The Journey Awakens the Soul

The journey awakens the soul.

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I saw this quote, and I could not get it out of my mind. Every corner I turned, I heard it whispering to me, “Yes! This is it.”

I’m like, “What??? What is IT???”

Sometimes I quietly observe life and see a beautiful life lesson. Other times, they are there but seem just out of my reach, beckoning for me to seek and find them. Oh, how I love the quietly observed moments. The ones that I must search deeper to find feel important, like some sort of secret of the Universe, but they also require finding and connecting pieces of the puzzle. It did not help  that I am not a journey taker by nature. I have always been more of an accidental journey taker. I am more of an introverted, extrovert who is too content within the same four walls to feel the desire to go outside of them. Usually. I am completely OK with this. But I do push myself from time to time.  If I didn’t, I would never leave the house. Every once in a while, the hidden extrovert likes to surprise us all, because she does like to come out to play when the stars and planets align. But most of my journeys are almost always unintentional on my part. I am usually pushed by circumstances completely out of my control.  I am usually in a position where there is no other option but to take the journey. Occasionally, I jump. But usually I am pushed.

But I am not a natural journey taker.

That may be why I found the truth in this quote to be so much more elusive.

The journey awakens the soul.

God helped me out. He brought to my mind some of my journeys in flashes.

Sometimes we choose the journey.

Sometimes the journey chooses us.

Sometimes its chosen for us by others.

But no matter how the journey begins, somewhere along the line we had to move. We had to take that step. We had to say yes.

And even more interesting is what happens to us on the journey.

The journey awakens the soul.

A place that awakened my soul…

I remember my ex husband at the time telling me that it was time for us to choose our next duty station. We had been living in Illinois for the last six months while he was attending school with the Navy. We sort of randomly chose New Hampshire, one of the places on the list. I was not even sure where it was if you want the truth. While I would like to say this was a dream I followed. It really wasn’t. I knew absolutely nothing about New Hampshire. We did the equivalent of putting on a blindfold, turning around a few times, and where our finger landed would be our new home.  Why not New Hampshire? I am not sure we even discussed it more than once or twice. That move was one of the best decisions I ever made. New Hampshire will always have a piece of my heart. It was love at first site. I did not know that you could fall in love with a place so fully and completely…and forever. It was the most beautiful place I had ever been. I loved the place. I loved the people. I loved my church, my first real home church. I loved the summers. I loved the snow. It felt so right. That was almost thirty years ago. I still think of it, and sometimes even dream of it. I will always carry this place in my heart. As someone who was born and raised in the South, who would have thought.

Sometimes we do not know what we are looking for before we start. Sometimes we find it on the journey.

The journey awakens the soul.

An unlikely career move that changed my life forever…

After my first husband left us, I decided to become a real estate agent. Everyone thought I was crazy. I don’t really blame them. A few years earlier my husband had suggested that I become a real estate agent. I thought he had lost his mind. I was not a real estate agent. And by this time, I had lost all confidence in myself and only felt like a shadow of myself. What in the world was I thinking? I had never done anything like that in my life. Was this really the time?  I was not a salesperson…at all. I just did not have a lot of other options. I had two young children. Working at McDonald’s was not going to cut it. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I grew so much and became someone who I did not know was even in there. I did not know when I decided to become a real estate agent how much I would learn on that journey and how much it would change my life forever. I was just trying to take care of my children. I read books I never would have read. I went to seminars I never would have without this journey. I pushed myself in ways I never would have. I grew in ways that changed me forever.

Sometimes we find ourselves on the journey.

The journey awakens the soul.

I do not even know where to begin with this one. It was the hardest, most rewarding, most life changing, gut-wrenching journey for all three of us. You never know what you have inside of you until you push yourself out of your comfort zone, and this was definitely out of my comfort zone…but now they will forever have a place in my heart.

