by Jennifer DePriest
Several years ago I had this sign made with one of my favorite Bible verses.
“I have found the One whom my soul loves.” ~ Song of Solomon 3:4
This beautiful verse is often used in décor for weddings and homes but, recently, I found that it took on a completely different meaning for me. For the past five years, it seemed that with every obstacle that came my way, the contents of a life-altering event required me to take on yet another storage unit. As if the events didn’t weight on me enough, the ever-mounting collection of things seemed to be enveloping my life. I joked with my friends, “Maybe Sleeping Beauty wasn’t asleep after all … maybe she was just waiting on a prince to help her with her yard.”
Fortunately, for me, I didn’t have to wait for a prince, I have raised two. My incredible sons have embraced the goals that I have set for my life and in the midst of these 100+ temperatures, have worked tirelessly, alongside of me, to help me start to clear away unnecessary clutter in my life. Sometimes, I think we hold on to things to remember those we have lost, and sometimes we can allow things to help shield us from the outside world, becoming walls to a fortress to keep us from getting hurt.
So, as we took on this monumental task before the school bells rang, in the midst of the heat, and the exhaustion, what I came to realize is that I had truly found “the One, the one whom my soul loves,” and I came to realize that it is me. I’m not talking about a narcissistic kind of love, I’m talking about a love where I am leaning in and clearing out the unnecessary clutter in my life so that I can make room for change. It doesn’t matter how old we are, if we don’t first learn to love and take care of ourselves, how are we ever going to be able to recognize a healthy relationship when it comes knocking at our door. How are we going to truly be able to know what we need from those around us?
What I am finding, as I continue on this journey, is that the more I lean in to this process, the more comfortable I become with myself, the more goals I am able to accomplish, the more peace that I am finding within myself and my home. I have a long list of goals that I plan to tackle over the next several years, but the past month showed me that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to. This process has been exciting for both my kids and me. I hope by being transparent with them as I work toward my own goals, it will better equip them to make their own goals and strive to accomplish them as well.
So the next time you come across this verse painted on a sign at a wedding or on an aisle in Hobby Lobby, you can smile and say, “I knew a lady once, who learned to find a love for herself within the depths of her soul … and that made all the difference.”