What Remains

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As I spent time over-analyzing myself earlier today {too bad I can’t figure out how to make a career out of self-analysis…I’d be rich}, I realized that I am in the midst of a mini identity crisis. With so much new, and so little old, I am struggling to pinpoint who I am, what I think, and how to share this journey with you.

In the most simplest terms, I am in the process of discovering what remains…of me.

Without my precious pup, the church that restored my faith in God and community, the comfortable routines that filled my Nashville existence, the job and the company that I knew like the back of my hand, the conferences where I felt known and respected, and the cast of kids that I adored spoiling rotten, I feel a little lost, a little timid, and a lot unsure.

Answering questions as simple as “who are you?” and “what are you doing in Southern California?” leave me perplexed and stumbling to find words. But maybe, just maybe, that is how it should be? Maybe I don’t need to search for the answers, maybe I need to live my way into the answers?

“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the question themselves, as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, some day far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
― Rainer Maria RilkeLetters to a Young Poet

Are you good at loving the questions? Or are you like me, searching through every nook and cranny for answers? 

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dog Molly, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://twitter.com/r_moneyduh Rachel McGowan

    i loved this so much. one of my favorite quotes :)

  • Ian

    Wow Lindsey, another post full of vulnerability. Thank you for sharing and opening your heart to your followers. 

    I think you may have answered you own question(s) with this statement: “maybe I need to live my way into the answers?”

    I think we go through seasons like the one you’re experiencing because God wants you to “delight in Him”. So He takes us out of our comfort zone (and yes, you’ve really stretched this time) so we kinda have no where else to go, but to depend on Him.

    Seek Jesus really, really hard and He’ll give you the desires of your heart!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lynne-Holder/615319833 Lynne Holder

    While reading, I thought to myself, “How familiar is this?”

    When I moved to Atlanta, it was the same for me. And Miami–passports should be required. Yikes.  As agonizing as it felt at times, I’ve never depended so much on God.

    You were in quite a comfort zone in Nashville, and now, what you will find is an uncomfortable joy.  You left a lot behind and starting over is tough, but count on this: if you use this time to really get close to God, seek Him out every day, you’ll be amazed at the answers you will have. You’ll grow emotionally and spiritually, and you’ll be wiser. Would that have happened back where everything was neat and tidy and all figured out? Is what’s left of you, as you put it, the beginnings of a shiny new version of Lindsey?

    No maybe about it–live your way to the answers.

    • Lindsey Nobles

      Thank Lynne…uncomfortable joy…I like that.

  • Jennifer Deshler

    Thinking of you today.  Asking the questions is part of the adventure.  And you were made to do this.

    • Lindsey Nobles

      Thanks Jen! We need to catch up soon!

  • http://twitter.com/jennyecklund jenny ecklund

    We all go through seasons like the one you are in.  At times we find peace in the questions and thrive off of the unknown, and at other times we seek answers and a sense of familiarity. When we approach these times, i firmly believe we are being sharpened and molded into something beautiful. Often it takes moments and times like the times you are in to break us, and to get us where the Lord will shatter our worlds for His glory. To make Himself known. Its okay to feel how you are feeling, but what beautiful knowledge it is to know that you are being shaped and molded into something so lovely your heart can’t even fathom its greatness. 

    • Lindsey Nobles

      I believe that too…

  • Tracy

    I too am in the re-defining season of life. My mother passed away in May, and I had moved in with her to help care for her. So now I am transitioning back into my house, closing up her home and trying to be really dependent on God in this uncertain season of life. I am thankful that I have friends and family to encourage me on the journey, however, all the newness and unfamiliar at one time can be exhausting as well as exhilarating. Press on! And thank you for being transparent in your journey.

    • Lindsey Nobles

      Thanks Tracy…

  • Kim martinez

    Lindsey – this is an incredible post, and a fabulous quote. Thank you!!! Living the questions.

  • http://hornedfrog02.blogspot.com Amanda

    Thank you so much for this. I’m looking forward to reading more about finding yourself in the midst of great change. After nearly 16 months of being a (foster) Mom to two girls, I dropped them off last Friday to be reunited with their family. I’m not quite ready to think about who I am without them because they have been a very important part of my life for so long…and will always remain a part of me. Those 16 months were the happiest, most fulfilling days of my life and imagining life without them is really unimaginable at this point in the grieving process. So, I appreciate your sharing during your time of transition and “newness” as I will be transitioning into a “new normal” as well. I’m heading to Nashville in a couple of weeks and wish you were there so I could have an opportunity to meet you…maybe someday I’ll find myself in California ;) Take care.

    • http://www.facebook.com/LindseyMHartz Lindsey Hartz

      I’d love to chat w/ you offline Amanda~ we are getting ready to become foster parents :-) Praying for your transition as well!

      • http://hornedfrog02.blogspot.com Amanda

        Thanks for your prayers :) I’m in a rough place right now emotionally, but the truth is that I don’t have any regrets. It is challenging and rewarding and if it was up to me, I’d like to take a little break, but I’m going to try to leave it in God’s hands as much as I can ;) I’d love to talk to you about being foster parents…I knew there was a reason I decided to leave a comment here!

