A Tale of Grace (Or Really ... A Tale of My Dance with Understanding Grace)

If you’ve read from the beginning, then we’re just getting to the point in the “book” where the details are laid out to complete the actual story.

In a recent post, I casually mentioned a life-changing trip. You might have been like, “What trip?! Can I get a little more clarity here?” And I was over here like, “Oh, look, there’s a kitty. Now, where were we?”

Twenty weeks ago, I went on a trip to Thailand with the most amazing group ever called Bamboo.

To be completely honest and transparent, I went with the intention of checking Thailand off my bucket list. With an epic three-week adventure to explore the north, the south and even the islands, I was sure that I could sufficiently cover this country and move on. (Because I want to travel and check everywhere off my bucket list.)

What I learned within two days of being there was that the plans I had were not the plans laid out for me at all.

There was so much to learn, to absorb, to breath new life into. There were so many blessings and so many lessons. Just a travel stop on my bucket list? Oh, how wrong was I. I knew this was a place I would come to for the rest of my life.

It was like my whole world shifted from the moment I got on the first plane ride, and I would never be able to look at life the same. In fact, it’s taken me so many of the 20 weeks since I’ve been home to unfold, comprehend and fall into this new way of understanding.

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It was an awakening of sorts, like this experience allowed my life to open and shift in a way that it’s been patiently coming to for forever. The kind of shift that says, “Oh hi, we’ve been waiting for you. There is a different purpose we have for you, and now is the time.”

If you’re a “recovering perfectionist,” then you’ll probably relate to this: In those first few weeks after this complete shift in my life, I did what any good “recovering perfectionist” would do, and I tried to force everything to happen. I tried to force change and to rapidly try and understand all that was happening and changing in my life. That’s my old way of thinking for sure: “I can force anything to happen.”

I don’t know if this has happened to you, but for me, what that actually led to was mass chaos and utter panicked anxiety in my brain and in my chest.

But, through this, grace is patiently waiting for us to see. While we fall down, force and wear out all of our old ways, grace is there when we finally realize that in fact there is an easier, softer way.

And I think, looking back on my first few posts, you can see the little bit of chaos and lack of faith and then how the understanding of grace settles me, allows life to shift and moves me into a new way of thinking.

Alas, my dance with grace.

And here I am again with that “Oh look, there’s a kitty,” because what I was supposed to be getting to was telling you that Thailand was SO EPIC. It was so life-changing that I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be moving there or if it was simply meant to be an experience that finally allowed my life to shift into this most amazing place.

Ultimately, the only way for me to know for sure if I left my heart in Thailand or if it just offered me mine broken open and free was for me to go back, to experience Thailand with this new heart, outlook and understanding.

So here we are … two hours from Thailand, elated at the possibilities set out in front of me, joy-filled at the prospect of returning to this place and these people, and teary-eyed.

I can’t wait to share this experience with you. I can’t wait to experience it myself.

In love and broken-open free adventure …  xoxo,

– H