Lamentations 3:22-24 “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! I say, ‘The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.’”
Well, here I am again, my friend, trying to stay focused on writing. It’s one of my biggest struggles. I have had to let go of what I think it should look like to just obey God in getting words on a page, even if they aren’t great words smashed together. I can get hung up on researching and trying to find the perfect way or “right way” to write but in actuality, I just need to write. God will put it all together when it’s time, but He can’t put it all together if I don’t obey in getting the words on the page. Even if I just vomit words on a page, as a friend of mine put it, I just need to break the barriers that are causing me to delay my words being put to the page.
So here is my vomit story.
I’ve been struggling lately to find contentment in the valley—the deserted place. I’ve been down this route before so this is not new to me, but having everything stripped away to experience the pain of completely dying to oneself is excruciating. It’s a lonely place to be left alone in the heat of the desert with no food or water and trying to find the will to keep moving forward. All I can see is the never-ending sand. It’s hard to see clearly what’s ahead; a mirage of some sort it seems. Is that you, God? Are you coming towards me? How long will I be stranded in the heat and sand? I know the answer is you are coming but sometimes it feels like you are stretching me too much in the waiting. I know you want me to fight for it but pushing me this hard makes me want to give up and do something easier. We have tangible needs that seem so far from being met, especially through writing. I know it in my soul that you are coming. There is no other choice–no other path. I know you and believe what you told us. You are coming and your glory will shine to so many. I praise you God in the middle of the heat beating down on me. I will keep moving forward until I can’t take another step, and even then, I will praise you face-first in the sand.
God is stretching us (my husband and I) in this very moment. He is using this deserted place to do something we cannot yet see. God has provided everything we need thus far and shown us miracle after miracle. He is stretching us to build the strength and endurance that we will need for the future. I want to ask God “why” but I know better. I don’t need to know why but instead what. God, what do you want me to do now? I feel like I’m lacking everything I need to move forward, but I know that your Word says you are WITH me and I have all I need with you (Joshua 1:9, 2 Corinthians 9:8). Ok, God, I am choosing to believe these words so how do I move forward? What do I do now? I’m writing just as you told me to do. I don’t know how you will use my writing to help us tangibly, but I trust you nevertheless.
Would it be easier to choose a different path? I know you; you would shut down all the other paths to prevent me from running away from this calling. My deepest desire is to follow you, Lord, but at this very second, I am right on the edge of mentally quitting. Though I’m on the edge you won’t let me quit. You know what you put inside of me and it’s worth fighting for. You want me to tell my story, but I don’t even know where to start. God, you have done so much. I don’t feel like I can do you justice in speaking of what all you have done. How do you articulate and testify to everything you have done for us…for me? My human brain can’t even comprehend it all. Every time I even think of all you have done for me I end up on my knees, hands stretched out and a face full of tears. How do I put that into words? All I can do is say thank you and ask that you speak your words through me. May I be a living testimony through my actions.
I give thanks to you for you are good—so, so good! You have answered my prayers one after the other. You redeemed my broken marriage and shaped it into something so beautiful. You put your healing hand on my body and made it new. I can drive again! Something I will not ever take for granted again. You gave me what I asked for. My husband is well and leading and loving amazingly through you. My despairing daughter is now full of joy and excitement to lead others to you. What more could I ask? All I can do is cry out in gratefulness.
Jesus, you told me to ask so I humbly and boldly come to your throne to ask you to remember that you made a promise to me to redeem it ALL. There are still two promises left to redeem from that day in the prayer closet. Two unanswered promises still awaiting your divine intervention. God, we need help. Like the persistent widow, I keep asking for your help. We need a breakthrough in our finances. A breakthrough only you can provide. We left it all to follow you, and now, we need you to build us up so that we can glorify you, testify to your faithfulness and help others. You are faithful! Please, do as you promised and remember us. Build us back up and lead us to those you want us to help. We deserve nothing, but your grace is sufficient for us right now. Save us, Father God! Give us wisdom and do what only you can do. Open the door into redemption.
Jesus, I don’t know how you are going to do it, but I can feel it in my bones that you will do it. Though I’m entitled to nothing, you keep your promises. You told us to leave it all behind and to quit my job to follow you into this calling to write. Crazy it seems, especially in the middle of this pandemic and economy, but I can’t follow what seems logical. I have to obey You no matter the cost. I again have to walk by faith and not by sight. You, Father, love me, provide for me and know what is to come. I don’t know where I’m going but I’ve seen too much to doubt you. I’m only alive and breathing because you aren’t done with me here, yet. I will follow you anywhere you want to go. It is time for you to get the glory.
When I feel like our finances are holding us back from moving forward into the things we need and are called to do, I have to remember what God did before and that His Word says I lack nothing (Psalm 23 NIV). Sure, we are uncomfortable at the moment, probably because God want us to die more to ourselves to produce the better fruit. He wants to cleanse us again of any leftover junk. He gives us what we need, and right now, we need to be a few pounds lighter of our flesh. God provides everything we need for each day in His perfect timing so I know it’s not holding me back. Maybe, just maybe, it’s forcing me forward. If I had more comfort I couldn’t write the things He wants me to. If things were easy I couldn’t relate to others currently struggling, too. I couldn’t be the voice of encouragement out of the dark. Only He knows what is coming and how it’s coming.
Though I’m exhausted from the fight, I know there is purpose in the pain I have and am going through. I just ask, Father God, that you would strengthen me for another round. When I am drained of every ounce of strength from the last battle, help me stand once again to fight so that others can be encouraged to keep fighting, too.
Next time my mind gets overwhelmed with how to write it, I will get out of the way, Jesus, and start by vomiting the words in obedience. It might not be pretty or even make sense, but then again you make beauty out of broken things—ashes. Here I am, Lord, your vessel. Use me as you please. Please be gentle; I am only human and fragile right now in my state of mind. Shape and mold me. Prune me but also bandage my wounds. Thank you for your patience and discipline. Thank you for not letting me give up. You’re way more than I deserve.
One last thing, Jesus, what am I missing right now? What is it that I’m blind to that you are willing to open my eyes to see?
You may not know where I’m calling you to, but you know what it’s for. It’s for those who need hope to keep going when things seem unbearable and impossible.
You don’t need to see or understand to follow. Just follow what you recognize. You recognize my voice. Keep following me.
Just hold on. One step at a time. Don’t give up. It will be worth it. You are not forgotten. I am coming to help.
Song of Songs 2:10-13 “Arise, my darling. Come away, my beautiful one. For now the winter is past; the rain has ended and gone away. The blossoms appear in the countryside. The time of singing has come, and the turtledove’s cooing is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs; the blossoming vines give off their fragrance. Arise, my darling. Come away, my beautiful one.”