About a week ago.
That’s when I realized I hadn’t been writing.
No pen-to-paper moments; not even random thoughts to frantically scribble onto a notepad in hopes that something more would follow later.
It was writer's block & to be honest it started to freak me out because it felt like I was losing a significant piece of who I am.
(Yeah, I know. I am well aware of how dramatic that sounded. But it's true, none-the-less.)
Re-tracing my steps & I can pinpoint it's cause to one moment.
One moment that brought me to a pretty abrupt halt, actually.
*Deep breath #1*
I hesitated in writing this because I feared being heard as a broken record---stating the obvious or being anything but encouraging to whomever might actually read this start to finish.
I hesitated in fear of being misunderstood.
But as Jesus usually does, He whispered: "Write it anyway."
So that's what I am doing, still not knowing what the end result will be.
*Deep breath #2*
It’s interesting how drastic changes in life affect people differently. New jobs, a sudden loss of relationship, grieving what you thought life would look like this time last year, a car crash…it happens all the time.
& yet, we never expect moments like those. We never wake up thinking, “Yep. Today is the day I will lose my job.” Or “I really hope my car is totaled today.”
We don’t hope for the unexpected.
We hope for that which was planned. The calculated. The controlled.
We don’t hope to be unpleasantly surprised or unfortunately brokenhearted.
We hope for things to go the way in which we envisioned them---we hope that we live to see our dreams come true & for the future we saw as potentially wonderful to become a reality.
Never do we hope for what we do not want.
There are two kinds of people:
There are those who are catapulted into greatness by drastic changes. They soar like never before. Somehow they seem to have found themselves in positions of opportunity: they’re all of a sudden more motivated, more productive, & happier too. For those people, it seems as if the pain of change lasted but a day & they were off & onto a better moment in life. They leave behind the brokenness & all who were associated with it, & keep moving forward.
For the others, those unexpected changes stall him or her like an amateur driver in a manual car on a San Francisco hill. In a blink you’re halted, jolted just a little, & slowly starting to drift downward & backwards. You check the rear-view mirror to see what you might collide with &, contrary to what you were hoping, plenty is in your way. The steering wheel begins to shake, your vision blurs, & you find yourself in a total loss of control. For those people, it seems as if that sudden unexpected change was only just the beginning of the loss of something greater.
For one person, that moment was an act of faith.
For the other, it was a test of faith.
As of lately, I fall into the latter category of the two.
I stand in a moment I have never stood in before, trying to navigate something I have zero experience with, & wondering if I’m failing at it completely along the way.
You’re guaranteed to experience loss in life.
The tragedy is, you never think it’ll be you---but at some point, it will be.
A week ago I was standing in a semi-renovated café with a few friends completely breaking down because I was so overwhelmed. The cause wasn't isolated to one thing---more like a compilation of happenings in my life---hence, "overwhelmed". It was one of those moments when your eyes are red & puffing, you're trying to talk & breath at the same time (which never goes well), & no one quite knows how to respond. They all just sit there, looking at you like, “Dang, girl. I’m sorry.” Like, its so bad not even your wisest, most opinionated friends have words left. It’s not their fault---it’s just a crappy situation. Nothing said can actually sooth the reality. So, you just stand there, shrug your shoulders, & mumble under your breath, “I just don’t know what to do.”
Side note: Before you make assumptions, let me make it clear that I hadn’t forgotten who God is & I wasn’t unaware of the fact that He is good & leads me to the greatest good He has in mind for me. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that I hadn’t allowed myself to admit that I wasn’t okay. I kept expecting myself to be okay, & I wasn't.
I was disappointed, frustrated & hurt.
I was struggling. Bad.
*Deep breath #3*
I lost in relationship a few months ago.
The details don’t matter, but I'm gonna keep it a hundred & tell you it hurt like hell. Anyone who has lost in relationships before will understand. It’s just freakin’ hard. There’s no way around it; no amount of logic or wise words will make you feel better or heal faster.
It just takes time.
& a lot of space & grace to process the comings & goings of your heart with Jesus---and probably a few friends too.
Remember my writer's-block moment? Yeah. This is why. I started to feel like I had nothing to say that was worth listening to because I had failed. I had lost. I had zero words of encouragement to offer myself, so what could I offer anyone else?
So I abandoned the pen for a moment.
or maybe three.
If you’re still with me, here’s where I get to my point (yes, I do have a point here---I promise):
You are going to encounter moments that look nothing like what you had in mind.
You are going to risk a lot & lose in return.
You are going to feel deeply, both the joy & the pain, & both will have it's reward in time.
You are going to have your plan A & be forced to use plan B or C or Z instead.
You are going to sow seeds that someone else will get to reap.
You are going to be given something great & be asked to give it back.
You are going to find yourself in unexpected moments.
& yes, you are going to feel like you just got punched in the face by an airbag.
You might even throw up once or twice due to the shock.
But you know what?
You’re going to be grateful for that airbag one day.
The crash? Maybe not so much. We could have done without the crash.
But that airbag? Heck yeah. You’re going to praise Jesus for that airbag every single day.
I don’t know what your “car crash” looks like or what “airbag” punched you in the face with the intention of protecting you from worse injuries.
But what I do know is this:
Ephesians 2:10 says:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV)
Another version puts it this way:
“He (God) creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” (MSG)
In other words (just in case it still hasn’t clicked):
There are things you have been designed to do. Uniquely planned just for you.
There is a certain kind of person you were intended to be. Uniquely designed by God himself. Don’t abandon all of that simply because you sit in a difficult moment.
A pastor friend of mine puts it this way: “Keep being who God has called you to be.”
Don't keep doing for doing sake---but be who you were called to be & the "doing" you were intended to do will follow naturally.
In every moment, the mundane & the mind-blowing, be the person God has created you to be. Worship Him in spirit & in truth---in your heart, acknowledge him. If you write, commit every word to Him. If you sing, raise your voice in praise. If you run or dance or build or breathe at all, keep doing it. Trust that you are being led into the greatest good He has in mind for you. It may not look the way you wanted it to, but I’m going to take a risk & promise you (& me) that it will fit a little better & taste a little sweeter.
& even when you feel like you've lost, remember that God doesn't waste a single thing. He will redeem it all (Psalm 130:7). So, at the end of the day, have you really lost at all?
Don’t allow the unexpected to distract you from what was intended.
You may not know what that is yet, & that's okay.
Take a deep breath.
You’re going to be okay.
Alexa | Joy