I woke up this morning feeling more tired than when I went to sleep last night.
I try to write only to be interrupted by a little one who needs a diaper change.
I sit on my couch and try to decide between writing a blog post or folding a load of laundry.
The laundry wins. It seems to be winning a lot lately. The distractions are endless, the needs constant, the expectations looming and the desire to write gets diminished with every attempt that is foiled.
Because writing is hard. Actually, the assumptions, the criticisms, the judgments- those are the things that are hard. Writing is cathartic. I need to write, to express my thoughts, to take what gets all jumbled in my head and make sense of it all somehow. But the voices grow stronger when I write. The opinions get louder. And I confess that I listen way more often than I should.
My writing is stilted, my growth stunted, and I find myself surviving rather than thriving.
I have grand arguments in my head. I contemplate what I would have said in the moment if I had the courage (or opportunity!) to say the hard things. And then I convince myself that my discretion and wisdom have won the day, meanwhile the niggling feeling at the back of my mind persists. It’s better to say too much than to never say what you need to say again and say what you need to say, and let the words fall out play on repeat in my head.
Three of my friends celebrated book releases this week and I am thrilled for each one of them. It’s an exhilarating thing to be an author’s friend, because writers are generous with their desire to share the joy in their work.
But these celebrations remind me of my own feeling of being stifled. I’m stuck it seems in an invisible trap. Yearning, longing to break free, but continually being pulled back. Some of the bonds are self inflicted. It is easier to fold a load of laundry and watch a show on Netflix than it is to do the hard work of constructing thoughts in a meaningful way. The never ending nature of my work is an easy excuse for not taking the time to pursue my writing. The needs of others abound and I get lost on social media with the feeling that it-is-my-job-after-all.
My writing seems frivolous. It’s not going anywhere, I surmise, so why take the time to do it? I need to see results and if the statistics aren’t what I would like them to be, why should I keep spinning my wheels?
And then the voices. The disparaging ones, the naysayers, the critics- everyone has something to say. It might not be intentional, but it levels me. It might be just an offhanded comment, but I’m left reeling. Often times, it is a person who is hurting and so they lash out at me. I take their hurts on myself and try to heal them, all the while forgetting that I am NOT their healer and their burden is not mine to bear.
And so I run to the only place that has the answers, that contains the truth, that sets me free. I run boldly before the throne of grace, laying down my hurts, my busyness, and my desires. In that place, I am filled once again, not with myself, but with Jesus. In Christ, my thoughts move from my own plans to His will for me. The voices decrease as He increases. I don’t waver in my faith, but stand firmly on the foundation of My Rock.
Greater is He who is living in me than he who is living in the world and when You don’t move the mountains, I’m needing You to move… I will trust in You play on repeat in my head. My heart begins to trust in God’s perfect plan and His perfect timing. I refuse to be wrapped up in myself and open my heart to others.
His Still Small Voice becomes louder than the cacophony that surrounds me. He quiets the waters, the wind subsides.
I am safe. I am His. I am loved.