Dearest Blog Readers,
My iPhone died late this afternoon. I tried a bunch of things and nothing’s working to fix it. Looks like I’m going to have to bring it into AT&T tomorrow to see what’s wrong.
For some odd reason, the temporary death of my iPhone caused me to have a significant revelation this evening.
Something is off with me.
Something is not sitting well with my soul.
My last day of work as a 14 1/2 year speech-language therapist was December 18, 2014.
That was followed by two months of my husband’s eye cancer.
That was followed by two months of hefty spring cleaning and acclimating to new normal.
That was followed by a crazy busy summer, home full-time with our three children for the first time ever.
That four month, crazy-busy period was followed by January and February 2016, which have been the quietest, LEAST BUSY months in MY. ENTIRE. LIFE.
How odd is that?
Since the first week of January, I’ve been spending every Tuesday and Thursday working on a long-standing dream. Writing books. I’m working on a children’s book series. The first two children’s books are fully drafted and have been edited MANY times. I think they’re good, potentially very good and unique, too, but doubt and disbelief definitely get in the way. The third children’s book is a crappy first draft that needs at least 500 words edited out before it has any sort of viability. The fourth book is adult nonfiction. It’s a slow go. SLOW. VERY SLOW. It will likely be a year or two or five before it’s viable. But I’m going. I’m moving on it.
I’m certain God’s granted me these months of quiet space for a very good reason. He’s given me quiet before the storm, or quiet to work on these books. Perhaps BOTH. Either way, I’m doing my part. I’m taking advantage of the quietest space I’ve had in my adult life.
For months, I felt as if I’d emerged from a wilderness or captivity, but was standing at the bottom of a wall looking straight up. I wasn’t sure how to get over the wall and was feeling stuck.
In December and January, I had revelation not once, but three times, that God was going to take care of moving that wall, NOT me. I’ve felt freedom in that realization. I no longer feel stuck like that.
But since that revelation, I’ve felt more and more that I’m LOST. Or maybe I’m drowning due to my own lack of faith. 14 months ago, I took a major leap of faith, arguably the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken. I’m in the water. I’m in the deepest deep. But I’ve lost sight of something. I’m feeling a certain panic about the complete UNknown that comes with a leap of faith. I have no idea what’s next. I have no guarantee of what’s going to happen next week, next month, next year or five years from now when it comes to this leap of faith to focus on writing, photography, and staying home with my children. I can’t promise myself or my husband, my family or anyone else what’s going to happen next. There IS no paved path. It’s just me and God here. If I’m completely honest, this is freaking me out a bit (or a lot). It’s testing my faith. I’m simultaneously bored and all wired up. I’m simultaneously full of faith and lacking faith in what God has planned next.
But there’s something else.
I’ve become aware of a grief that’s in me. It’s come out sideways for a long time now. I wasn’t aware it was grief until a few months ago. Now I know better.
Yesterday, I watched a video of researcher, author and speaker Brene Brown. It was about grief and allowing ourselves to say good bye to some things before we’re fully able to embrace and move into what’s next.
That video resonated with me. Deeply.
I’m believing more and more that I need to grieve some things.
This is private business.
This will not be public.
This is for me and me only.
I need to get with God.
I need to do some journaling.
I need to create some crappy art, to do some crappy writing that nobody will see or judge except me.
I’ve already visited one pastor for some conversation. I’m thinking I need to visit another.
I need to give myself time to explore this grief. What is this? Who and what do I need to grieve before I can move on to what’s next?
What is it about me that needs to move out of the way so I can fully embrace this next season God has for me? Thank you, my friend Monica, for helping me see that I NEED TO MOVE OUT OF THE WAY.
Thirteen months ago, my writer friend, Kris Camealy, told me that my “five point plan [wasn’t] going to work anymore.” I have NO idea how she knew that. But she was spot on. My five-point plan isn’t working anymore. I’ve been trying to work a five-point plan, and let me share a little insight. Five-point plans don’t work in God’s economy. Five-point plans aren’t compatible with leaps of faith. Five-point plans don’t cut it when you need to grieve some things you weren’t even aware you needed to grieve.
I’m nearly 40 years old. I’ve already told you I’m going to ROCK my 40s and beyond. I WILL do just that.
I’m also keenly aware that I have no plan B. I’m already IN plan B. Plan B WILL BE God’s way.
There’s been a struggle, here.
I haven’t cracked the struggle wide open yet.
But I’m willing. And ready.
I didn’t expect this. I didn’t plan this AT. ALL. It’s not a part of the five-point plan. Honestly, this all just occurred to me TONIGHT. But I’m taking a blogging break, effective immediately, for a minimum of two weeks. We’re in the middle of a series titled “Love Letters to Friends.” Four posts remain. God’s up to something with this series. And those last four posts are important to me. I’m not willing to write those posts and move forward unless I’m ready. Tonight, it came to my attention that I’m not ready. Not quite yet, anyway.
I’m not ready to finish this blog series until I do some work.
I’m not ready to move to the next step in writing those books and book proposals until I do some work.
I’m not ready to break free until I do some work.
I’m not ready until I’ve cracked the struggle wide open.
I’m not ready to move into my future until I’ve grieved the things of the past.
And I’m not fully surrendered to God until I COMPLETELY surrender my strong people-pleasing tendencies. This is a problem, people. Taking a leap of faith is not a time to worry about people, what they think, how they respond, or how they don’t respond. I thought I’ve been real, but I’m worrying too much if I’m resonating. And it’s spilling over into my book writing.
I have some work to do, friends.
I want to be better for you.
I’m called to this. So I have to work through this.
Offline for now. Online again, once I’ve worked through some things.
Thanks. I adore you for reading and understanding and hanging in there with me. Please pray I’ll come back better. It’s time for soul care and deep digging.