The Amnesia of Home: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post from Tammy Hendricksmeyer
I’m so grateful to Tammy Hendricksmeyer for adding her voice to our series of Wild in the Hollow Guest Posts. She and I seem to have similar fiery hearts, and I love the way she talks about our HOME within. Please welcome Tammy!
“I must listen to my life and try to understand what it is truly about–quite apart from what I would like it to be about–or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions” (Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak.”
Today, right now, I peer into my soul with such fierceness as if I might forget who I am. The heavy world presses in, news of disasters and divisions mixed in with shopping and bumping carts in crowded aisles. I find myself with the increasingly difficult task of listening to my own thoughts. I wade through all the could’s, should’s, and would’s, hoping I don’t first become deaf, mute, and blind in one fell swoop.
We live in the wonderful age of information. We also live a balancing act.
I remember how Hope first came to me. How I’d lived as an unconventional rule-keeper, the punk-rocker who also kept her nose clean, eventually becoming the wide-eyed Christian who–to this day–has not grown tired of Jesus.
It’s taken me time to want everything He has to offer. I mean, who would admit they didn’t want everything Jesus offered through the Holy Spirit in the first place? But if “everything” required me to run around the room whooping and hollering, or falling out in a dead faint, or excessively perspiring (like the first time I ever raised a worshipping self-conscience hand over my head) well, God could keep those “everything”s stored up in Heaven. Locked away. I did not necessarily want those kinds that pushed too far out my comfort zone.
“For a long span, I lived self-aware, tried to fill my own hollow places. ‘I’m on my own,’ I said. It’s only me here, surrounded by ghosts…” Amber Haines, Wild in the Hollow
I’ve written about the fact that long ago, in a silent avalanche of disasters within my soul, I surrendered. I returned home like a prodigal who had come to the very end of herself. I had changed my tune about the “everything.” I wanted it all–the whole kit and caboodle. In a desperate and holy place, a Wild in the Hollow place, my thirst overcame my fear of the unknown and the fear of awkward and freakish things that might befall any Jesus freak like me. Instead I discovered a way to live, more alive than I’d ever imagined – alive with a beautiful broken way about me.
Over time, I’ve entered seasons of faith that pushed my roots deeper and out of spiritual droughts as if I were a spindly tree with dormant roots coming out of a long blistering winter of the soul. I’ve known the seasons which watered like a flood of spring, whetting every thirsty drop in me. Or the ones where I’ve basked like a sun-bather in summer with God’s healing warmth on my skin, worry sliding away at the scent of coconut oil. In other words, seasons change and they change me, too. And through them I grow, mostly in invisible, small increments, inch by spiritual inch.
Truth is: this is not my home. Every bit of ground I own, every space I occupy, I’m homesick. I’m homesick with an ache so loud, I can almost hear it growl. But I feel it too. Clawing at my insides, searching for something to devour, eating away at my throbbing heart. Nothing satisfies. All of it is highlighted against the backdrop of the overwhelming weight of the world.
Yet, if we’ve given our life to Christ, a sacred resident takes up inside. And there, hidden and big inside our spirit, is a down payment toward our Forever home. Within us is a door and we can pull it closed until it’s only a narrow slit restricted to tiny slivers of light or we can open it wide, allowing all of Heaven to come in and pour out. In all our wanderings, in all our worryings, in all our worldly tribulations, peace transcends understanding and comes like an eye in every storm.
As I peer into the mirror of who I am, or think I ought to be, I look past myself. I look past the Wild in the Hollow face of homesickness. I look past the dizzying and shouting world with its cry, “Look, look, at nowhere and everywhere!” I look past my creasing eyes, deepening laugh lines, and fading hair and stare, long and unswerving, into Jesus’ face, and I temporarily forget about the darkness outside and come Home deep within me, to the Holy Spirit residing there, to the holy wild.
When I remember Whose I am, it changes how I see the world. Or put another way: when I remember Whose I am, it changes everything.
Tammy discovered writing is the rawest, scariest, frustratingly glorious, rewarding, and essential way to process life. She’s a renaissance woman who’s scattered pigeons at Notre Dame, swam the coral reefs of Okinawa, scaled fortresses in Nuremberg, viewed the Eiffel Tower safely from the ground, and occasionally drives an old John Deere tractor in tim-buck-two. A fighter for others to see their redemptive purpose, beauty, worth, and connection to a supernatural God, she helps others find courage to use their gifts and embrace their one precious life. She’s the Founder and Curator for Outside The City Gates with a team of other writers while also working with a few local organizations as a Content Writer and Social Media Manager. She’s contributed to too many places to count. Her faith journey is found on her personal blog, or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
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