The plane pulls into the cavernous terminal, which by the time I manhandle my hand luggage up 2 flights of stairs is almost empty. It is over 30 more minutes of walking and stairs, trains, lifts and empty corridors before I even reach passport control. The very halls echo loneliness. The spartan space screams isolation. I left the warmth of family to be here biting back tears at the vast expanse of cement and tile and nothing. I fight the incredible urge to decide I definitively do not belong at all in this place before I even find the baggage claim.
But isn’t that a heart cry inside of all of us as we travel, especially through the spartan spaces and seasons of life, to find where we belong?
I pick up my bag from the moving belt and am quite the sight. Disheveled hair, backpack, cabin bag, suitcase all draped over crutches and arms barely fitting through the door trying desperately to smile without my lip quivering. I am a seasoned traveler I chide myself. I should not be reacting like this. GET a GRIP Michele- you live in a war zone. You certainly can handle an unfriendly airport.
I half fall through the exit doors into the arrival hall and I see hope. The first friendly, smiling face I have seen since touching down almost hour ago. What a difference a smile makes. A greeting. Warmth. A hug. To be welcomed into the land you are visiting. To not be treated as a foreigner but as family waiting to be found.
The knots in my neck loosen ever so slightly. I smile back and will the tears brimming at the edges of my eyelids to stay put. But in joy they spill anyway.
So what about you? Have you ever felt the echoes of loneliness; the heart ache of wanting to belong, be accepted, be welcomed, be seen, be valued? There truly is One Who walks even hollow hallways and empty expanses closer to us than the air we breathe.
As part of my whirlwind travels through North America in the next six weeks, I am really honored to journeying to Pennsylvania to attend a gathering of women writers and bloggers put on by an amazing community of women for women known as (In)Courage. They are committed to genuine connection online and (in)RealLife… Committed to being the warm smile and safe embrace waiting when you burst forth into the arrival’s hall longing to belong after a long walk alone.
If you are stopping by here today from Mandy’s blog, please feel especially welcome. I hope you might decide to stay awhile and even join this journey on the unpaved road into His heart. The journeys that matter most always start deep inside of us.
As part of the celebration leading up to Relevant, the kind folks at DaySpring have allowed me to choose a free gift to give away from their lovely selections here! In blog-world this bit is called a giveaway. We have never done one of those here before! I am pretty excited. Learning lots from the ladies over at incourage already.
If you know me, you know how much I love jewelry and I have a little bit of a thing for the metaphorical truths of planting our roots in heaven and bearing fruit on earth.
I loved this little set of jewelry from DaySpring and so it is my joy to offer it to one reader as a gift. In order to enter the contest, simply tell us where you most feel like you belong in the comments of this post (which just for this giveaway will be on for commenting between now and Oct 31 when the contest ends.)
I will contact our lucky winner directly after she (or he) is drawn at random from those who enter to find out the important details so DaySpring can send on this special set of jewelry.
And now I have the honor of introducing Mary DeMuth, one of the other eight sponsorship winners for Relevant 2011. She is a woman filled with insight and is living an amazing adventure with Jesus. She is a prolific writer (12 books) including recent releases The Muir Place, You Can Raise Courageous and Confident Kids, and her memoir Thin Places.
Mary is a wife and mom, has planted a church in France, travels and speaks and shares amazing practical insight on her website pertaining to writing and publishing. But at the core of her message is a poignant call to authenticity and wholeness, letting those her words touch and her life impacts know Jesus is real and active and is available to heal, restore and renew your life today.