Thursday, 23 May 2013

Fighting Rest

Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Rest? How can I rest? How can this be what God is asking me to do? I'm weary, that's for sure.  I've been trying to organize my life, my future, which feels a lot like its dependent on how I perform for interviews and such things.  It means waiting, not knowing, while fearful visions of failure or being forgotten, or not quite being good enough play themselves out in my dreams with alarming frequency.  And God wants me to rest?

But, that means that I have to hand it all over to Him, because as I've learned over the last few nights, holding on to the stress and pressure of it all, makes for an uncomfortable mattress.  The students in my classes look at me with alarm and ask, "Are you tired?" Tired? I'm exhausted.  But, if I want to sleep, that means giving it all up.  Handing it all over, and not being in control.  I don't like not being in control. Because, if I'm not in control - what will that mean? 

I guess it means, that still, after everything, I don't trust God.  I think that I have the one answer, the right answer, and have barely consulted Him about the question.   That he truly couldn't have what's best for me at heart, because he's busy with other things.  Haven't you watched the news? It's overwhelming.  God must have his hands full - and then what are things left up to? Chance? I don't like chance.  Besides, I'm a Christian, and if God is busy helping elsewhere, I should be competant enough to take care of myself. 

But, the words don't change.  Come to ME. If I take the time, and go to Him, I might find that His hands aren't full after all.  All you who are weary and heavy laden. He want's me to put this burden I am carrying down at his feet?  To just leave it there unattended? Or worse yet, what if He goes through it and finds that all of the things I am trying to control are really little and kind of embarassing after all.  I will give you rest. Sleep.  Refreshment. A long chat, where He reminds me again that He loves me, and He wants the best for me. When this is all over, and I look behind me, I think what I'll see is his leading, all the way along, and all of my carrying, picking things up to tote around and worry about, won't amount to anything after all.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Just Get Over It

I haven't been able to write anything I've been happy with for the last two weeks.  I used to think that when hard times happened in people's lives, people wasted time over exaggerating their circumstances. I always wondered was there really an excuse not to function?


And yet, here I am trying to make decisions about a future that is out of my hands, impress a boss at work when I feel overwhelmed with what's already on my plate - in a place I literally, barely understand. I am pretending that I know how to be a Christian wife and mother with a positive and enriching home environment, when I feel like if I have to have one more sudden death match over cooked asparagus, or the wii, or bedtime, I'll just have to let the cats raise the kids, 'cause they'll do a better job. Not to mention, that sometimes I really don't think I understand my husband at all and we're supposed to be best friends.  Hand in hand is the pressure of trying to please everyone all the time - because still, at thirty, sometimes I feel like I just want people to like me - and I'm not sure if they do - I'm not sure if I do. 

I'm not trying to fish for accolades or compliments, or even condolences.  I also sincerely apologize to those of you who read this and can only think, For goodness sake, quit complaining - get over yourself, get over IT. I'm not saying that this little slice of reality is pertinent - I'm just saying that, it's real. I could go on about how to stifle the negativity in your own life, tell you about some magic solution I've developed to push it away, but I'd be lying.  That's one thing I'm not, a liar.  In fact, I think part of the problem is, I've been pushing it down for far too long.  I don't like to deal with negativity - I like to ignore it.  Save it for another day, but the only problem is, it compounds, it doesn't disintegrate.  It creeps in, and suddenly I've made myself sick, I can't write any more, and the thought of running my own life is overwhelming. 

I heard at church last week, that time doesn't heal all wounds.  I think that's true.  I know that God heals, but if I don't bring him my struggles, my hurts and the truth of my own darkness, then I'll never get anywhere.  You can’t force these things. They only come about through my Spirit,’ says God-of-the-Angel-Armies. Zechariah 4: 5-7 or Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts. It's not within my strength - it's God. He is the only one that can take me - or any of us, from the truths of our own realities, and move us into the life that he wants for us. Of course, I want to offer a solution - it's only natural for me, I feel as a writer, my writing should always conclude. But this one doesn't. Know that whatever is the truth of your reality, you aren't alone - I'm walking through it too. Day by day, sometimes moment by moment, God is with you, like he's with me.  Just keep walking with him, going to him, because he is the truth, and he says, Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden - and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Scaling the Wall


Unfortunately, lately I've been stuck where no writer enjoys - standing beside a great chasm and looking across, I can catch the smallest glimpse of a fertile land with ideas frolicking beside a bubbly spring, and characters sprawling languidly on the grass, waiting to tell me their stories.  I can see them, I can almost hear them - I just can't reach them.  I'll find a way to get to them, but for now, I'm sitting and looking at the gaping divide and I know I have to fly over, I just don't have anything with which to make wings...

Though you hear about it most often from writers, I am sure that others must experience the same phenomenon. Like...a Baker's Block, or Musician Misalignment or Cook's Catastrophes, I don't know, but this particular evil can't only haunt writers...it wouldn't be fair. So, what causes it? Life? Maybe...my last writers block lasted nearly two years - the business of a baby, and being a new Mom didn't lend itself well to my imaginary friends and their interesting issues.  The only time I had to talk to them was in the shower, or in the car, and who has a pen handy on such occasions as those? Maybe stress? I've been experiencing a bit of that lately - and my propensity to latch on to any niggling worry that floats through my skull might be somewhat of a distraction.  

Or maybe, just maybe - the thing that makes you good at something, that brings out the very best in you are the times where your own creativity and passion have momentarily dried up.  It makes me aware of them, aware of myself. Maybe it's good to fight through something now and then, to build that determination that pushes you forward.  Uncertainty is a hard one for me, it makes me feel like someone else is directing my future, and I don't like that.  But, I'm learning - slowly - that part of the fight is letting it go, giving it up, and letting God take things in his hands. It's then I find that I didn't actually have to fight so hard to work things out my own way, that what I saw as a chasm was only a crack. 

The Search for Light, on the Darkest Day of My Life

It's never easy to tell someone that they have cancer. That's what the thoracic surgeon said. I wanted to assure him in that ...