At the ripened age of 30 something, I have finally figured out that maybe everything isn’t a kosher as I’ve always thought.
For one, it took me seven years to figure out that maybe the reason I don’t love listening to the hip music my husband likes to listen to in the car is actually not at all about my not liking the music- because I actually like it. The annoyance actually comes from the record player that played in an old friend’s room, and the way the one particular band takes me back to that yellow room in the church behind the stage, where I sat trying to make myself quieter and cooler and less so I wouldn’t feel that burn and bitterness from my one ‘friend’.
The music isn’t really about the music.
I’m recognizing that this year there is shame attached to my slow down. In 2021, I took the whole month of December off. It was like the second my break started, the Lord used the time to rewire me and to reveal to me how much things needed to change, as I was letting the busyness get the best of me. So I slowed down, vowing Tuesdays and Sundays off through 2022. The first half of the year, I had finished my book and had found a better rhythm of writing. And then spring happened, and everything just got so busy. This December looked different. It was quiet, other than the noise of wedding-filled weekends. Those wedding-filled weekends poured into my weeks, filling some of those allotted rest days with editing. And now? Now I’m coming off of almost two weeks without shooting and I’m recognizing the guilt. Because once again, I’ve littered this year with more work than I originally intended, even if I followed last year’s guidelines and boundaries I placed for the new year.
Isn’t it ironic that when you’re in the midst of the heavy workaholic storm you obviously don’t want to be there but you also don’t realize how bad it is until you remove yourself from it? I’m sure other things are much the same. But this is where I’m at- I’ve stripped myself of my religious work schedule and now I have that sinking feeling inside because I don’t know what the solution is, but I need one, because this isn’t what I want. I don’t want to come to the end of the year and feel numb and passionless and dry toward the things that used to bring me joy.
And I’m starting to realize, as a part of all of this, that this is the reason I need Jesus. Because I can’t fix myself- no matter how much I think I can. No matter how often I try. And I’ve just been realizing how often I really do try. I tell a friend I’m not okay because I’m not, or I say ‘things have been hard because of xyz’ and I don’t proceed to let the Lord be the solution or bring the solution. I start immediately plotting my own solution. And I say I’m better and I’m okay once I’ve fixed it or shoved it down or got a hold on myself or slipped the bandaid on. My being better or okay has nothing to do with a place the Lord has brought me or the things He’s done.
How do you not carry the way people have hurt you in your travel-sized bag? How do you make those hurts not transmit bitterness and how do those wounds stop feeling tender?
How do you let those resolutions permeate long term life? How do we manage to not dry out every inch of ourselves and numb ourselves to our own boundaries we set to feel life?
I honestly don’t know. I don’t know what it looks like at all because I think I’ve just taken the yeast-risen dough and just braided it to make it look prettier and like less of a problem. But I’m going to pray and wait upon the Lord instead of trying to fix or save myself.
Here is what I do know for certain: the Lord will show up. He’ll show up in my brokenness and my uncertainty, the same way He shows up in my ‘blessed’ days, when I’m feeling showered in his love notes.
The end of the year has left me reevaluating some things, and along with that, I felt the Lord tugging on my heart strings. He opened my eyes to see the wave of His move and where He needs His people stationed to minister. I heard Him and watched as He connected the dots, but I didn’t move on it. I just let it simmer.
Today a friend called to talk about something the Lord had been laying on her heart and a plan she was trying to work through, inquiring what I thought of it. The discussion and goal was to minister to the exact part of the body He had highlighted to me and had me mulling over.
He will. He will. He will.
He’s going to meet me there in all of these misplaced passions and in every dry well.
He is going to meet you there.
You don’t have to pull out your writing pad and make a chart of if/thens to work out your own best cased scenario. You don’t have to be your own solution. You don’t have to create it. You can wait. You can rest.
If you’re anything like me, you probably wanted to know the solution and where the closet of healing is like yesterday. But what a gift it is that the Lord does make us sit in the quiet for a second. What a gift that we have to still keep showing up to life while we await our answers, doing the dishes, making dinner, reading the kids to sleep. Time is a gift. The waiting is a precious gift to our running, all-to-eager legs to sit and just breath.
The last month is the hardest wait. When your body is swollen with child, and the ache and readiness in your heart to find resemblance in that little face and hold those small feet match the deep ache and readiness in your body as the waddling is only a small part of the way your body is splitting to give room to this growing baby.
I remember hitting that 37 week mark and thinking, “Okay, sweet baby, you are officially considered full term so you can come out now.” I remember the impatience as everyone who was pregnant and due after me seemed to be receiving their gifts first. I was stuck waiting.
I miss those days that I never thought I would miss. I miss the timing of contractions and the excitement every morning, wondering if today would be the day. Wondering how the story would be written.
Those days of waiting mattered. Things were happening. The promise was still there. The God-pause of those aching days were not for nothing- He was preparing me, infusing me with rest and strength.
Are you in the middle? What a nice place to be.
You’re in a good place to receive.
It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.