Learning How to Stay

I have a confession.

My handle on social media isn’t “vagabond” without reason. I’m always on the go, live out of suitcases all the time, couch surf on the regular. I haven’t left town but I haven’t been home in 3 days. I can sleep pretty much anywhere and I love the adventure of spontaneous sleep overs – sharing a roof with friends and closing my eyes nestled under blankets on couches with the knowledge that all I need is on hand and I’m with people who feel like home.

I’ve lived in three states, traveled to 7 countries, and have been immersed in close-knit community living for more than one significant and life-changing season.

I like to be on the move. I like to be the one who leaves. I don’t like to be left behind. Planes, trains, buses, cars…as long as I’m meeting people with the rush of a new adventure fueling my footsteps, I am content. I’m in my element. New places and faces are my favorite. My comfort zone is the place where I am moving on to something new.

But you know what is hard for me?

Staying. I’m restless, eager to experience something new, and I’m practiced at saying goodbye. And while part of this is my personality and probably always will be, I am realizing that some of it stems from the fear of not being fully known or loved. Because my heart has been wounded and scarred before, part of my defense mechanism is to cut out before anyone can cut out on me.

In this season, God has surrounded me with a few key people who are reshaping my perspective of what it means to commit. What it looks like to stay.

It’s astounding to me how much of my heart has opened up recently just because a few people have committed to S T A Y. They are committed to me for the long haul and after weathering a few brutal and messy storms together, I know they aren’t going anywhere.

That is what love looks like. Love is this inexplicable force that takes our hearts to depths and heights we didn’t know were possible. Love changes us. It gently removes our walls, brick by brick, and offers us the hope of being fully known and loved. And it is messy. It is scary. But it is so worth it.

So here is to stepping in rather than stepping back. Here is to learning to love in a deeper way. Here’s to learning how to stay.