CLARITY: A Three-Month Check Up
Elusive, impossible, beautiful, enchanting, unreachable.
I stepped out of a year focused on rhythms, and wanted desperately for things to fall into place in a way that made sense. I wanted things to be obvious, to be undeniable. I wanted a path illuminated before me. I wanted clarity.
But funny, how underneath all of those wishes, all I wanted was control.
I didn't see it then, but I see it now, three months into this clarity-chasing. I see all I wanted was control.
But these past three months? This searching for clarity? It's been more about darkness than it's been about lights illuminating before me. It's been more about hard work, about getting my hands dirty, about making changes, about tearing things down in order to rebuild.
It hasn't been easy.
I know now that "clarity" will never be a destination I arrive at, because this path, this plan, this life, it's only fully known and understood by Him.
But the journey? It's clarifying, and that's the gift of it all. It's a process. It's happening to me, and I'm making it happen too, and it's all such a refining, wrecking, redeeming work even in the chaos.
In seeking clarity... I've embarked on a capsule wardrobe journey. Less in my closet, more simplicity, more clarity about what clothes I love and what works for my lifestyle and my personal style too.
In seeking clarity... I've stepped back from creative commitments to better honor the most pressing priorities on my plate.
In seeking clarity... I've purged my Facebook friends list, further purged my email signups, purged my Instagram and Twitter follow lists, purged the voicemails and the texts I've held on to for too long.
In seeking clarity... I've shared more openly about struggling with anxiety and depression. I've talked about panic attacks and about how I'm choosing to show up even when it's hard. I'm attempting to clear that fog by not staying silent about it, and the community that's rallied around me is deeply encouraging and hugely comforting.
In seeking clarity... I've worked to set better boundaries. Do not disturb turns on at 9 pm and my iPhone get set aside on the far away charger not near my bed. Notifications for all apps are off. All sounds are silenced, always. All cellular data is turned off, so when I'm out in the world, nothing on my phone works and I must be present instead.
In seeking clarity... I'm seeking community. I'm choosing to sit around tables and gather in groups with people who speak truth, who ask questions, who let me cry, who make me laugh, who push through the hard stuff with me and point me back to Jesus relentlessly when things feel messy.
In seeking clarity... I wrote out an updated list of the kinds of things I'd want or hope for in any potential boyfriend, because knowing what matters to me (although it changes and isn't a list of musts) helps me say no to what doesn't line up, and say yes to possibilities that do align with what's important to me.
In seeking clarity... I'm finding more of my voice. I'm realizing what makes my heart beat, and I'm not staying silent about it. I'm stepping away from titles and labels that felt safe when I was growing up, and I'm finding my own way in the world even when it looks different from the ways I was raised.
In seeking clarity... I made a budget. I'm paying attention to where my money goes. I hate it, because I'm so bad at money management, but it's eye-opening and it's helping me slowly starting to change my bad habits.
In seeking clarity... I've made conscious changes to my lifestyle. I rarely consume alcohol now, and I don't go out to bars or parties anymore. The fog and lack of focus that comes from drinking is one that's so easy to avoid, and one I don't think I'll ever go back to.
In seeking clarity... I've gone back to keeping the radio off on my morning commutes so I can pray out loud in the silence of my car. That time is precious to me now, and I work so many things out while driving around my city just talking and crying and wrestling with God.
This year of "clarity" will surely be nothing like I anticipated. It already hasn't been.
But it has been better, even thought it has been harder.
It has been more transformative.
It has been more awakening.
It has been convicting.
It has been more humbling.
I know now I'll never fully arrive at a place of total clarity. I don't think I'd really want that anymore, either. What I'm longing for now, what I'm seeking in this year, is a deeper, truer, fuller, richer closeness with my Creator. He knows all. Clarity is His alone. And the glimpses of it He gives me? I'm grateful for them. But even in the confusion, even in the fog, even in the hard seasons, even in the doubt and stress and worry and anxiety, He is my Rock, my salvation, my Cornerstone.
The only clarity I know, the only clarity I need, is Christ indeed.