Come Back. The theme for this month has floated around in my head quite a bit. I’ve pondered writing about having a “come back” but I wasn’t really sure what I would be coming back from. “Come back again” were the words spoken by loved ones as we left Colorado last month after family vacation. They are some of the most common words asked by family and friends in Texas when they wonder when we plan to come back for a visit or if we plan to permanently come back. The words are joined with Jesus as I quietly hope for his return, especially on particularly hard days.
At the end of that vacation, I was laying wide awake on a queen sized bed in a Holiday Inn Express in Denver. We had just wrapped up a beautiful and difficult week, vacationing with our family, including both sets of grandparents. There were so many joyous memories we were holding as we awoke Saturday morning, both grateful for the time and anxious to be home. The morning at the hotel held tense moments of fighting and screaming from the boys but compared to the public humiliation that could be occurring at the airport, we were pleased with our choice to take a later shuttle to the airport.
Upon arrival, we noticed a steady line outside with the skycap and based on the recommendation of our shuttle driver we ventured inside to the ticket counter to check our luggage. Nearly everyone else flying Southwest must have been given the same recommendation as the line inside was even more insane. After enduring a toddler meltdown while getting off the elevator, because I tried to help pull a suitcase over the threshold, I heard the announcement that the line inside was taking 30 minutes to get through but if we went back outside, the wait was 15 minutes. I considered calling my husband who was already in the line but based on the battle to get upstairs I couldn’t imagine going back down to wait outside without guarantee that it was faster.
Although I tried to remain calm on the outside, the tension coursed through my body and continued to rise as meltdowns slowed our progress towards the security line. A very kind woman in front of me tried to encourage me by telling me about the days when her children were young and the most difficult to travel with and although I was able to engage in the conversation, I was not present. My head was trying to embrace the reality that we were most likely going to miss our flight.
We arrived at the gate three minutes after the plane had departed. We weren’t the only ones and flying standby didn’t bode well for us either, which is why we found ourselves in a hotel for one more night.
By eight pm our exhausted, anxious, disappointed crew was done fighting for the day and we all fell asleep. I awoke a couple hours later when I felt a prompting to pray for the remainder of the night.
As I prayed, I thought, and as I thought, I worried, because in the middle of the night all of life begins to swirl in my head and sometimes I feel so small.
It was in those moments when I heard Him invite me to come back. The invitation came with an awareness of all that I had been attempting to carry again on my own. Come back to Me with your questions. Come back to Me with your thanksgiving. Come back to Me with your requests. Come back to Me with your worship. Come back.
Returning for me requires space. It requires intentionality to shift my focus off of me and onto Him. Music does that for me. Many of these songs beckon with a similar voice as Jesus; with a quiet whisper in response to a plaintive cry of helplessness. They don’t forcefully grab you, but gently pull you in close for an enveloping hug that says “come to me…come back to me…because I know you are weary and heavy laden my dear one.”
Bethany Cabell is a Texas transplant, residing in Michigan with her husband and their two young boys. A lover of beauty, she lives life chasing after wide-open spaces: sharing her heart with others, in relationship with Jesus, and through music and photography. She tells her story here.
Thank you for these homestly heartfelt words prompted to be shared with others by the Spirit. You have touched a deep place in my heart with both your writing and your playlist. Return is my word for this year, and your reminder of what it is to come back is beautiful. Many Blessings!
I am not making up a new word. Honestly. 😉