We call that spinning, the speaker said at a small gathering I attended in Chicago yesterday.
Spinning was in reference to that feeling when things feel out of control – or maybe that they actually are out of control. And you’re neither here nor there.
I know spinning.
My world has been spinning for the past year. There is something about family that creates order and routine, and with the significant loss and change of my family; the life I once knew is gone. I’ve done everything I can to slow down the spin but on it whirls. It feels like chaos.
People call it a new normal, but nothing about it feels normal. I actually feel incredibly lost. I don’t know what to do with all the extra time that I now have. It’s certainly not for a lack of effort. I have tried everything under the sun – from jet skiing to drum lessons, strawberry picking to zumba classes. I’ve pursued every possible thing I can think of to be interested in - nothing is sticking.
So after the strawberry patch didn’t satiate my desires, I thought I’d just reinvent myself. I assumed if I soul-searched enough I could find my new normal. Like it would just call to me from the fireplace if I stared at it long enough. But all the soul searching led me to this truth:
I love laundry, but I have less of it.
I love meal planning and cooking, yet I have less meals to prepare.
I love Bella most, and I have her less.
My happy is lost.
I am lost.
I create happy as best I can. I choose contentment in all the fleeting moments of the day. And I delight in sour patch kids a bit too much. Yet still, everything feels a bit void and empty. I’ve spent weeks just sitting and spinning on what I should and could do to change my lostness. One option even involved adopting a kid, but quickly the other sane version of me vetoed that option out – like hit it out to left field for some other player in the game to pick up.
I’ve asked God to shooooow me.
It seems I’m supposed to be stuck here in the land of the lost.
But you know, I remember a sermon once. It was about how in the beginning God made the heavens and the earth. He didn’t just make it out of nothing. He actually made it out of tohuw. In Hebrew, tohuw means total chaos and confusion.
It says the earth was formless and empty (total chaos). God first created light and separates it from the darkness so there could be day and night. I think this must have been to establish time. Which, I’m a little upset about because time seems to always mess everything up, amiright?
He continues on to separates water from water. This makes heaven and earth. I think maybe this is where the idea of time AND space comes from - I mean, maybe?
Then the very next thing he does is he gathers the waters into one place so that dry land can appear.
Thing is, we have a God who makes order out of chaos, and over and over again he’s using boundaries to create. Boundaries are at the core of creation. And creation is the action or process of bringing something into existence.
Thinking about ALL the things I could be was feeling like a whole lotta chaos. It was making me feel lost. But I’m here. I’m supposed to be here. So tonight I made a list of priorities. These were my boundaries, and this was my shot at creating something out of nothing. Because I think priorities ARE boundaries.
And as I sat and listed out what I want my focus to be on and what is important to me, I started to see myself a bit more clearly. The path started to unfold. All of a sudden I wasn’t a wondering nomad with no direction. I was a girl with a map. In any given moment moving forward if I wonder what to do or where to go with my time and energy, I just need to look at my list. It’ll at least tell me where my next foot should go.
Part of my lost was trying to grasp for a new me instead of just a new normal.
Maybe you feel a tiny lost, or maybe a whole lotta lost? Maybe you need a priority list too? It’s possible it might shed light not on all the things that other people out there in the world are doing, but it might just expose who you are right here in today. It might show you what is yours to do.
Show me, God. I prayed.
Show me what matters to you, he responded.