We’re back. Nashville, TN, U.S.A.
Our beautiful and at times arduous journey around the world has brought us back home. In the midst of glowing hues of Sri Lankan sunsets and fourteen hour rickety train rides through the rainforest, we realized that our emotional and spiritual health needed the support of a consistent space, truthful friends, and wise guidance.
“The many contradictions in our lives – such as being home while feeling homeless, being busy while feeling bored, being popular while feeling lonely, being believers while feeling many doubts – can frustrate, irritate, and even discourage us. They make us feel that we are never fully present. Every door that opens for us makes us see how many more doors are closed.” -Henri Nouwen
We unpacked all of our belongings from storage into a temporary apartment yesterday. As I unwrapped the coffee mugs in our new kitchen, I felt the tugging contradiction of being so glad to be back in Nashville, where I can share a cup of tea and heart stories with a childhood friend on my cloud couch; and at the same time feeling the sadness that this chapter of our world journey has come to a close and I won’t be drinking tea with sherpas in the majestic mountains of Nepal learning from their way of life. This traveling journey door has closed.
Nouwen continues, “But there is another response. These same contradictions can bring us into touch with a deeper longing, for the fulfillment of a desire that lives beneath all desires and that only God can satisfy. Contradictions, thus understood, create the friction that can help us move toward God.”
As I move through the friction, I’m continuing on a deeper spiritual journey yet in a familiar place. God also continues to open doors here at home and show me that ultimately my soul connection with Love is of the utmost importance, and that he has me anywhere and everywhere in the world.
Thank you to everyone we met along our journey. Each story, smile, and tear that was shared has deeply changed me, and will continue to transform me as I spend the next six months exploring all of the footage and photos I captured over the past months. Be on the lookout…
And finally, my deepest, and grandest gratitude for the Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellowship for this opportunity and dream come true. Thank you to Sandy Stahl for your guidance and understanding, Sara Bickell for your smile and encouragement, Linda Carter for your unwavering support, Christopher Peak for walking along side me, Sam Girgus for your words that have changed my course, Will Akers for wearing many hats and being the best at all of them, Jonathon Rattner for your supportive critique, all the previous fellows for your advice and inspiring passions, and Mr. Keegan for giving me the opportunity to grow in ways I never knew possible.
Onto the next chapter…