So I realize that it has been 5 months since I've blogged and it isn't because I haven't thought about it! I guess I more or less ran out of things to say. Strange statement I know, especially considering the fact that I RARELY run out of things to say. I love to write. I've always loved writing, but as I grow and learn new information through life experience, raising children, studying people, and studying God's word, I find I have more and more to share and discuss. Discussion is like a drug to me. I am addicted to deep and rich conversation, authentic and transparent discussions. This is my favorite past time, a fulfilling conversation with a friend, rich discussion with my husband, or even a fun chat with a stranger! I suppose that is why I am a therapist… it is in my nature. This part of me has transformed into more than just enjoying discussion and conversation to include writing about it. Writing has become almost as fulfilling to me as talking. But something happened around January that resulted in a sort of writer's block… or maybe fatigue is a better word. The past five months have brought a number of milestones that have kept me busy, distracted, and quiet. It's amazing how there are times that I feel completely drained or overwhelmed with my life, and usually that happens after I have done something in obedience to the Lord. That kind of describes the past few months for me. So, in the spirit of getting you up to speed, I'd like to share with you the top 5 events of the past 5 months of my life. The first is the one that left me without much to say for a while….
In January, I completed my first manuscript. I say "completed" very loosely because it is an ever continuing work in progress. It is currently transforming into a study, but initially it began as a 6 Chapter compilation of my life and work experiences, combined with my passion for encouraging others to be authentic, take time to make relationships, and use their voice. Basically it is about sharing your story. Revelation 12:11 says "they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony…" This was the inspiration for writing the book, because I was sitting back over the past year watching as people were struggling in different life circumstance…and they were fighting through alone. They felt shame, guilt, fear, and judgement in the circumstances they were facing, and the crazy thing is…others have already experienced those same circumstances only they haven't talked about it. So many times I have shared my own story with someone and the response has been, "I am so glad I'm not the only one who has been through that." The articles in My Journey of Faith Magazine have reached more than 500 people, and are shared because they help others feel like they aren't alone in their situations.
The problem with relationships today, for a variety of reasons, is that we are loosing our transparency and becoming opaque. We are loosing our authenticity and instead forming pretend images through social media and selective sharing. We are struggling through the difficulties of life silently and alone, when all the while the person next to us is suffering too…. but we are afraid to talk. How are we going to overcome anything with our testimonies if we don't share them? Jesus Christ was the only perfect person, thereby allowing Himself to be the sacrifice for all of the rest of us. He is saving marriages, souls, addicts, broken and lost lives, but somewhere along the way we all began to believe we couldn't allow others to know about it. We don't share our struggle with addiction because we are afraid what others will think. We don't tell anyone in sunday school that our marriages are falling apart because we have carefully cultivated an appearance of having it all together. We don't tell anyone we have been physically or sexually abused… and survived…. because we are ashamed. The crazy thing is that our salvation is based on the fact that we are imperfect, but we expect the opposite from one another. These stories of salvation, struggle and success are our testimonies. Our stories of the work of Jesus Christ in our lives, or our fight to keep faith in the midst of hardships. My heart's desire is that we will be the church Jesus had in mind when he left people like Peter and Luke in charge of "going" (Matthew 28 and Mark 16), the church Acts tells us about in chapter 2, who all believed together, had all things in common, broke bread together in their homes and met each others' needs, praising God and having favor with all the people. I guarantee these people didn't hide their struggles from each other, but loved one another in Jesus name.
So, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I wrote this manuscript called "Overcome." I finished the last chapter, and I pressed save. And Satan began a full on attack. I was tormented in my thoughts and in my dreams. I was filled with depression and self-doubt. I questioned who I was, what my life was about, and what purpose I served for the Kingdom. I haven't experience such internal darkness for many years. I struggled to find my own voice again. Whether writing a "Letter from the Editor" for My Journey of Faith Magazine, or a tweet... nothing came. I had nothing to say. But in my heart I had so much to say! God has led me through this time, step by step, showing me His faithfulness and revelation as I dig into His word. I have continued to learn about Him and about the call He has placed on my life. So here's to getting my voice back! And to sharing with you this process, which brings us to event number 2. In the spirit of keeping a blog post the length a blog post is suppose to be, I will give number 2 it's own post next(: So, to be continued!