for me, epiphanies happen at really odd moments.
It could be safe to say that they tend to happen when I am somewhat out of my element and feeling really awkward and out of place. Like at an airport when searching for an escalator that goes upwards while only finding ones that go down and toting a bag with a strap that keeps getting awkwardly stuck underneath my armpit while running late during my very short layover. Because for some reason that tends to happen to me far too often. But in general, I seem to realize really intense, consequential things at fairly inconsequential times.
This past weekend (so great) I flew down to Memphis to spend time with some dear friends of mine, and then got to head to Huntsville, Alabama for a wedding. And in the midst of incredible time with friends and awesome conversation, combined with a ridiculous travel experience, this weekend made me realize something pretty major.
1) I am made up of a weird, seemingly random series of opposites – what I get super excited about and what I’m intensely afraid of, what I get really pumped about and what makes me feel out of place, what my passions are and the things that bore me half to death.
2) I am kind of a moron when it comes to thinking that I know more than what I actually know. That I know myself better than I really do. That I know Jesus better than I really do.
Some examples of the oxymorons that I discovered:
I love to travel but I am more likely to watch the opportunity for adventure pass me by than to actually go adventuring. I love organized spaces but I am genetically predisposed to clutter. (I’m convinced this is a true Scientific fact). I’m an extrovert but I hate – wait, no, loathe– small talk. I like to see the sun rise but am mostly incapable of waking up to my alarm. I am painfully opinionated but incredibly uninformed. I am totally prideful but entirely insecure. I love grapes but despise raisins. I desire to be independent but I envy community. I like to cook but hate to grocery shop. I hate spiders with butts more than anything on this planet but am fascinated by spiderwebs. I like lists but am unable to ever cross everything off of them. I dream about big, incredible things but constantly settle for the mediocre. I compare myself constantly to others that I feel I could never measure up to but never try to change what I think is flawed. I talk a lot about listening but then I constantly forget to actually listen. I am a complete, irredeemable wreck beyond any help but Jesus died for me and I’m God’s daughter. i love random crafts like collaging or crocheting but I’m a ridiculous perfectionist. I am easy-going and willing to go with the flow but i am also a total control freak. I love beginnings and hate endings.
I would be a complete fool if I think I’ve gotten myself figured out whatsoever. I am a total oxymoron. I could list so many more examples of ways that this is true, but hopefully that list skimmed the surface enough for me to make this point:
God is in the in-between.
He is what makes the “but” in all of those statements work together without total chaos and complete self-combustion. Because ultimately, He is who is defining me, and not all of those literal oxymorons that make up my life. And I’d be a total idiot to put any kind of stock or worth or energy into anything different. Because that’s what makes Him a good God. He takes our mess, our total inner controversy and chaos, and makes it beautiful.
“This, all this, is what the French call d’un beau affreux, what the Germans call hübsch-hässlich – the ugly-beautiful. That which is perceived as ugly transfigures into beautiful.”
He is in the business of the in-between. In the space of that hyphen, the dash on a tombstone, the ugly-beautiful, my Heavenly Father is making Himself known. Because the refinement, the wonder, the humility, the gifts that come from being two things at the same time or loving one thing and simultaneously hating another or desiring one thing while always doing the opposite – they all point to Him. To my absolute need for Him to make any sort of sense of my mind, my heart, my life.
I think I might need more of the mundane in my day-to-day. Especially when it brings epiphanies as necessary as this 🙂
Some more photos from my trip: