The healing journey is not complete after 2819 miles, but it sure is a great start. Last Friday we began a three week trip that takes us from Traverse City to Flint, MI to Salem OR, to Seattle, back to Salem, and finally back to Northern Michigan. The purpose of this trip is multi-faceted:
- Joe speaking for an all-nighter in Flint
- Joe preaching for Sunday mornings in Flint and in Salem
- Time with Joe's family (lots of cousin time for the kids)
- Visiting friends from 17+ years of ministry in the Pacific Northwest
- Presenting Overboard Ministries to friends in Oregon and Washington
- Presenting Overboard Ministries in one-on-one contexts
- Connecting with USANA teammates
- Healing, resting, relaxing, and processing the events of the past three months
- Attending a Mariner's game in Seattle (very important part of healing process!)
I have no intentions of rushing the healing process. As my friend, Amy, reminded me, this is the "Traci Process." It does not have to follow a specific direction or a specific time frame. The point of the process is to allow myself to be IN it and to heal.
I learned many things driving 2819 miles these past few days, but the heart of the learning came in the final travel day to Salem. As we drove along the winding road through the Columbia Gorge, my eyes were met with lush green cliffs, waterfalls, varying colors of green grass, the sun setting across the Columbia River, and the clean air following a stint of rain. It was stunning and I was overwhelmed with emotion.
This was my first drive along this familiar path in two years and my first visit to Oregon in 15 months. So much has happened in our family this past year and I felt the full burden of the journey I have been on since moving away two years ago. I took a step in the "Traci Process" on this drive and I understood a small bit of what it takes to heal.
Creation. God's powerful, mighty, and beautiful creation is healing all by itself. I can in no way capture the beauty I witnessed on this drive. The green was deep, the hillsides mighty, the river wide, the sun bright, the clouds silver-lined, and the air fresh. God was visible and close in everything my eyes gazed upon.
Home. There is something comfortable about home. I know the roads and I know where items are in the grocery store. It is so familiar that it doesn't require much thinking. The people at home know your past, your story, and your quirks. No explaining is required. Northern Michigan is definitely becoming home to our family - we deeply love our "family" there. And yet in this season of healing there is a different kind of comfort that comes from being with the family that's known us "forever."
Distance. Removing ourselves physically from the daily demands connected with our current situation is allowing our hearts and minds to rest. Do we still face decisions, work, and sharing pieces of our current story? Absolutely! Yet, there is an ability to rest that is different when there is distance. Those of you that head to Florida or Hawaii for your vacations know exactly what I'm referring to here.
Pausing and putting distance between ourselves and whatever situation we are facing are good practices throughout life. Our bodies, minds, and souls need continual renewal if we are going to be extraordinary individuals and do extraordinary things. How is your body, mind, and soul? Are you in need of some rest and refreshment? Do you need to slow down long enough to take in God's creation? Or do you need a hike in the mountains, a trip to the beach, or a 2819 mile trip across the country to rejuvenate your spirit? All of these things take time and all of these things are worth it!
(I’m Traci, the "Be Extraordinary!" blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)