What do you call a writer having trouble writing? Frustrated. And that's what I am.
I looked up this morning, realized we're 27 days into the new year and I haven't published a single blog post. Nada. Zilch. I apologize for that.
It's not that I haven't had ideas, I have a bunch of them. I have a bunch of drafts on Google Docs that I haven't finished. I've written ideas on post-it notes and napkins.
There is this one post in particular I've been stuck working on for more than a month, a post that I'm hoping is completed in the next week or two. I feel like I can't post anything else until I get this one done, but I'm having trouble with 1) finishing it and 2) actually wanting to publish it.
As I've been writing this thing -- and, really, just living life in general -- I've had to confront some of the parts about myself that I don't necessarily like. I've had to acknowledge that I don't have it all together. I'll share more on some of this when I finish that post.
I've convinced myself of a few things these past few months that I need to fight against. Things like: "I need to have everything figured out before sharing anything" and "I need to be strong in order to be of any use to anybody."
It's not fun confronting this stuff. It's not fun to admit your own brokenness and weaknesses.
I don't understand everything that I've been learning yet. It hasn't all sunk in. My head gets it, but my heart has been slow to catch up -- that also frustrates me. It's like when your parents tell you something and you know they're right and you nod your head and go "Yes, Mom... Yeah, Dad... I know, I know" but it still hasn't sunk in as real for you.
One example is this pair of verses I've kept circling back to in recent weeks:
“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” - James 1:2-4
It’s difficult to read that and not shut my Bible closed whenever I’m going through a difficult time in my life.
Really, God? ‘Great joy’? I don’t feel a lot of ‘joy’ right now… This situation stinks. I’m hurt. I’m broken. I’m angry. I’m tired… How am I supposed to find ‘joy’ in this?
I'm still figuring this out. I want it to be real in my life. I know that joy runs deeper than just being happy. Happiness comes and goes. Happiness is based on circumstance. Obviously, I don't think we're expected to smile and say "All is well!" if our house is burning down.
But I know that the joy that comes from the Lord is knowing that these trials, these difficult times, are just temporary. They won't last forever. God is still here and He is still working in my life. It's not in vain.
But I think to myself How can I post about something that I'm still figuring out? Isn't it kind of hypocritical of me to say something that I still have trouble practicing and applying in my own life?
So, maybe I don't have it all together right now. Maybe I haven't figured it all out -- we never really will though, will we? But I'm still running back to God again and again, still struggling and wrestling with it all.
Maybe I was never meant to be strong on my own so I can see how strong God is. Maybe I fall and I fail so that I can see how faithful Jesus is when I'm not. Maybe God shows me my weaknesses so that He can work in me and so that I can boast not in myself, but in Him and Him alone.
Maybe all I need to do is keep my eyes on Jesus and keep moving forward toward Him. In the end, that's what it all comes down to. He doesn't want you or me to have it all together or have all the right answers or to be perfect. He doesn't want us to just follow a bunch of rules. He wants us. He wants us to love Him with all our hearts and all our minds and all our strength.
I'm still learning what that all means and trying to figure out what that looks like, too. Maybe we can figure it out together.