Entering The New Country


“You have an idea of what the new country looks like. Still, you are very much at home, although not truly at peace, in the old country. You know the ways of the old country, its joys and pains, its happy and sad moments. You have spent most of your days there. Even though you know that you have not found there what your heart most desires, you remain quite attached to it. It has become part of your very bones.

Now you have come to realize that you must leave it and enter the new country, where your Beloved dwells. You know that what helped and guided you in the old country no longer works, but what else do you have to go by? You are being asked to trust that you will find what you need in the new country. That requires the death of what has become so precious to you: influence, success, yes, even affection and praise.

Trust is so hard, since you have nothing to fall back on. Still, trust is what is essential. The new country is where you are called to go, and the only way to go there is naked and vulnerable.

It seems that you keep crossing and recrossing the border. For a while you experience a real joy in the new country. But then you feel afraid for all you left behind, so you go back to the old country. To your dismay, you discover that the old country has lost its charm. Risk a few more steps in the new country, trusting that each time you enter it, you will feel more comfortable and be able to stay longer.”

~ Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love

This story probably sounds like your story because the story is the same for all of us. We are all naked and afraid upon entering the new country. We sometimes run back into the familiar arms of our emotions and desires and soon find them lacking the comfort and distraction they once offered. You have to admit to yourself that they were just illusions.

So where do you go? You move forward. You cross over the border into the new country. You drop your baggage at the door and stand up, naked and vulnerable. You live in the present moment. You put your trust in a love greater than your own. You thank God. You stay a while.



  1. It’s so funny how I wrote a post about addiction this morning and mentioned being addicted to the past. I have also, for the past few days been trying to move into what I believe is my “New Country”. My new country is switching from corporate life to work from home (writing and self-publishing). I have been holding onto the shame and guilt of quitting my job for a while. Just the other day I wrote a post about letting it go for good. This does sound like my story – you are absolutely right. We are all looking for the same thing. Different ways and expressions, but ultimately the same feeling of “Home”. Thanks for posting.

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