Need for Connection

This year has had me question so much. Pregnancy was exhausting, humbling and frustrating. COVID has left little room for taking a breath. Parenthood has taken away my control and restructured my life.

There is one theme I have felt deeply for years that has come to a peak. There has been a lack of depth in my life. I crave it. I can almost feel it on a physical level. I have bandaids and good habits that sustain me for the short term, but this last year has taken all of that away from me. The way I think has changed a lot.

Doubt is a big part of my days. Doubt in my work, my parenting, my relationships, my faith. I second guess almost every piece of my day. I can now see how my isolation has just become an echo chamber for my thoughts. I don’t have a chance to empty my brain and bounce my thoughts and feelings anywhere. It’s not healthy. My heart and mind are very weary.

I think a weird/hard symptom of our technology and social media filled world is the percieved proximity we have to connections and audience we all crave. I have often dreamed thought and dreamed about being an “influencer” to be a successful blogger, to actually commit to writing. Hell, I’ve thought about being a youtuber. I just so deeply desire connection. I keep relying on and believing in the lie that the internet could hold any of the connection I really need.

We can all absolutely agree that there is no replacement for face to face genuine interaction. Especially after this year. But I (and we) still seek to fill those needs with cheapened versions. How do we meet these real and intense needs?

I honestly just don’t know. I don’t know how God fits into this equation either. I know the sunday school answers of “God is always with us” and “He fulfills all of our needs”. I believe these to be fully true, but I don’t know how to make them real for me for in this time of high need. I’m sure I could put new habits into practice, find a new devotional to read, listen to more sermons, drink a better coffee. Whatever.

I know and believe in the never ending depth and connection that God is. I really hope for it to be fully realized in my life. I want to know what a deep, dynamic, loving relationship with the God that is all of those things. To find him in the relationships with other humans in this world. To find and hope to this solid foundation so if and when I land back in this place, I know where to run.

Aspen Leaves

I did one of my favorite things a few weeks ago. I went up to the mountains to look at the aspen leaves that have changed to yellow. It’s a big event for us here in Colorado and I have always relished the beauty that fall brings here.

Now this year we had a cranky baby in the car and COVID had made the small mountain towns even more like ghost towns, but I wasn’t able to go last year and I was pretty determined to go this year.

Even though I’ve driven this road almost every year of my life, this year held a special kind of magic. We were driving through a beautiful stretch of the pass with high peaks and low valleys and I caught myself feeling in awe of what I was seeing. My husband makes fun of me every year for how I react to the leaves. I make weird noises and just keep saying over and over, “It’s so pretty!” I didn’t make much noise this year because of how daunting it felt to be in the midst of things so much grander than myself.

For better and worse, 2020 had been such an insular year. We were quarantined, still maintain a small social circle, there’s been no travel at all. It’s been a unique year in that sense. On top of the world changing, my own personal world changed. I navigated through pregnancy and now am in the midst of motherhood. I don’t have groups of moms to meet and hang out with regularly. I don’t have a normal church service to attend. I have seen family and a few friends. I have been so much in my own small world for a very long time.

Taking a trip to the mountains usually is something my husband and I do every few months. Living right next to America’s Mountain still is a thrill for me. But this trip to see the leaves was eye-opening. For the first time in months, I was reminded of how small I am in this world. I had been so big in my mind and the Holy Spirit was kind to remind me of my smallness.

We are all small pieces in the world around us. Small, but still so significant. There is so much peace in knowing that we are seen and loved by God even when we get lost in the crowd to others. We are like each aspen leaf, unique and significant. When put together and viewed from a higher perspective, we can inspire awe.
What are the ways you find and embrace your smallness?

What are ways you find and embrace your smallness?