It’s been exactly 16 months since I have written on this blog. An eternity really, when for so many years and through so many circumstances, this was the place I retreated to. My little corner of the world where I could cry and vent, document my life, and occasionally, have it out with God.
I don’t miss writing if I’m honest. I don’t miss straining over words or the placement of commas, nor do I have time for it these days. I don’t miss masses of people correcting my grammar, or the uproar that ensues every time a friend or family member’s ego takes a hit because of something I wrote. Not to mention, I’m uninterested in building a platform for myself or in joining the likes of those dishing out tweetable wisdom to the watching world. The older I get the less value I see in any wisdom I could offer, especially if it’s tweetable, and the more value I see in things like a solid under eye concealer.
But the reason I’ve chosen to pick back up writing on this blog is this (and only this): when I write I feel near to God.
And if I’m honest, I need Him now, just as much as ever.
Writing has always been where I go when there is nowhere else to turn.
I remember the first time my perfect little life was jolted upside down. (Not to be confused with the third time…the hundredth time…or the quadruple millionth time.) It was a month before my 12th birthday, and it had just come out that my father had been having an affair — an affair with not just anyone, but a woman my twelve-year-old self truly loved and admired. A woman I would’ve no doubt turned to had she not been an active participant in my heartache.
Making matters even more confusing, and because my father was a pastor at the time, my family and I literally and physically could no longer go to our church anymore. Amid such a hopeless time for my family, there was no place to retreat to, no community to link arms with, no pew to sit in Sunday morning to hear things like God is still God and God is still good.
It begged the question: where was a preteen girl to go amid the chaos and heartache? Where should she turn when her father, her tribe, and even her church, are no longer a safe place? I retreated to the only place left to go to — a blank sheet of paper.
I retreated to the only place left to go to — a blank sheet of paper.
Dear God… I wrote for the first time on December 11, 1998, in a flower-laden journal.
Dear God… I wrote. And wrote. And wrote. (For years I wrote.)
The truth is, I never stopped.
Whether clicking away from behind my laptop; publicly wrestling with my rawest feelings on this blog, or writing alone in the stillness of my apartment crying over what looks like scribbles in a college-ruled notebook, I realize I’m still the same preteen girl looking for a place to escape the chaos and heartache. It’s who I’ve always been and what I’ve always done.
In the past, on this blog, I have written through the cross-country moves & the miscarriage that changed me. The betrayals I never thought I’d bounce back from & the vows I was certain were broken beyond repair. I wrote through unanswered prayers and things that didn’t go as planned, times where I was terrifying close to letting go of it all, and the year I was bordering on coming unhinged. — And through it all, God has never failed me. Not once. Not even close. And He’s not about to start now!
Through it all, God has never failed me. Not once. Not even close. And He’s not about to start now!
That’s a welcomed reminder for me today because while my life has never felt more meaningful, it’s also never felt more uncertain. (I’ve often described this season of my life as ‘walking on a field of land mines with Jesus’ — a more twisted & sinister version of the sweet ‘walking in the sand’ poem every Baptist grandmother knows and loves and has hung on her bathroom wall.)
In my life today – and as I seek to do everything God is asking me to do – the stakes are high. Impossibly high. And the truth is, because of it, I could lose everything (yet again.) The magnitude of that reality often sweeps over me, leaving me rattled for days, even, weeks on end.
As for who I am today and how I’ve changed since I last wrote nearly a year and a half ago? Well …I curse and cry more than I used to, and am bolder and more firey than I was taught is ever acceptable. (Especially, for a woman. A woman in ministry, nonetheless.) And yet, I’ve never felt God more proud of who I’m becoming.
Oh, and I’m still not pregnant… still… exactly 7 years after we first began this journey to have our second child. Only further proving said: uncertainty, and that you can be closer to God than they’ve ever been in your life, more in-tuned with His heart and His voice and just how deeply He loves you, all while being downright DUMBFOUNDED when it comes to what God is doing in your life (or what He’s NOT doing for that matter.)
Yet, if writing is how I’ve always found Him in the past, then it’s through writing that I’m determined to find Him again. (And He’s promising I will.)
“Write yourself out of this season…” I can feel God inviting, “Kick and scream your way through the uncertainty and cling tightly to Me as you have done before until you come face-to-face with My goodness once again.”
He then comes in a little closer, speaking more tenderly this time as if to reassure me, “…You will see My goodness again, I promise.”
So that’s what I’m going to do. With everything in me I’m going to seek to find Him in this mess, and as I do my hope is that maybe, just maybe, you will find a little of Him as well. I pray that as I write myself out of this season of my life, that you might feel lighter and less alone, more purposed and expectant in yours. (And at the very least, that you might be mildly entertained by my inevitably-exhausting- and- always-unruly life in New York City.)
There’s so much for us to catch up on, so many things I can’t wait to share with you, but we’ll get there…
Because I’m back.