I’ve spent exactly one and a half hours pursuing the internet.
“For what?” you may ask.
Absolutely nothing but avoiding writing. All the while knowing that is what I should be doing.
When I am not writing, I am thinking about how I should be writing. Thoughts wonder through my mind at a speed I, at times, cannot even fathom trying to get them onto paper.
Writing (and sewing, my other hobby) is my therapy. Whenever I do it, I feel instantly better. But lately I just lack motivation. Has that ever happened to you? You so desperately want to do a task, but it is just so big you work on ways to avoid it.
Instagram and Facebook have once again become my trap for getting things done in life. I sit down to write down my thoughts for the day, only to find myself going over to those apps, clicking them as if it was subconscious second nature and wasting a heck of a lot of time. I eventually am too tired to sit and write I tell myself. However is that truly the case? I doubt it.
Tonight my whole goal was to sit down and write out how I was feeling. How I just can’t figure out moving forward. I have no knowns right now. A lot of things I still feel like are up in the air. I don’t feel scared about the virus plaguing our whole world. I don’t have any actual fear about it. That I have peace about.
I am a planner by nature, and think whole ‘Rona thing turned my whole world upside down. All the neat little boxes I had for myself were just gone.
My word for 2020 was ‘Serve’. Not something I was very exciting about quite honestly. I want to be the one leading the action. I want to be the one coming up with ideas and instituting them. However, I kept feeling this nagging feeling that this word would mark my year.
I basically laid down all of my things and my wants and needs, desires down March 15. I thrive on quiet time(the only sound I hear at 11:45pm is the keys on my keyboard or the zip of the sewing machine, or like tonight a fan because #albertanswithoutac #2weeksofrealsummerheat.) and I rarely get that unless I stay up late (like tonight). It’s when I can be alone with my thoughts.
I think it’s hilarious now that God used this pandemic to strip away all the selfish ideals I was having for myself. This was the first year I truly came home alone each day after dropping my kids off(if I wasn’t subbing) and had time to myself. I read a lot of books. Started on organizing my house after 10 years at home with littles.
It’s interesting to me that this whole pandemic is forcing us as a society to think about others ahead of ourselves. How yeah wearing a mask is annoying. But I guess perhaps maybe it at least makes it look like we care about not spreading the virus much in the way just washing our hands can help. But I am not the scientist and not here to debate “Covid Science”. The whole pandemic forced me to really actually serve when it wasn’t just in my best interest, or didn’t just make me feel good.
I didn’t really handle the news of school closing on March 15 well.
I felt grief.
I was in a fog.
Uncertainty was the biggest pandemic to me.
I literally, with all my educational training, couldn’t get my ducks in a row to “homeschool”. I struggled with not knowing what was next, relying on a weekly blurb on a calendar from four teachers (who did an amazing job with what they were given). I struggled with even having enough patience to get a grade 2 student to write a few sentences on the computer, something they had little experience doing.
I felt my church world fall apart and I struggled to check in with friends there because I just didn’t have the energy to even hold a conversation with another adult. I felt a loss so great, greater than I had ever felt before. I have moved towns, churches, moved through “see you laters”, but this for some reason ripped me apart on a mental level.
Two months in, mid May after finishing my work with the university for the year, I felt at the bottom of the barrel.
I’d sit with my bible open on my lap and just breathe. Eyes closed and heart open. Just whispering that Jesus would meet me. That’s all I had the strength to do.
The loneliness was overbearing. I have been a Christian for 30+ years. I have had a deep, personal relationship with Jesus on a daily basis. The young cool kids would say, “we are tight”. (Or maybe they wouldn’t say that….sorry kids😊)
Most days, that’s how my time with Jesus went. I’d read just one verse to just hold on.
I’d love to say, I’m on the other side. I’m not yet. But I will be. Today was one day I’d like to not relive. Arguments, close proximity, hard decisions and considerations. I am definitely living in the middle of the story. The part where I’d rather only speak of in the past. The past few weeks thought, I have been thinking about why people don’t always share the middle.
The middle is really messy. Usually it’s the time where you have figured out what you need to do to get out of the rut. Usually I find I have to make action on something Jesus is telling me to do. In this case, it’s writing. It’s carving out time to share my story. Because the middle is where the deep work is done in our hearts. Yeah, sometimes we could wait to share it so that it all looks super happy and “sellable”. But I don’t really think Jesus meant for us to have it all together.
I think He wanted us to live boldly. To show up for others even when we don’t feel like we are showing up for ourselves. To sit and just listen. Listening shows more compassion than a thousand words. In these moments where I feel far from God, I think about Zacchaeus. He was messed up. Tax collector doesn’t sound like “Neighbor of the year”. But Jesus said, “Come on down, I am going to your house today.” We never hear much more. There’s no account of Jesus wagging his finger at Zacchaeus, telling him to get his act together and that he has a lot to be thankful for just being alive. I genuinely believe Jesus just went over and hung out on his roof top patio and asked about Zac’s story.
I’m in the middle of a messy, graceful, story. This season hasn’t been all butterflies and rainbows. I am having to really ask Jesus to come in and give me patience and self control on a minute by minute basis. I am dealing with guilt for not handling this life change better. I have gotten angry at family members and been there, but not present for my kids. I feel in limbo.
I really, truly believe that God can use this middle. Are you in a middle season? How are you doing? Do you feel like you are smoothly sailing, or trending water trying to do all the things with all your people in your space all the time? Do you miss your friends? Yeah….I heard you. I do too.
I have heard it before, but am not sure who said it first, but “It’s ok not to be ok.”
It’s ok to not have all the answers.
It’s ok to not know what’s next.
It’s ok to feel grief.
It’s ok to talk to someone.
It’s ok because Jesus.
There are many times during the day that I just sit and say His name. There are so many times I am at such a loss of what to do next, or plan next, or even just what’s for supper. I’ve been struggling with overwhelm. Overwhelm with sudden change.
But I know that on the other side of this valley, this season will have an ending worth rejoicing about. But I think it’ll be even sweeter because I shared the middle. I don’t want to ever be the reason another thinks their life is less than because I look all put together. There are times we need to be open and honest because God wants to use that part of the story.
I am really rambling here. But I guess what I really want to say is, I see you.
You are enough.
Take one step.
Write down one task.
Send that one thank you card.
Check in with one friend.
The middle is where God does His restoration work. It’s where one day you wake up and realize He’s restored your broken heart.
I am inviting you into my middle. You can sit with me.