Good morning, New Women. It couldn't have been more of a God-thing, Ireland writing a guest post that makes a perfect ending for our Summer Spiritual Spa. You'll see why.
Within a few seconds of reading Nancy’s post on “the longing to belong” a few weeks ago, there was an excited, jittery feeling bubbling up in me. I connected immediately to what she was saying, and her questions were just the kind my heart wanted to answer. What is cozy? What is it not? And what does that look like in our relationships?
Cozy is my family gathered around the wood-burning fireplace. Listening to my favorite music. Rereading the Lily books. Dancing while my dad plays guitar. Beautiful clothes that don't get in the way while I'm doing things. Conversation that flows like water.
It is an inner warmth that comes from feeling close to love. It is a clear conscience, a new slate, a tingly feeling that starts in your soul and spreads all the way throughout your body. It is letting God be God and being who you were truly made to be. It is honest but safe. It is belonging. It is unaffected, and there is nomask to cover it up. Cozy.
I don't know about you, but I don’t feel cozy all that often. But there are moments, here and there, a few seconds where I laugh and forget about my problems or I embrace the exquisiteness of God a little bit more. Mostly it feels like a process, like I'm getting closer to it but I'm not quite there yet.
Oh, how I long for coziness in relationships. To me that sounds close to perfection. I have a few friends that I catch glimpses of it with, and I don't appreciate it enough because I'm obsessed over wanting more. I’m starting my junior year of high school in four days, and I'll be going to a public high school for the first time... and I’m really afraid of not finding close friends there.
Closeness has always been something I crave—it’s something we all crave. We were designed for intimacy with God, and nothing else will bring us lasting satisfaction until we get there. But while I know this is true, I often push it away and start reaching for something else. Even now as I am writing this, part of me just wants to fill up the space with beautiful words and ignore the fact that part of me feels empty.
But haven’t I done this before? Haven’t I tried to lean on other things besides God? And how did that work out? Sometimes it didn’t seem so bad, other than the guilt creeping up in my stomach that I tried to swat away. But I keep coming back to the same place again and again—if I ended up somewhere else, I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t care. But I am. And you do. Because you feel the same way.
The thing is, I can’t get it all figured out. Every time I try, life has a way of knocking me down again. But there is peace in just pausing for a few seconds and re-centering on God. When I start trying to understand things, when I try to write it all out, when I try to explain life back into control, I am overwhelmed by my inability to get it right.
But I don’t have to be. I have to keep reminding myself that I have Jesus, and because of Him I am not alone, even when it feels that way. I want to hug that truth around the nakedness of my soul and believe it with every fiber of my being.
That is cozy. And that is unshakable. And that is what I want.