane descended I looked out of the window at the lights of the city below. And in that moment I realized it was no longer the lights of Minneapolis, but the lights of Nashville. And I knew I was home.

So despite where you are in your journey, even in the tough places, there will come a moment where you can breathe deeply and realize that you’ve made it.

~Rachel

#findingjoy

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