“Anna, are you coming back soon? I miss you.”
I smiled as I read the text from my friend and felt ambivalence rise inside me. I don’t want to go back, but friends like her are among many reasons to return.
August is historically the month my family goes on vacation. This year, I ventured out on my own to California. I have some friends in San Jose and needed a change of pace. Since I hadn’t had a weeklong vacation in two years, I was very excited to be able to relax and escape my world for a little bit.
The horrible thing about vacations is they have to end. At some point you must come back to reality. Renewed and refreshed you must tackle the same problems, challenges, and stress that were there before you left. I dread the moment I am standing in my room with a suitcase exploding on the floor, a seemingly endless amount of laundry to do, and a pile of work taunting me about the long week ahead. I don’t want to come back!
I wonder if we all have fantasies about leaving our world behind, if we all secretly dream about packing a suitcase and starting over.
When my trip began I thought about how nice it would be to just take off and begin life in a new place. I was curious about why I was feeling the need for a fresh start and what my heart was really longing for when I felt the plane level off and soar amidst the clouds.
As the end of my vacation approaches, in quiet moments between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, San Jose, and South Padre Island, I have thought about the woman longing for the beginning of something new, exciting and unexplored. I have thought about the woman inside me that wants to jump, who wants to take a risk and embark on a new adventure. She is always present and often drowned out by the pressure of student debt, practicality, and fear of failure.
The great thing about vacations is they give you an opportunity to see the world from a new point of view. They spark something tangible inside of you; they allow you to see possibility where you didn’t have clear vision before. A vacation to a new place offers rest amidst excitement and promise. The woman longing for a fresh start, something new and unexplored was met at the airport in a suit with a dozen white roses. She was romanced and saw places and spectacular views she had never dreamed before. She was shaken from her small world and allowed to relax and just see what the day brought to her. She took pictures. She soaked in beauty and sun and smiles. She was allowed to breathe deeply and sleep and wander. She was silly and serious and alive. She was challenged to think about what it would look like to step into her passions and desires and set herself up to make that her new reality. I heard Jesus calling me and wooing me back to Himself in every sunset, every breathtaking view, and every new hope for the future.
As this beautiful time comes to a close and present reality and unpacked suitcases stare me in the face, I’m aware that possibility only remains possibility if I don’t reach for it. I don’t want to drown out the passionate woman I allowed to peek out on vacation. I want that to be a constant part of my own brand of fearless femininity when I come back. I want to listen to the Holy Spirit and act on the visions He is growing in my heart.
The return to reality, the grind and the hustle has arrived. In my return, I’m embarking on a new journey that is sure to bring out more of the wild, adventurous, and fearless parts Christ in me.
Anna Hull lives in San Antonio, TX. A graduate of Schreiner University with a B.A. in Religion & Political Science, Anna is passionate about finding Jesus in every day life. She enjoys unexpected adventure, making genuine connections with others, and finding beauty in chaos.