One perfect post, and I'd be rolling in publishing offers and signing parties.
Well, not that extreme. But, you know, quit my day job. Have a substantial social media presence. Be the woman other women want to be. Hold my own with Beth Moore and Jen Hatmaker and Sarah Bessey and Jennie Allen. Move to Texas or Canada and just be another IT Christian momma like the women I secretly ADORE.
And... then there is real life, and writer's block, and horrible tragic things that threaten to suck the very soul from the core of my being.
2016 is not a year I want to relive.
So many good things, but so many bad, dark days at the end.
The one thing I know for sure about being a Christian is that God never promised an easy road. Jesus made it pretty darn clear we would have troubles...that things would be hard. And, even though my life is so blessed and so full, I have felt such pain this past year that I'm pretty sure I lost my voice for a while. I was certain no one could see anything different about my life. Even if I wanted, I couldn't begin to type or write or post a single thing on any social media site. I really, honestly started to wonder if I wasn't any different. If my faith was so great, why was I hurting so badly?
Part of me doesn't know where I'm going with this. I only know that I need to ramble, to vent, to let the three readers I have know that I'm still around and I'm still trusting in God, even though the end of last year sucked. A lot. And even in the drama and the pain and frustration and stress, I am blessed beyond measure, full and still needing to pour out somehow.
One of my favorite books of all time is Unconditional by Brian Zahnd. I've held it close and never shared my dogeared, sticky noted copy... except to make reference in a 10 Top Favorite post or something similar on Facebook a long time ago. But this year, 2017 - the year that promises better things than last year, we started a Book Challenge at work. Whoever wrote the challenge is biased... so I'm stuck reading a Bronte AND an Austen. Gag me with a spoon. But, yay for culture, right?
ANYWAY, I'm sharing and recommending some of my favorite books. Unconditional being one of them. And Crazy Love. And hopefully a few more entirely different, fantastic, futuristic, apocalyptic love stories along the lines of the Lunar Chronicles, which have nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with destressing and losing my mind in space or a barren Earthscape.
I've found that when I am stressed and struggling to communicate, I lose myself in a book. Regrettably, usually not the Bible... at least, not as often as I should. I read to lose my mind and forget real life. But this year, in addition to the book challenge, I'm spending more time in God's Word. More time realizing I don't have it a tenth as bad as Joseph or Daniel or Paul or Job. Realizing that everything I need to know is found in that blessed Book, just waiting to speak to me. Waiting to give me greater hope, greater peace, greater love and the ability to forgive.
And just when I thought my life wasn't full of light. Just when I thought I didn't have it in me to be a witness when things suck. Just when I started to question it all...people started questioning me. A woman I hold so very dear asked about the Bible. I gave her my favorite book and the truth and unfathomable beauty and peace of radical forgiveness is speaking. Louder than ever I hoped. I'm watching doors open wide left and right. People I never expected are asking me questions and noticing something different. Which is straight crazy right now, since I truly wasn't sure about my ability to shine any sort of light.
There is still a struggle. The enemy is still trying to get me and others I love so very much. I'm still watching that happen. But, I'm in continually in AWE of the way God uses tragedy and hurt to heal and restore.
I might not be able to formulate a logical post. I might never write a book. And I certainly won't be moving to Texas or Canada... even this year... but I am planning on continuing to trust my God to overcome it all. Because HE is the Light in me. It's not my strength, it is His. He helps me forgive. He is the One who heals. He is the One doing it all.
Lord knows I can't do it on my own.