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  • Writer's pictureChar Seawell

“When the music fades, and all is stripped away…”

Moving to a new destination is more than just a change of address. It is more than just sorting through possessions to determine what is worth moving. It is more than just painful partings with family and friends.

Moving is a demolition project to discover what is to be found in the foundation of ourselves and what new construction will look like in the core of our beings.

Only the demolition project isn’t slow and methodical. It is a tornado that rips through our soul’s home leaving us disoriented on a barren landscape.

At least that is what it has been for me.

In the distractions of a well-worn life path, even in the difficulties of life, I have always known what to expect and what is expected of me. Thirty five years in a singular location framed who I was and how I was to be in almost every situation. There is a certain comfort in that.

But over the years, I began to feel like I had a host of “metaphorical outfits” in my closet, one for every occasion. And when I had to encounter the world, I would ask myself, “Who do I need to be in this situation?” putting on that self in order to fit in.

It is a skill honed in a complex and difficult family of origin that taught me to always look for land mines and do whatever I could to avoid an unexpected blast. When you grow up this way, being a chameleon becomes second nature. Anything to avoid the words that wound and the actions that scar.

Here in this new place there are no distractions or expectations. I live a tabula rasa life which is devoid of expectations but has also created new battle fields.

You see, I say I am a Holy Spirit led girl with my palms open, but here, when the Spirit leads me to an unexpected place, my first inclination has been to refuse the assignment - not graciously, I might add.

More often than not, I have to be dragged kicking and screaming into rigorous self-examination that gets to the core of who I am. It is not an easy process and definitely not for the faint of heart. And it is rarely a pretty picture.

Devoid of an established “outfit” to put on, I am left only with myself and, still so unsure of who that is, my skin feels raw and tender. I have met incredibly kind people who have embraced this unknown me, and yet I feel myself on guard, raising the quills on my spine for protection.

But I truly don’t want to be walled off. I don’t want to try and figure out who I need to be in order to fit in. I don’t want to live in fear and mistrust convinced an undiscovered mine lurks nearby.

I just want to be myself, whoever that is, and

“simply come, longing to express something that’s of worth….”

And what is my worth? What is my value if I come unclothed with nothing more than me? Who is that person when all is stripped away?

I have no answers, only suspicions. I suspect that I am clawing my way back to the person I was created to be. I suspect that I am going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable for awhile as I learn how to make peace with the sound of my own voice.

And I suspect, at the end of this process, that I will know more deeply what I have always known - that He who created me long before time loves me deeply and knows my worth even when I don’t.

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