I don’t know where I belong.

I drove back roads tonight on the way back from Nashville. The road was winding through small counties and smaller towns. The yellow lines curving me this way and that. No cars in front of me, no cars behind. A canopy of trees covering me. It was all I could do to focus on the road ahead of me and not soak in the countryside around.

I saw homes, porches, family restaurants, and tractor stores. I saw rockers, American flags, and swing sets. How do people end up in Russellville or Drakesboro? Who are Vern and Nancy Bye? They had a really cool lake thing in their front yard. Sometimes I wish I could spend a year scouring the country for the stories of people who live in small towns. I want to know how they met their spouse. I want to know why they stay in their small town, if they ever dream of a bigger city. I want to know if they think about the world and how very large it is.

It’s the backbone of America, these folks who live in small towns and settle their lives into one place. And I wanted to pull my car over and run through the corn fields with my arms outstretched. I just wanted to hide in the fields and never come out.

Because I don’t like who I was when I was in Nashville. That was the old Rachel. She loves to resurface. Like Lazarus resurrecting from the dead, I bring her back from the grave, and give her life and power. She’s the one who interacts with friends and goes to lunch. She’s the one who looks in the mirror and throws accusations about my worth.

I start to let the lines blur between the old Rachel and the new Rachel. Where does one end and the other one begins? I get lost in the gray and don’t know who I am anymore. Which then has a trickle down affect. It bleeds into my walk with the Papa, it bleeds into my relationships, my actions, my words, everything.

And then I have to have those tough conversations where the ones I love, and have usually been hurt by the old Rachel, have to call me out. They are confused as to who this “new” Rachel is. They don’t know her and don’t really like her. And I’m so lost inside of my own head that I don’t even realize she’s come back.

Which is why we need community. We need those people who know us to remind us who we are. Because we get lost. And when when we get lost, things get dangerous. When we’re isolated or shut down, we take away the ability to get perspective. We need people to come in and take off our colored glasses so we can see the world clearly.

I have a tendency to withdraw and get lost when I’m unsure of things. I stop feeling safe letting my heart be seen. I stop feeling like who I am is wanted or enough. That I’m inherently broken and irreparable. Which is precisely when I need the people I don’t want the most.

I don’t know where I belong
I don’t know where I went wrong
But I can write a blog ( 🙂 )

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