So I’m sitting here watching the Olympics and thinking, “I should be writing”. I haven’t written anything in, well, forever. I have to be honest, in so many ways my spirit has been broken, and my honesty is part of how all of that came to be.
I went from being a pretty open person with dreams of being a writer, a speaker, a teacher – to whatever it is I am right now. A quiet, yet dangerously opinionated, envelope-stuffer. That’s what I do. I don’t write. I don’t speak. I hardly teach. I stuff envelopes. And my feelings. Except, of course, the feelings I should stuff the most – those I seem to wear on my sleeve. Champion formula for a pastor’s wife, by the way.
How did I get here? I don’t know. I do know it has a lot to do with fear. Fear that just that one person might be right and I might not be good enough. Fear that I have squandered my blessings and have received all I’m ever going to receive from the Lord (and fear that I actually believe something as stupid as that). Fear that this depression that has settled in my soul like a dense, suffocating fog is never going to lift.
There has been so much change in our lives in the past two or three years, and I saw a great deal of it coming. I’ve been accused of being dramatic and pessimistic. I’ve been told that I over-think things and that I give up too easily. But you know what? There is such a gift as discernment, and that doesn’t always mean that you can see the rainbow before anyone else. Sometimes, instead, it means you know the storm is coming before the sunshine fades away. That’s my gift – the blessing and curse of it – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That is the way the Lord chooses to share His heart with me at times. By warning me. By bracing me. And I’m finally learning to just keep it to myself.
So how could I blog in the past couple of years when I didn’t even tell my husband that I knew we would be leaving the place we thought we’d call home for the rest of our lives a full 6 months before he did? How could I write about what was on my heart when it just looked like I was being a Debby Downer? I knew I was headed to this season of my life, and I knew it would be difficult. But who wants to hear that the sky is falling, especially when it’s only really falling on one person?
And here I am. In this season of great personal struggle (that’s totally about me and not about where we are serving) – pushing against feelings and thoughts and fears I will stuff in my heart with the skill I’ve gained from the work my hands have found. I must decide if I have it in me to fight for the dreams I once had – to write, to speak, to teach – or give in to the convenient plan so many have apparently agreed to for my life. Fight or fit in? Hope or settle? I can’t even see myself to the answer – can’t even crawl to the Throne with my question.
In an effort to grasp something – anything – in a forward direction that will let me know I haven’t given up on my life, I’ve decided to make a goal. A ridiculous goal for me, actually: I am going to become a runner. For those of you who know me, you know just how asinine that proposal is. Even in my best shape I wasn’t fit for mall walking. But I, a 34 year old couch potato in desperate need of a hysterectomy, will become a runner, because I need to see that through Christ I can still accomplish the seemingly impossible. Because I need to give myself to something that can go somewhere. Because I need to be physically brought to my knees before my God, literally begging for strength, air and life. And maybe a little because I’ve been brainwashed by the commercials during the Olympics that promise that greatness isn’t unachievable for a fat kid like me (and yes folks, that statement applies to me – depression comes at a price, and so do endometriosis treatments).
So me and my Smurf-blue shoes are hitting the pavement here in Tiny Town, and there’s a great chance the rest of my body will be hitting the pavement at some point too. Good thing I live across the tracks from the rescue squad. I just might have to download that song “Home” they keep playing every time they show the girls’ gymnastics team, and maybe a few sound bytes of those commercials to make me feel like I’m amazing, but whatever.
Why am I telling you this? I don’t know. I got bored. I’ve already read all of today’s status updates on facebook. It’s not time for Gabby to fly on uneven bars yet. There’s no real good reason – I’m just telling you. I’m trying to get a grip here, and maybe this adds some reality to it.
I guess this is what you do when you lose sight of yourself and your dreams – you start over a little bit. You find some ways to take baby steps and rebuild faith in yourself while you re-invest faith in God. But just in case Buddy is reading this (or it gets back to him), I’m being careful to make sure that when I feel like running, I’m not running away from something. Hopefully, instead, I’ll find that I’m running back to where I need to be.