I’ve been at a standstill lately. The task of creating something from nothing is daunting. There are so many reasons not to. So this morning I’m trying something different–I will not perfect my syntax as I type. I will just put my thoughts on the screen.
Crap. I already failed my (anti-revise-as-I-go) resolution. So much for New Year’s–I can’t even stick to a goal for four sentences. But (…ok… ok…) I’m getting back up.
I’ve been hesitant to touch the letters on the keyboard these past couple weeks, because does what I have to say really matter? It’s a question I’ve entertained and answered before (see this post), but like most doubts, it’s back. So I’m rehashing a truth that I think got lost in a lengthy old post. It wasn’t very viewed, but even if it were, I think it contains one of those truths that –at least for me–always needs replenishing.
Lost and insecure, last last night I started reading my latest Amazon find, Permission to Roar. Just a page into the intro, I was immediately understood and encouraged by the words of Marni Freedman:
“But for all their talent, women often share one missing ingredient. And that ingredient is trust. Trust that what they have to say is valuable, worthy, or wanted. If you opened this book, chances are you may be wondering if you have something important to say, if anyone will care, or if you should take the time and energy to get all of those amazing thoughts down on paper.”
Yes, yes, and yes. I wonder all of those things. Except I haven’t fully embraced that I “have something *important* to say.” Do I have something to say? Yes. Is it important? I’m not sure–yet. Do I wonder if I “should take the time and energy to get all my *amazing* thoughts down on paper”? Basically yes, but… I’m giving some serious side-eye to that word, “amazing.” My thoughts are no more important than anyone else’s. I guess I’m humble in that way. It feels pompous to assume people would sacrifice their time to get in my head. Hmph.
Here’s what Freedman says in response to that lack of trust:
“We need you, and we need you now. We need you to help shape the conversation for our current society and for generations to come. We need your ideas to challenge our current thinking, heal our spirits, and shake up our outdated ways of doing business. Think about your favorite book written by a female author. Really think about that author. What if she hadn’t trusted that small inner voice that whispered, maybe, I should write a book. If she hadn’t persevered, she would not have made an impact on your life.”
I guess what it comes to is that the unknown is a dark abyss. And I think I already took a step out into it, like in Indiana Jones when he walks that invisible tight-rope of ancient sketchy brick. Every step is a new breath to hold, another shot of adrenaline. (I’m pretty sure this analogy is tired. But like scrunchies, flannel, and The Care Bears, I suspect its novelty has been refreshed because I’m old.)
Jesus (almost literally) just whispered to my soul, “follow me,” waving me his way in warm invitation, a few steps further down the scary writing-path he has for me. But it’s not so scary when He’s there. That’s what He does. In the Hebrew Scriptures, long before the time of Christ, He manifested himself as a cloud by day and a fire in the dark of night, guiding Israel through unfamiliar, mostly frightening territory.
Now He wants me to follow him down this writing path. I’m insecure about taking these steps of faith, probably because the unknown within is scarier than the unknown without. I’ve stepped with confidence onto the solid foundation of Christ’s word and love when he invited me to follow Him to Kazakhstan, Croatia, Slovakia, Mexico; to offer hope to lost, marginalized teenagers in His name through Young Life in the US and Kaz; and to I walk beside His solid footsteps through bizarre medical diagnoses (I’m fine, but probably should have freaked out a few times when I was contentedly ambivalent.).
As with most times I journal, He’s met me where I’m at. My path into writing is so questionable because it is founded not on His words in the Bible, but on the still small voice His spirit whispers within me. When He was here on Earth, he had words worth saying–ones worth thousands of years (an eternity) of preservation and devotion. And He’s given words worth saying to seemingly endless sons and daughters. He’s given me some. And He will be with me as I find them and share them and question whether I should share them.
Also, this video from this amazing brother, Justin McRoberts: