It’s not about me. Really…..it’s not….
OK, to be honest, I have to confess – I guess it IS about me, not thinking it’s about me!
Tonight I hit my first writing wall. And it’s only been….what? Nine days?! I’ve been sitting at my laptop for over 90 minutes now, listening to music and reading bits of things for inspiration. My inner dialogue has gone something like this:
“Don’t try to be clever…just write something that was notable about your day.”
“O…K…..nothing really comes to mind on that one. Just write about……oh, come on….there has to be something!” (Insert looking around room and literally saying to myself, “lamp….bed…..table….book…….clothes hamper….)”
Clothes hamper?! Come on, girl. Get a grip! You’re making this too hard….you love to write, just start and see what happens.”
(Insert rhythmic sounds of crickets chirping.)
And then…..I prayed. And maybe cried a little. I reminded God that nine days ago I felt like this was His big idea anyway and I could really use some help. I can’t write what I don’t believe, and I refuse to be trite or self-serving with this precious gift of communication; authenticity is essential. Was I really done at Day 9?
As if on cue, my bedroom door quietly opened as my husband poked his head around the door to see if it was safe to enter. (OK…maybe he just didn’t want to disturb me, but I’m in a dramatic place….just go with it.) I turned my screen around to show him how much I had accomplished in my hour and a half of quiet time and, to his credit he didn’t act either surprised or judgmental. He crossed the room, took my face in his hands and said, “I just wanted you to know you are loved.” (Sigh….I KNOW, right?)
I then poured out all my angst at not being able to come up with anything worthwhile to say, and, as is so often the case, out of confession came….truth. I told him how I felt totally thrown off by two things:
1. I didn’t like leaving him and Kelsey for hours each evening when we have so little time together as it is. We’ve fallen into a well-balanced routine in our evenings together and I couldn’t help but feel like I was “ditching” them to do something that took me away.
2. I didn’t know how I was going to keep writing things that didn’t sound sad when that is so often what I feel. This one is really hard to admit, because I do have so much love, support and even joy woven throughout these days of sorrow. But if writing comes from the heart, this is where my heart is – for now – and that’s a very vulnerable place.
As all that teary truth tumbled out in our conversation, my husband reminded me that this was just for a season. Lent is a season. There have been other years I’ve “given up” things, like coffee, sugar, even watching any sort of media for the 40 days of Lent. Though I didn’t fully realize it when I decided to write this Lenten journal, I now realize that what God was asking of me was….me. And my time….just time to sit with me and offer words of hope and healing.
The Lenten season is a time to reflect on the life, the commitment and the sacrificial love of Jesus, not just for a group of people who lived and died thousands of years ago, but for you and I today. He didn’t walk this earth because he had to. He came out of his deep, deep love and longing to set us free from all the cares and fears that can so easily wrap us up tight. As long as we walk this earth, we will certainly feel these things – it’s part of our humanity – but they no longer need to own us. We are free to feel and fall into the arms of the One who understands better than any other.
Wow…..such a beautiful gift of clarity that reaffirms God’s power at work in my life. Nothing has changed from an hour ago, yet I feel …..released. I can’t deny the hurting state of my heart, but neither do I have to deny that life is good and that grace will see us through these days and every day for the rest of our lives.
This was a hard, but important lesson learned on Day 9. I can’t fear what the days will bring, or that what I share won’t be tinged with sorrow, though it is my goal not to dwell there too long. None of us are alone on this journey of faith. It’s OK to be who, what and where we are.
Well…..unless I start writing about my clothes hamper…… =)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
“Finish What He Started” Mercy Me