The Inner Voice of Who Knows What

the pilgrimage: Henri Nouwen and my own topsy-turvy little heart

Day 24: Home and free.

Henri, Keep Moving Toward Full Incarnation:

Do not discount what you have already accomplished. You have made important steps toward the freedom you are searching for. You have decided to dedicate yourself completely to God, to make Jesus the center of your life, and to be fashioned into an instrument of God’s grace. Yes, you still experience your inner dividedness, your need for approval and acclaim. But you see that you have made important choices that show where you want to go.

You can look at your life as a large cone that becomes narrower the deeper you go. There are many doors in that cone that give you chances to leave the journey. But you have been closing the doors one after the other, making yourself go deeper and deeper into your center. You know that Jesus is waiting for you at the end, just as you know that he is guiding you as you move in that direction. Every time you close another door – be it the door of immediate satisfaction, the door of distracting entertainment, the door of busyness, the door of guilt and worry, or the door of self-rejection – you commit yourself deeper into your heart and thus deeper into the heart of God.

This is a movement toward full incarnation. It leads you to become what you already are – a child of God; it lets you embody more and more the truth of your being; it makes you claim the God within you. You are tempted to think that you are a nobody in the spiritual life and that your friends are far beyond you on the journey. But this is a mistake.

You must trust the depth of God’s presence in you and live from there. This is the way to keep moving toward full incarnation.


Geez. So many doors to close. But the sound of every creak or latch or slam is beautiful. These doors many find their way open once again as time goes on and the soul gets tired – but the initial choice to close them is powerful in itself.

This last week and a half was spent on four wheels roaming across half of the United States (and back), in grandparents’ homes in rural Oklahoma and suburban Kansas, and in various Motel 6 ‘double double’ rooms scattered across the expansive southwest.

I am home, for the first time in what feels like a long while. Between traveling, house-sitting, cat-sitting, and other-sittings going on I feel like I haven’t been really truly home for far too long.

It feels so good to be home this time – knowing that some of these most stubborn doors are closing. I’m not one who puts much stock in New Year’s Resolutions (partially because I keep making the same ones year after year), but I do relish new seasons. This feels to be a new season of goodness ahead.

My wonderful roommate Brittany offered me a new challenge today over dinner – freedom from people. Closing the doors of expectation, assumptions, guilt and shame, fears of rejection, or the desperate desire for acceptance. Closing the doors to my imperfect interpretations of those around me. Closing the doors to ways of being that keep me from what is truly me.

Free from people – to be Jessica.
That is what lies at the end of the cone, where intimacy with Jesus means offering all the authenticity of who I am. That is what this new season holds, this new way of being home.


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One thought on “Day 24: Home and free.

  1. Jessica,
    I think many of us are sharing in a new “homelessness” and are seeking home. We seek a place where we know that we are freed to be fully who we are. I am just now discovering a place of home where God provides and I am free to make mistakes, be forgiven, forgive myself and “just be.” It has been a long time coming but these brief moments of “just being” feel great. God bless the continued journey. You are not alone.

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