As I write this I’m in the few days prior to what will be 2 years since I returned home from an amazing experience and season in my life volunteering at a Children’s home in South Africa- TLC.
This time of the year brings me to a place of reflection and as I was preparing to write another piece on grief as I sit in this space, I found a blogpost that I wrote just days before leaving South Africa in February 2020 and honestly my own words have challenged me.
So instead of writing about grief, I’ve decided to share this blogpost I wrote reflecting on quotes and the meaning they brought to my life in this season, in two parts because there is so much to share!
“Home is where the heart is....”
So unbelievably grateful for this adventure that I’ve been on this past year, and that this secluded farm I found myself on a year ago has turned from a prison to a safe haven.
That each and every challenge and joy has led me to a place where I can say this place, and these people make it a home.That my heart is so happy to say I’m at home, and that even when my time comes to leave that I’ll still have a home here with these incredible people who have loved me so deeply and taught me so much.
“Hold hands with those you love....”
We live in a world where the media and people portray that,
If you hold the hand of the same sex as you, you are LGBTQI, if you hold the hand of someone of the opposite sex you are dating.
If you kiss someone it means more.
If you share a bed with a friend it means more.
If you hug for too long it means more.
The world around us is twisting the pure beauty of relationships and connectedness, it’s diminishing the beauty of platonic relationships and love, and it’s taking away the relational joy of being deeply connected to one another through authentic relationships where physical and emotional layers are formed and expressed in a healthy manner.
For a long long time,touch was my greatest love language. Then something in my world became a barrier and it was no longer my greatest love language. I naturally adapted to a life where I was mostly comfortable with hugs and physical contact from a small group of people in my world, and with minimal contact anyway.
There was a slight exception in that if a child were to hug me or engage in physical contact I would always respond appropriately for their needs with a weary heart that at their age they don’t understand why someone would push them away if they hugged for too long...
Touch is slowly becoming a great love language in my life again, I am grateful for patient people in my world who have hugged through the awkwardness, held me tightly and reaffirmed in me the beauty and healthiness of a long loving embrace between friends or family- being weary of the person you are hugging’s own comfort of course.
Although I believe hugs are an important physical contact, they are the most common and one that we don’t grow out of, but what about holding hands?
You hold your kids' hands until they hit a certain age, then you just stop.
You hold your partner’s hands as a sign of connectedness and love.
You may hold a friend’s hand for a second or two in a show of solidarity.
However, when someone in your world is having a hard time, when you are sitting with someone in the waiting room as they await news on a loved one, or as they are anxious about what’s coming- you’ll often pat their hand, or give them a side hug and then sit awkwardly.
In those moments, a moment when someone is anxious, a moment when they feel like their world is crashing, why not hold their hand?
They may end up pulling away after a few seconds, or they may hold your hand for hours as you sit in silence, but that hand, that hand might be their saving grace, it might be the reason they feel at ease, it might become their strength as they sit there, stand there, lay there not only knowing they aren’t alone but FEELING that they aren’t alone.
Let’s break the world’s view on intimacy and physical touch.
Hold hands, hug for long and love deeply.
“Share with others about things you love....”
How often do you have real conversations, those ones where nothing is off limits, where love is love and where you get to share your heart’s content?
We often get caught up in surface relationships, I know I’ve been caught in this cycle, where those deep authentic relationships don’t exist and where you don’t get to freely share with others about the things you love and those things embedded deep in your heart.
How often do we talk about surface life and not those things that truly set our soul and heart on fire?
I love,love, love so much, I have so much I could tell you about the things I love and the things I’ve learnt, but I promise you that in the world and society we live in we talk about less important to our heart things. We don’t share the things we love.
Share the things you love about this world, about its people, about your world, about your people, about the joys and the pain and about the things that bring you the deepest soul Fire and love.
I am a Young Salvationist who lives in Upper Hutt, Wellington. I am passionate about enhancing the life experiences of others and do this in my paid employment as a Support worker for those with Intellectual Disabilities and as a volunteer leader for GirlGuiding New Zealand. I love to create, write and travel the world and have a passion for submerging myself in the cultures of each place I travel. I left my heart in Africa a month before Covid sent the world into lockdown and I cannot wait to be able to return and serve in a continent that stole so much of my heart.