where I’ve been and what I’ve learned

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Most of my creative energy this past month has gone to the Lent series that I was helping to facilitate at church. We talked about Making Space for God, and how letting go of stuff (you know, the typical deny yourself for 40 days during Lent thing) is just to make space for God to work in our lives. Turns out that one of the things I had to give up was writing. I wrote here a couple times, but largely this was an aspect of life I had to let go during that season. I can’t say it was something I “gave up” for Lent, but the longer the season went on, the more I realized what was happening in my life because I wasn’t writing as much. I needed to lay it down for a bit to truly make some space for God. Today, as I’m slowly picking this piece of me back up, I thought I’d share some of the deeper things I learned over the past six weeks or so.

1) Writing feeds my soul in a way no other thing does. I need it. I’m quite the verbal processor, so writing is one way that I work things out without alienating every other person in my life. When I write, I feel alive. I know the rest of you have things like this too. It might not be writing. It might be painting or crafting or hiking or….whatever it is, find that thing that makes you come alive and feeds your soul and DO IT.

2) It is hard to step out in boldness when you hear God speak. I had an idea for this series at church, and I was trying to work through it and flesh it out on my own power. Then came my couple weeks of emotional craziness, and I couldn’t even concentrate on my daily functioning much less detailing an entire series. When it came down to the wire, I had just a few days to put it all together so I completely had to rely on God to get the final details written down. I consulted others, I did my research, but in the end, I couldn’t just do it on my own. I had to slow way down and listen to what He was telling me.

I don’t know if you share uncertainties like this, but sometimes I just am so afraid that I misheard God. That I’m deciding things just because I want to or I like it or…who knows what. This particular thing was no exception, and honestly, there was a price. Not everything went as smoothly as I hoped, not everyone who attended every Sunday was completely on board, and there was some personal pain involved. But God gave me this vision, and every single week confirmed that He was using this series to do some transforming work. It wasn’t the most dramatic thing ever, there weren’t miraculous physical healings or fire from the sky or any such thing. It was just God’s people worshiping together Sunday after Sunday, choosing to make space for Him in their lives, doing the hard thing because it’s what He’s called us to do. Everyday people doing everyday stuff, and it’s all part of God’s great big story of rescue and redemption. I just fall to my knees in wonder. He uses even the unlikeliest of people for His glory, and I’m pretty sure I can speak for everyone who spoke and shared and had a piece of this series that we ALL feel like we’re the unlikeliest of people.

3) I should not be allowed on the internet. These past few months, the internet has confirmed that our baby might have congestive heart failure, that I may have eighteen different autoimmune diseases, and the worst thing is the rabbit holes I tend to fall down when I’m researching something. I end up on obscure university publishing websites, reading excerpts of academic books on Eden and Old Testament studies, and then I neglect my laundry. This is a brutal truth that I have to make peace with.

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