What are the things you most yearn for at this point in your life? Are they the same as they were a year ago? Five years ago?
I find as I get ready to hit that mid-century mark the things I truly yearn for are so much simpler but so much bigger now than they used to be.
When I was in my 20’s, I felt lost and alone. I didn’t really know who I was or what direction I was headed. I yearned for feelings of safety and security; yearned to feel in control of my life and the things in it. I longed to have the life I imagined others did. I remember looking in windows of homes as I walked by imagining what the families who lived there were like. If it was a moderate home, I would imagine a happy family with a loving couple and a a child or two, probably a dog in the back yard. In more contemporary homes, I imagined the power couple. Strong, assertive ladder climbers who were making money hand over fist, going to exciting parties and traveling the world. Regardless of the home, the people I imagined there always had so much more than I felt I did and I longed for just an ounce of the happiness I imagined they all had.
In my 30’s, I truly longed for a family and a career that would make me feel proud – and more importantly, would make my parents proud. I reached and I reached, but even though I got married and had 3 stepsons I was helping to raise, it never felt like it was quite enough.I tried going to seminary but the travel and stress of the studies exacerbated an illness I didn’t know I had and my plans were significantly detoured.
I did what I could to get back on track, though. I found a job for a wonderful non-profit organization but somehow the yearning never went away. I hadn’t found that missing piece yet; that thing or things that would make me feel complete.
My 40’s? This was a time of turmoil and change. At the beginning, I was getting a divorce and felt like one of the Israelites who had finally stopped wandering in the desert but I soon found out that the wandering hadn’t ended, it had merely changed locations.
Still dealing with illness and grief from the loss of a life I had hoped to build, I don’t think there was energy to pinpoint even one thing I was yearning for at the time. So many things were changing that I never had my feet on the ground long enough to figure out where I was and where I wanted to be. Eventually, I felt the need to come home, back to Colorado. I wanted to see if going home would put me in a place where I felt I fit in better. I wanted to see if my geographical location was the cause of my overall sense of alienation. I hoped if I could be near my family I could repair bridges and be around my dad in his elder years. I was able to mend fences and build relationships that hadn’t really ever developed, but the undefined longing was still there.
Now here I am, almost 50, and my yearnings are so clear they throb in my chest like a heartbeat.
I yearn for meaningful relationships that bring joy to my daily life and make me reach outside of my comfort zone to seek new challenges. I yearn for a special relationship that will feel like a partnership rather than a mistake; true love rather than the only place I could find.
I yearn for the ability to walk away from a job that is merely a paycheck and walk to something that lights up my soul. I long for a way to use my writing and my creative heart to truly make a difference my my life and in others’ lives.
I yearn for the chance to travel and rest; a chance to see new places and return to old.
But of all the things I yearn for, my biggest hearts desire is to continue to question and seek answers to who God is, what His purpose for me is, and most importantly, how I can learn to make that purpose a reality.
I want to be able to see – as much as my human eyes will let me – how big my God really is.
I feel as though something shifted in my soul in the past few months – like my eyes have finally been opened and I see so clearly how multi-dimensional God is and how much we dismiss His greatness and power.
I want to come to know the God who is not bound by our human rules and regulations; the God who has created things like unseen dimensions and beings we have yet to know about.
I want to learn more about the God of other faiths so I can maybe find pieces of Him that are lacking in Christianity.
Most of all, I yearn to help others see the God I now see; to help others look beyond the pain they see in front of them and look up to see the wonder that awaits them; to help others look outside of themselves and see the glories of the bigger purpose that is the now and the not yet.
I cannot say my yearning is necessarily comfortable. I feel on edge, anxious and impatient. But despite the discomfort, I know this is a fleeting feeling and the joy that awaits me on the other side is absolutely worth this temporary pain.