        My email is iloveblogs44 (at) gmail (dot) com
        Thanks again,
        Amanda

        • Lindsey Nobles

          Love that you guys are connecting! Amanda, you are going through a huge transition and need to allow yourself to fully grieve. But what you did was so amazing! 

          • http://hornedfrog02.blogspot.com Amanda

            Thanks Lindsey :) I am looking forward to my trip to Nashville in a couple of weeks…the current plan is to hang out with Alece and Tam when I’m there and I can hardly wait! I have been getting lots of support which has definitely helped the grieving process :) It will take a bit to define who I am without having kids, but I will take things one day at a time and enjoy what each day brings (well, as much as possible…I do occasionally wake up on the wrong side of the bed ;) ) Take care.

  • TCB

    I am not good at loving the questions.  I find that I am sometimes inpatient.  However I have noticed that in smaller decisions I’ve made, patience has turned out to be a good thing. It’s soo ironic that you created the post. I was thinking along the same lines today. Something to the effect of just be patient, enjoy today and just put one sure foot ahead of the other.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/LindseyMHartz Lindsey Hartz

    You’re describing EXACTLY how I feel after moving to Nashville. Leaving behind a life of 15+ years including our first ever church home, friends, family, and what we thought we were going to be doing ministry wise has been hard.  

    Now I’m in a place where I don’t know anyone and no one really “knows” me.  I’m learning in a very humbling manner that I placed a little too much (ok WAY too much) importance on everything I was doing for others, and not enough importance on my relationship with God and really listening to His will and direction. He’s graciously given me no real job or connections yet, just lots of quiet time with Him right now. ;-)

    Praying for you Lindsey. 

    • Lindsey Nobles

      You will feel at home in Nashville in no time. Good people there…

  • http://illustrated-queries.blogspot.com/ torybee

    Ha, I have never grown to enjoy the questions; I’m constantly searching for answers and am quite discontent in the questions that remain without answers. It’s my angst and I have to say…. not sure what I  would do without it. I wonder if a part of my identity actually lies in the angst and discontent in the questions. 

    • Lindsey Nobles

      Me too…

  • Amy

    I absolutely love your thoughts and this blog. I feel as though every time I get a chance to come on it’s a God thing and hits me hard. I am in the same place. New job. Nothing is familiar. Anxiety all the time. I have a few things in my life I am holding constant and fighting to do so. If you can find 3 things to stay constant I believe it will make all the difference. Above all God is the best constant I can find!

    • Lindsey Nobles

      So true…

  • http://www.nicoleunice.com/blog Nicole

    Hey Lindsey, I totally relate to that disconcerting feeling of being uprooted. In my life, I feel like change like this always takes much longer than I want or expect. I wish that wasn’t the case, but it’s a pretty consistent pattern. Hang in there. :)

    • Lindsey Nobles

      Thanks Nicole!

  • Beth

    I can relate.  A year ago I laid down the job I’d been doing for 5 years to pursue a call of the Lord to finish a project He had given me to do.  Suddenly, where there had been routine, there was none.  Where there had been security financially, there was none.  Where there had been dignity in being a more outward working person, there was none.  So many things changed, and it was a daunting place for a while.  For me, the Lord showed me many of those things were idols: the ability to self provide and self sustain; a secure paycheck; a secure routine; security in so many things that were ultimately not God.  When it was all stripped away and the idols came down, I realized God was forging my heart deeper into His own.  I was learning true security and trust in Him in a way I never had before, as I was now dependent on Him in a way I’d never been before.  The Lord brought me back to Hannah’s prayer in the Bible: The Lord brings wealth, and He brings poverty.  He brings death, and He raises to life again.  In all things, I began to learn, He is sufficient, and when so many things are dying in our lives, there is life waiting on the other side, for this is the way of Christ.  Will pray for you this week in all your changes.  

  • http://jennyrain.com JennyRain

    I moved from DC to a leeeetttlee teeeeny town an hour and a half outside of the ATL in 2004. I was 34. After hitting my 6 month “bump” there – I realized I had no idea who I was because all of who I was had depended on the things I had grown into around DC. Busy-ness had kept me from asking the question deeply “who am I?”

    About that time, my dad gave me a book “Awakening at Midlife” by Kathleen Brehony and it really helped. It talked about how the “normal” time for a midlife change is in your 30’s… and that often a move or a big event can trigger one. That when we are 32-37 is the normal time to start reexamining “self” and looking at the question “who am I?” … the changes I went through from 34-36 were HUGE – I totally feel like a different person… better, stronger, more “me” – but it took going thru some of the questions you are going thru now to get there :)

    Hang in there… you are normal and this is pretty normal for where you are at and the major life change you have just gone thru :)

  • http://www.loveandrespectNOW.com Joy

    One of my favorite quotes. I had it taped up to my computer (desk top you know it) in college. Beautiful. I think it’s one of the things that has made me love questions so much even though I know at the end of the day I get uncomfortable staying there too long. I want those answers!

  • Alece

    wow. that quote. your post. your heart… capturing mine so well… with words I can’t ever find. praying for you this morning…