I’ve carried a yearning in my heart for years of values, traditions, and lifestyles. I was continually drawn to small town life, community, appreciation of nature, simplicity, traditional entertainment like music, crafts, reading, etc, cooking with local and unprocessed foods, preserving foods, homesteading, and being away from worldly influences.
I realized over the years I sought different ways to fulfill that longing. I read books about small towns to escape. My favorite movies and tv shows were about small rural towns and close knit families who focused on family and tradition. I tried to engage in the local community by going to lectures, pursuing a ride share (but that wasn’t practical), going to cooking classes, learning how to knit and embroider, becoming obsessed with the environment, learning an instrument, volunteering at a sustainable farm an hour away, and spending hours researching on the internet and reading blogs. None of it fulfilled me but made the longing stronger. Ultimately most fell by the wayside and I did not continue to pursue them.
To get to the root of this longing I had to reflect more. What did they all have in common? Connecting with others, helping others, and creating things to help others and bring them joy.
We can invest our time and talents into activities and hobbies but unless they’re grounded in a deeper meaning of contributing, connecting, or centering ourselves and the world around us, we may find ourselves feeling unfilled even while pursuing what we love. Because it’ll never feel enough. It may stress us out because we don’t have time. It may overwhelm us.
When I changed my focus, crafts became scrapbooks for others to encourage, music became singing in the church choir, cooking became cooking for others, internet became finding Godly encouragement, and nature became a stress reliever, and poetry. I was more fulfilled and no longer searching. The yearning left me because God had filled my heart and I was using my passions for His purposes.
May you find ways to let God fill your heart and fulfill the longings of your heart.
Questions to Ponder:
- What do I yearn for?
- What do talents and interests do I have?
- How can I use those to connect / share with others?