All my life, I’ve struggled with knowing what I want to be or what I want to do. It was never really a problem until recently, due to being on the other side of child rearing and “the busy years”. My search for significance is turning up empty a good bit of the time. Things come along occasionally in my life and I think , “Is this it?” or a month later, “Is THIS it?” I’m tired of asking that question and having “it” never turn out to be “IT”.This all came to a head Saturday morning when I was reading a devotional and it warned against letting the emptiness in my soul, heart and mind be filled with these three things- self pity, self preoccupation, or giving up. That described me to a "t". Giving up is exactly what I’ve wanted to do when it comes to the area of writing.
I have such a struggle in this area. The more I strive to be a writer, the less I feel like writing. In comparing myself to other women writers- which is strictly taboo, I know, but happens all the time- I feel instant defeat. I read a wonderful blog the other day, delightfully written, and the author wrote - “when I write, it’s fairly easy.” That makes me wonder about my own ability, because I often don’t feel like that. I sit here and imagine words just flowing out of her fingertips and it being effortless for her many times over. I’m sure this probably isn’t true. Reading her blog really put me over the edge, probably because she writes just like I’d like to write. And gets noticed for it. Ugh.
Comparison is a bear.
Reading that devotional, I realized I was all about self pity, self preoccupation and giving up, which is a place I never thought I would be. I cried my heart out to God. I told him I felt dried up, useless, and like I had nothing left to say, and that I’d been feeling like that for a long time. It wasn’t really a pity party, it was more of a cleaning out of my soul. I needed to say all these things to Him, because He is the only one who truly understands me and would clearly see the mess in my brain that I was trying to sort out. It unearthed some real deep seated feelings of never, ever really knowing what I wanted to do in life, from after college on. I graduated with a teaching degree with no desire to teach. And it just kept going from there.
So now when I think I’ve hit on “it” and then the “it” loses its appeal and seems to shrivel up and blow away, it makes me crazy. I unclenched my tight fists, held open my hands and said, “God, I give it all to you.” And I felt Him saying, “Beth, I want you. I want your heart. I don’t care if you write or play basketball or crochet for Me; I want YOU first and foremost.”
And I realized that is what I was lacking. My tears stopped and dried. I felt a much lighter load inside- in fact, no load at all. Only joy. My heart now had an answer – that He wanted to love me more if I would only let Him. He showed me that I was not spending the time with Him that I used to- when words flowed more easily and I always had a story to tell on my blog and when I was thrilled with my writing even if no one else was. I've recently complained that I’m dry for material, but I’m not spending any time in His word or really praying for Him to use me.
I think that may have something to do with it....
After having that meeting with God, as I was hanging up laundry, the beginning lines of this blog post came fast and furious into my head and I knew I had to go write them down. Like, right that minute. Primarily so that I wouldn't forget them, but also, because I sensed they were the beginnings of a story to tell. I practically ran to my laptop like I haven’t in months or maybe a year and started this raw writing, and poured out words without even thinking about it. It just all drained out of my fingertips, from my head, through my heart and onto the page.
I have discovered this - My connection with writing is directly proportional to my connection with God. (click to tweet this)I had never thought of that way before. But it makes total sense to me now.
This still doesn’t mean fame, fortune, recognition, a book deal or any attention whatsoever. But the way I was driven to write this piece is the way I want to feel again. It's actually the passion that I was missing more than the writing. What I was longing for was the desire to write – that's what I so desperately wanted to return.
And I believe it has, because I've recognized its source.Thank you, God of the universe, for meeting me exactly where I was one Saturday morning, and speaking to my very need. You have shown me some incredible things that only you could have known I needed.
It's all about You.