Repost: Managing the Limp

I’ll get real with y’all: blogging almost did not happen today. My life is insane right now, and it’s getting tough to even find time to eat, let alone write or edit or do commercial work.

Thinking about this insane season put me in mind of another season when I struggled with some of the same things I’m struggling with now, and I remembered this post from 6.5 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess.

So enjoy this little throwback to December of 2014. I’ll be back next week with… something. I promise.

Managing the Limp

December 1, 2014

So fall is almost gone.

Clearly, I have not managed to get back on the blogging bandwagon at all since emerging from my cave. Forgive me. I will make this a goal in 2015: “Blog more than once per season.”

Today I am busy catching up on administrative work for my two volunteer positions, but as I work on the mundane, I’m also meditating on my faith journey of the last two years.

For those who don’t know, I had a bit of a “crash” in August 2012. Most of you probably do know that. You know I disappeared for two years. I unpublished my writing and had no intention of coming back to it at all. It was probably the darkest spiritual time of my entire life.

But the entire process was also rather revealing. I was convicted of things that weren’t even on my radar, and I wasn’t convicted of things that I was CONVINCED God would swat me on the nose for. In any case, the result was that I finally did inch my way back into this world of writing.

I think I wanted this whole process to be cleaner, simpler, with more clearly defined lines. It isn’t. It never will be. Life isn’t like that. This whole creative process, this whole faith journey, these things called parenting and marriage and vocation–none of them are tidy.

So here I am, coming out of November and NaNoWriMo reeling a bit from a whirlwind of writing, a lack of editing, a frenzy of volunteer work, some tense encounters with acquaintances, a holiday, a spiral of discouragement that I somehow managed to claw my way out of, and I look back and think about the messiness of the whole thing.

It’s not tidy.

It’s not balanced.

It’s not pretty.

But there are shiny spots.

A new baby novel in the incubation stage (Unquickened, book three of The Taurin Chronicles, FYI.)

A few really nice compliments that were balm to my soul in the wake of a confrontation.

A renewed passion for story and creating.

A certain stability in my volunteer position that’s taken perhaps 18 months or so to really find. It was touch and go for a while. I feared one misstep would make the whole thing crumble. Now, the foundation is solid, I have good leaders around me, and I am starting to be able to look outside the position again.

I wanted God to take away my writing. I wanted him to take it all away–to take away even the inkling of a desire to put together a sentence. I wanted him to just eliminate it from my DNA. I gave him my best case for it:

I don’t have time for writing.

I can’t maintain the balance required.

I can’t write clean enough for church people.

And on and on.

I think that when you wrestle with God, you come away with a limp, like Jacob in the Old Testament. That’s not an original thought. A friend (a newer friend, one I met after the crash) told me, “yeah, I can tell you wrestled with God. You have the limp.” I wrestled and lost, but he showed me parts of himself that I’d never seen before. Maybe that was the point.

I wanted him to take my writing away, but that’s not what he did. Well, not permanently, anyway. Once we were done with most of the wrestling, he said, “okay, your hands are open now. Here you go.”

And he gave it back.

If you’re reading this and you aren’t a Christian, you probably think I’m nuts. You might think that even if you are a Christian. Don’t worry–this is metaphor. I don’t actually sit and have two-way conversations with the Almighty. The words go in one direction. The answers come in other ways.

I’m still not sure I have it all right. I know I don’t. But I’m meditating today on how far I’ve come on this journey.

It’s still not tidy or balanced or pretty, but . . .

It’s human, I guess. And it’s the road I’m on, the one God has put me on. I don’t get it. I don’t want it. I still argue with him and tell him that really, he probably could have/should have chosen someone else to do this, or maybe we could have at least done this whole spiritual journey thing BEFORE I inflicted a bunch of writing on the world, because then I could have changed a bunch of it to be more appealing to the people I have to talk to every day–you know, church people–and what exactly was he THINKING giving someone with such a dark soul a passion to write stories with a Christian worldview???

But here I am, still writing. I’ve sort of surrendered to it. It’s what I am, what he’s made me, the path he’s given me. I don’t understand it. I don’t want it. It’s a rocky, ugly, mean road sometimes.

But I’ll keep doing it. And because I have this limp now, I guess I’ll be leaning more on him as I wander down this road.


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