I promised you a longer, more thoughtful post later. I needed to rest and to process. I don't pretend to be fully rested nor fully finished processing. I think this whole Camino experience and ministry is a work-in-progress. There is a part of it that was ministry to others, and a part of it that was God working on me. I'm not even close to processing both of those. But I can give you some snippets of my journal from the days immediately following our departure from Santiago and being home.
(2 days after Santiago... headed home on the train) I'm a little emotional. Stood on the platform of the train station and cried on Billy's chest. Seems surreal. I'm ready to go home, to go to my own bed and my world. But I don't want to go back to normal. What does that mean? What do I want to retain from The Camino? What needs to be different in my life? The number one thing weighing on my mind and heart as I run through all of these questions is TIME.
How do I keep my schedule under control? It usually controls me. How do I maintain focus on people and life and the present? Thim and schedules make me focus on responsibilities and expectations of others. How do I stay in the present and not in the future? How do I stay connected, stay focused on relationships and not on the list and the schedule?
I'm not turning on my computer or looking at my agenda until I figure some of this out. I need to figure out how to deal with not structuring my whole life around meeting the expectations of others - sometimes unspoken and only perceived, and maybe only in my head. I need to figure out how to set boundaries and draw lines. I can't lose this important lesson of The Camino.
(3 days after Santiago... first full day home) In my devotional reading this morning, "...as you spend time soaking in My Presence, you are energized and lightened. Through communing with Me, you transfer your heavy burdens to My strong shoulders. By gazing at Me, you gain My Perspective on your life. This time alone with Me is essential for unscrambling your thoughts and smoothing out the day before you (or the month behind you).
"Be willing to fight for this precious time with Me. Opposition comes in many forms: your own desire to linger in bed, the evil one's determination to distract you from Me, the pressure of family and friends and your won inner critic to spend time more productively.
"As you grow in your desire to please Me above all else, you gain strength to resist these opponents. Delight yourself in Me, for I am the deepest Desire of your heart." ~Jesus Calling
This spoke to me so loudly this morning, speaking to all of my thoughts and questions and concerns. The Camino was a time of walking in His presence, of marveling at His creation, of my flesh fighting against the hands of the Potter. A time of listening, of loving, of learning - learning about myself, my own strengths and my own brokenness; of learning about others and hearing their hearts and struggles; and of seeing Him in a new light. It was a time of thinking about religion - about what it is and what it is not. A time of joy and tears, of extreme highs and difficult lows.
It was unfocused focus.
It was ordered chaos.
How is it possible for me (diagnosed OCD me!) to love all of that?!?! How is it possible for me to grieving the loss of The Camino?
Somewhere in The Camino was simplicity and freedom and permission to not conform to the expectations or standards of others. To just walk and 'be'. Somewhere in there, it was just me, and Billy, and Him... loving each other and loving others... on a long walk.
There is a lot more... more to process, more to think through, more to figure out. Right now, I'm working on staying slow and I'm concentrating on filtering every decision through a "what is important? lens".