The boys and I wanted to find an area where we could give back. I was homeschooling them and thought this should be something we do. It was something I wanted them to learn. We did not have a particular need drawing us. To be clear, this was not a calling. We checked out some different volunteer opportunities in the area, and we chose a nursing home. I know. That is not for the faint of heart. And this is not one of the nursing homes where people with money go. And this was not an assisted living facility. No one here could ever live on their own. They were completely dependent on daily care. The sites. The smells. The sounds. Did I mention this was not for the faint of heart? And I was SO the faint of heart. There was not a part of me that did not want to run screaming out of there. Then we had to figure out what we could do here where we felt like we could really contribute with who we were. We chose a nursing home that at the time had a wonderful activity director and gave us freedom to be creative. It was the hardest, most rewarding, most life changing, gut-wrenching experience for all three of us. I learned that you cannot out give God. We received so much from this experience. We were forever changed. There are many beautiful faces who will never be forgotten. Thank you for letting us in and letting us hold you in our hearts.

Sometimes the journey shows you beauty in unlikely places and teaches us valuable life lessons.

Sometimes the journey shows you what you are made of.

But always….

The journey awakens the soul.

I have learned that we do not always have to have strong feelings about something for it to be the thing that will move our soul, for it to awaken our soul. The soul is often awakened on the journey. We just must begin the journey. We must take the journeys, lots of journeys. We have to take that step. We have to say yes. This is the place where life is lived. This is where we get those experiences that stay with us for a lifetime. These are the things that make our life. These are the things that make us.

It was when I took the journey that my soul was awakened. I found the place and people I did not know I was looking for. It was where I found myself. It was where I found incredible beauty. It is where I became the person I was created to be. It is where my soul was awakened.

We must take lots of journeys.

Go. Be. Do.

The journey awakens the soul.

The Journey Awakens the Soul Quote | Inspirational Bracelet (adjustable)

 

***Disclaimers*** I am not a health expert. Please consult your own physician for health or exercise advice. I just share what I am doing or things I have found interesting. This is in no way considered to be advice for what you should do. Affiliate links are included on this blog and in this post.
2014-12-29T18:30:41+00:00 November 22nd, 2014|

6 Comments

  1. Ceil November 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Hi Topaz! It is the journey that changes us. Who knows what pushes us to the path? You picked out several different ways the Lord guided you to your walk and destination. I just love to hear stories of faith, and you have had many!

    Thank you for your encouragement to just get out there and ‘do it’. Why shrink? No one knows how long we’ll be here, so might as well jump in and make a difference. Your sons are very blessed to have you as a Mom. They sound like extraordinary people.
    Have a peaceful weekend, my encouraging friend,
    Ceil

    • Art of a Beautiful Life December 29, 2014 at 8:04 am

      Oh, wow, Ceil. That was so sweet of you to say that. I feel like I am the blessed one. They sure are good to me. It always makes my day to see you and read your encouraging words and your wonderful insight. xo

  2. Chris Carter November 23, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Ah…. how I loved this piece so very much, Topaz!!! Thank you for taking us into YOUR journeys and allowing us to be blessed by your insights and awakenings-

    It’s amazing how our journeys – and often the most SIGNIFICANT ones, can unfold without us realizing the impact they will have on our hearts, souls, lives…

    I too, have many I can reflect on- much like you. And God always orchestrates is ‘just right’ to teach me something, or grow me in some way… even the hard journeys- usually the hard ones are the most fruitful. I have a love/hate relationship with those! lol

    • Art of a Beautiful Life December 29, 2014 at 8:10 am

      Oh, you really hit on something really important, Chris. It is often years later that we realize the lasting and profound impact something has had on our lives. I love reading about your journeys, too, Chris. It’s wonderful when we can learn from another person’s journey, too.

      Ha ha! I hear you, my friend. I am right there with you. Once I joked that I seem to grow and become a better person with each trial, but I wondered just how good I needed to be. lol

  3. Chris Carter December 15, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    My dear beautiful friend,

    I wanted to come by and check in on you! I hope and pray you are okay, and I wish you a blessed and bountiful Holiday season. May you continue to shine your bright light and find purpose in your steps ahead in the coming year. <3

    • Art of a Beautiful Life December 29, 2014 at 8:23 am

      Oh, my kind and wonderful friend…this just melted my heart. You just have no idea. It did indeed get crazy over the last few months. I just posted a blog about it. You just have no idea what this meant to me. xoxoxo

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