When You Tell a Wanderer to Stay Put for Awhile

She might panic for a little bit, searching for a place to call home

In searching, she might discover plenty of options. Options that include wild and crazy, random ventures as well as the most normal sounding paths. You might hear the rhythm of possibility dancing in her heartbeat.
She might embrace this wandering of a different kind, this new adventure
She might forget how to string words into sentences – both legibly and audibly
She might lose sight and grasp of objective and desire
She might get caught up in a mountain of detail
She might sob and it might be ugly
Β A little lot might come where that came from…
However, we know the story does not end there. The sun rises the next morning, the hours tick by, and more oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide. After acknowledging the ever-presence of her sweet Refuge and many deep breaths later, she might get up from the ground and do something…just to see what might happen.
It goes like this:
I boarded a plane at London Heathrow and hopped off at Los Angeles International with the last few years of my life in tow this January, quite uncertain of what would be next. Poetic right? New Year, new journey – or something of that nature.

The first order of business upon return, as it goes for anyone who was been away for a time, was to reacquaint with so many names and faces – all the way from down in San Diego and up to the Bay Area. Stories and smiles were exchanged as friends and family welcomed me back. Thankfully, I was able to attend the Calvary Chapel Missions Conference in January – much exhortation and encouragement was spoken to me as well as plenty of words of grace and peace. Some were so kind as to brace me and to give equipment for the shock that was surely soon to come, but no one could have thoroughly prepared me for what was coming without delay.

Some call this reverse culture shock; whilst others, “reentry”. Still more humans might define this as a season of transition. Whatever you call It, it is no joke.

These past few months have been a bit of a blur, to be honest. Just as I had touched on in the beginning, many tears were shed and many feels were felt. On plenty of days, I found myself lying on the floor with no reason as to how I got there and no desire to get up. The atypical day in which I felt particularly productive, I gave myself tasks and projects because productivity typically helps an uneasy mind. Sorted through my closet and got rid of some old clothes, picked up my crochet hooks again, climbed a couple rocks in the woods…all whilst crying out to Jesus from the depths of my turmoil-filled heart.
One particular defining moment, in the midst of all of this, occurred when I was visiting a church one evening. Everyone was singing along to this chorus, “Christ is enough for me. Christ is enough for me. Everything I need is in you. Everything I need…I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back – no turning back!” There I was again, choking up, on the verge of tears. Pull it together, Vanessa. You are in public. Stop being such a hot mess. Oh, but as hot and as messy as they were, these tears were much sweeter. Somewhere, deep inside the recesses of my heart, there was resounding affirmation of these words being sung. Surely, this must be true – it really is the only thing that makes sense. Heart, do you dare to sing of Christ’s sufficiency? Even if it can barely escape your lips, no louder than a strained whisper, remind yourself, “Christ is ENOUGH for me. Christ IS enough for me. Everything I need is in you.” Sometimes we humans make commitments that we do not cannot fully understand the depths of in the moment. That must be why we call them leaps of faith, right? Whether the commitment is to a life of carrying a cross and following Jesus until death, a marriage, a set of outfits for a trip, or a payment plan of some sort, you cannot fully understand the weight of it until said commitment is tested.
Decide for yourself. Will you follow Him? Through every and any season? Note that your indecision to follow is a decision to not follow.
If you decide to follow Jesus and without turning back, you will not regret it. Surely, you will be “ruined for the ordinary”, but who wants to be ordinary anyways?
The times that shake you up help you to realize the magnitude of your commitments. Somewhere, somehow amongst all of the uncertainty, I came to a deeper realization that faith in Christ is so real. Like, there is something within me that is so unshakeable, it cannot be quenched nor questioned – I know that is none other than Christ in me, the hope of glory.
Well, all of this following led me here, where I find myself again – learning how to be led by God in an unfamiliar land. It was like I woke up one day and asked “Well how in the world did I get here…but more importantly, what am I going to do now?” The bizarre thing is that this unfamiliar land is where I am from. The sights, the sounds, and the smells are supposed to be familiar, right? These are the things and the life I was supposed to miss, they tell me. I should slip right in and just tralala…right? Eat In N Out, drink iced beverages, and be merry?
The truth is, that It does not go so smoothly sometimes.
Some days I cannot shake off this heavy, inexplicable anxiety.
Some days I feel like I am flapping my wings, trying to find a place to land.
Some days I can hardly formulate words, much less – sentences.
Some how days turned into weeks, which turned into months and I am finally posting a blog about returning to the land of the stars and the stripes, a blessed land indeed. I do wonder what exactly brought me to this place of being able to write about these things. Was it that moment somewhere in between two and three AM, with a migraine and a stillness of heart that uttered the resounding “it’s time”, or was it the strengthening glimmer of the moon shining through my window? Perhaps it was a combination of these, accompanied by the rawness that these hours birth in a sleepy soul. Whatever the cause may be, I know that God can use a number of means to speak to a listening ear and to calm a wandering heart.

Not sure of what these next months will look like, or where this will take me, but I do know that my life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven. I am certain that the Wanderings of Waness are not over – not because of my will, but because of His.

The number one thing you learn as a wanderer is that you do and you can because your only true home is in heaven.

Lord knows I just want to be out “there” so I know the in between will not be easy, but His grace is obviously more than enough and I know that He has made all of the arrangements. Meanwhile, I will be slinging shots of espresso downtown and readjusting my sails to ready for when the wind comes to blow me away.

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One thought on “When You Tell a Wanderer to Stay Put for Awhile

  1. “Some days I cannot shake off this heavy, inexplicable anxiety. Some days I feel like I am flapping my wings, trying to find a place to land.”

    I love how well you articulate the experience, Waness. I relate to your pain, I relate to your anxiety, I relate to your moments spent glued to the floor and above all I relate to your faith that the future is going to unfold in ways that make all of this become clear with hindsight.

    While I think the way we word that faith might be different, I definitely think we feels it the same and I’m so, so grateful we’ve crossed paths on that super spiritual journey instigated by our inexplicable inner wanderlust. Love you and your words!

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