It’s been almost a month since I wrote of some in-between feelings that have been strong lately; feeling in-between callings, in-between physical homes, in-between identities. I’m amazed by how much of my experience of motherhood has been this journey of identity–a steady revisiting of who I really am at my core, what makes me deeply happy, what ignites my vocational passions, and the truth that I am (we are) whole without packaged labels of profession.
I do miss home, the Gulf Coast home in Alabama with pecan trees in the backyard, jumbo lump and Gulf shrimp waiting in the freezer, 19th century house with wide-plank hardwood floors, cheese straws and sweet tea at the ready for unexpected guests, oak trees bowing to meet me over the street whose name my daughter now bears. That home is in me even if I never get to return. (Deep breath.) That home will live in the new home I have created with my husband.
But oh, oh, oh do I miss my mama.
And I still feel in-between in my vocational identity. I don’t want that to matter as much, but it’s a nagging that doesn’t go away and that hasn’t gone away since middle school. I was one of those kids that took church camps really seriously, and summer was always the rededication-recommitment-call-to-full-time-Christian-service time of year. Maybe my decade of youth ministry has trained my body to anticipate some increased sense of calling or renewal as summer approaches. For almost twenty years I have felt that my life would be about, to paraphrase Buechner, my passions and the world’s needs meeting. That is not to say that motherhood isn’t “enough” for me or that witnessing my children’s lives isn’t calling. I hope and pray that my husband and I have such a home that our children will become partners in caring for a world in need.
But I still can’t figure out how the passions and words and desire to make change fits with who I am both as a mother and, according to my seminary degree, a Master of Divinity. It leaves something fidgeting and wrestling in me. At times I think I need to learn to breathe and move differently, release some of that busyness. Right now I think this disquiet is a Holy Fidget (did I make that up?!)…a discomfort that precedes some new thing that will make sense of seemingly disparate pieces of my life. I want to pay attention to the unsettled places in hopes that lessons are hidden there, paths are being carved out. I want to pay attention in hopes that my mothering ways speak to my vocational longings and that my vocational ways inspire my home. My disquiet, at its best, may continue this ongoing work of knowing my whole, true self.