rooted + grounded

It’s senior year. The world surrounding me is changing. Everyday unveils a new set of scenes, changes arranging in grand to small details, ever intensifying.

Home is no longer the brick walls with the courtyard gate, where the late night talks on green couches brought out tears, laughter, the deep held stories + fears + hopes. And this leads to the striking truth right now, that nowhere feels truly familiar. The events of this past year have ripped away the perfectly composed picture of what normal should look like.

But something deeper, a belonging, has been woven into who I am from the earliest beginnings of tottering steps, graceless attempts to fly, and of plays and sparkle shoes. Grace is present here. Love is surrounding every heartbeat.

So I wander everywhere, going nowhere, trying to figure out how to alleviate the burning ache of emptiness, meanwhile attempting to somehow to live a better story. I’ve spent my hours and tears and wanderings through the world trying to figure this out. Trying to grab hold of anything that seems like a refuge. Trying to find that place where I belong, where home is somehow present.

And while I’ve found joys in the community of school, the concerts, the evenings around tables with other families, the none of it has filled that tearing heartbreak. So I am learning to turn to the one thing that is sure.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. | Ephesians 3.14-21

I was feeling the weight of it all lately, especially as senior year shifts all thoughts of roots and foundations. Sitting in the chapel, days after choosing to stay in a place that feels close to but not quite like home (story about almost quitting college senior year found here) the plaques on the seats in front of me were inscribed with a set of verses. This includes Ephesians 3,  which seems to be everywhere right now and was a perspective-shifter from the moment I first heard it this semester.

Since then, the question has tumbled around in my mind:

What does it mean to be rooted and grounded in Christ’s love?

Roots are something we avoid more and more. We are overwhelmed and overrun with the sheer volume of options and choice at our fingertips, so we go wild with freedom. We live dream realities, going to any location in the world, working our ideal jobs, able to reach people from anywhere we are and stay connected, never limiting or staying settled. But what are we leaving behind? And where should we call home?

When you live in a world that is enchanted with this, it is no wonder we are all feeling distanced and isolated. Our lives are more fragmented and compartmentalized than ever. It takes a toll on you mentally, physically, emotionally. Your concept of home is always in a state of upheaval. Where do you invest your life?

With each day that passes, I’ve come to realize just how much this world is not our home. That line, from Where I Belong, was first on my playlist during the drive back from hospice after saying goodbye to my mom for the last time. Once again marking the transitions in life. And it still echoes within, as I’m making my way tentatively through arrivals and departures while hoping for something that doesn’t fade.

If this world is not our home, why have I been chasing so hard to find home here? I may not find roots where I’d hoped or expected, and while there are good things to build roots in, they do not last forever. Yet there are glimpses of the things that are not transient, the forever kind of things, and I want to treasure those.

I want to hold tight to the people and the ways that display those traces of the eternal, to invest my life in stories because that’s what matters. To invest my life in being rooted and grounded in Christ’s love until it flows out in all I do. This is a secure place for the heart and the home that I search for everywhere I go. Until I arrive at the home that endures and am with Christ for eternity.

In uncovering what it means to be rooted + grounded, it then became words inked onto arms in a desperate attempt to remember the truth. Two phrases that are pieces of what living rooted and grounded in His love means.

L O V E D from Ephesians 1.4-5 | even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world … In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ

I don’t know about you, but when my heart is caught up in the mess, in the wanting a settled place, in a brokenness that seems unending-I hate it. And I run and forget. That I am loved. To live loved.

I’m not loved based on how I spend my hours, or for having the perfect routine and pulling all the pieces + details together, or for never being overwhelmed by the perpetual daily weight of the brokenness. But as I am, tired eyes, a life-heavy soul, storms brewing in the depths of the brain, unfinished answers + messy beds but a heart with perspective set on grace, on the One who is working a different story and art within. I am loved for C H R I S T in me, spilling out in a million ways.

A L W A Y S  M O R E  from 3.20 | now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all that we can ask or imagine…

These words on my wrist a visible way to remember that I cannot do this. I can’t change it, control it, process it, live through it, and carry it on my own. But the One who is able to do always more than we can imagine is working within.

Writing this story with purpose and beauty as a part of a far greater story. Turning the pain into a canvas of His grace on display. Turning shattered pieces into art and making the scattered whole. Bringing peace in the wild, inside-out force of the storm. Healing my soul in the deepest ways so that I can enter in to others stories again the way I was made to. Revealing to my heart the depth of His eternal character. Rooting + grounding me in His love throughout all the transitions.

And so I may not have it all together. But I am learning with every sunrise and moment of grief that there is always more in Christ, and that’s where my hope dwells, that’s where home resides. That’s where this journey of being rooted + grounded starts.

Here’s to further discovering what being rooted and grounded in His love looks like. Here’s to finding home in what really matters. Here’s to building life on a sure foundation. Here’s to the depth and fullness we will find in that love and living loved because of it. Here’s to the One who does immeasurably more always.

In His love,


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