It’s Monday morning. I returned home late last night after spending 4 days at my 20th college reunion. 4 days away from my family. 4 days with amazing women who inspire me. 4 days in a place that is equal parts natural wonder and historical beauty. 4 days of laughter, memories, tears, and love. 4 days that went a long way toward healing my heart and soul, and gave me back a piece of myself that I lost somewhere along the way.
Several times in recent days, I looked out on the waters of Cayuga Lake and felt a peace that I had not experienced in a very long time. All weekend, I tried to figure out what I was feeling in that place, and with those people, that I had not been feeling elsewhere. Then I sat at the airport last night scrolling through the dozens of Facebook pictures that show me laughing, and smiling, and genuinely joyful and realized that somewhere along the way I had misplaced a piece of myself. Somewhere I lost my joyful confidence.
At some point in my college career I read the following quote from George Eliot, “Hold up your head! You were not made for failure, you were made for victory. Go forward with a joyful confidence.” The concept of joyful confidence struck a deep chord with me and for many years I tried to live my life, and make both big and small decisions, with the idea of joyful confidence in mind. For a long, long time that worked. I am not saying that I was always joyful, or always confident….there have been many difficult seasons of life in the past 20 years, and during many of them there was little joy and lack of self-confidence, but through everything I never felt like I was unmoored or lacking in direction.
Then came the current season of life. The one in which I find myself trying to parent an adolescent through struggles caused by anxiety and panic disorders. This is a season of life that is messy, and broken, and heart wrenching. It is a season of life in which I have attempted to be proactive, and yet often find myself having to be reactive as we never really know what each day, week, month will be like for our son. It is a season where the need to ease the pain and struggles of my son, have left me very little time or energy for anything else. It is a season of life that has left me – for possibly the first time in my life – feeling unmoored. It is a season of life where I lost my joyful confidence.
Being in Aurora this weekend, allowed me the space I needed to reconnect with who I am and what I want in life – it helped me find my joyful confidence once more. The reality of this messy season I am in has not changed, but I am feeling better equipped for fighting this battle and finding victory.
Life is hard and we’re all a little broken, but how will you choose to walk through this life? If you are feeling unmoored, take some time to find the people or the place that helps you reconnect with who you are and what you want in life. Find your joyful confidence.