Revisiting a beloved home
Recently, my husband and I visited one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever lived – the North Shore of Boston. Driving around the area reminded us of all the reasons we loved it.
We explored the quaint colonial towns, took the gorgeous drive out to our favorite beach, reminisced about the great hiking trails just a few miles from our old house, and recalled the quick and easy trips north when we spent weekends skiing with my brother and his family.
As we drove through our old neighborhood, we found the park where I met my first friend, the children’s gymnastics school where I met another, and the neighborhood nursery school where I met yet another. We parked in front of our old house and smiled as we remembered our little ones tearing around the wrap-around porch.
I looked at my husband and said, with a smile, “We would have had a very happy life here, wouldn’t we?” He nodded and smiled back at me.
As painful as it was to say goodbye to the North Shore when we moved to the Philadelphia suburb where we live now, it didn’t take long for us to root into our new home. While it takes longer to get to the beach or ski resorts, our little town is exceptionally lovely. Most importantly, our life and community here are full, rich, and happy.
There is more than one path to fulfillment for each of us
Our little jaunt to Massachusetts made clear to me the wealth of options for happiness that we each have in life. There is more than one path to fulfillment for each of us. I do not believe it is possible to miss out on the life that we’re meant to live. The spirit of life is just too creative and loving for that to happen.
One of the Bible verses I quote the most often in spiritual direction sessions gets right to this point:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
I often say that my favorite part of this verse is one little letter: the “s” on the end of plan. Not only is God’s plan for you and me filled with hope for prosperity and a bright future, but God has more than one of these plans. I take this to mean that if I zig instead of zag, God will still have me covered.
Life and all its changes are always about growth
Our little trip to Massachusetts provided supporting evidence for this deeply rooted faith of mine. When my husband and I moved our family away from a wonderful place filled with wonderful people, it felt like a colossal mistake. We were so richly blessed in so many ways when we lived in New England, it felt almost disrespectful of the magnanimity of Life.
Yet, as we settled into our new town (and I did the hard work of letting go of my old life in order to be open to my new life) the blessings did not dry up. Far from it! In fact, when several years ago it looked like we were going to have to move again, the threat of being uprooted from our home was awful.
It took a lot of time, a great deal of spiritual direction, and a herculean effort to surrender to what was happening, but I finally came to rest on the solid foundation of trust that Life – even the painful parts – is always about growth and becoming. I slowly let go of my resistance to moving to a new home and opened my heart and mind to the possibilities that Life might have in store for us.
Turning inward to the spiritual can make life’s challenges more navigable
While that move did not come to pass, navigating its possibility was a profoundly challenging and enriching process of spiritual growth. Perhaps it was the perspective I gained from having to let go (even if just in my heart and soul) of my grateful, loving grip on another beloved home, that allowed me to have the epiphany I had in Massachusetts – there are many right paths for me and for you in this life.
It is my hope that being reminded of this truth will help you and me to stay excited, open, and curious the next time a change comes knocking at the door.
Are you looking for some support as you navigate a change in life? Spiritual direction can help. Let’s talk!