Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Sky Is Clearing

Remember last time when I sounded a little bit confused about how all the pieces of life fit together?

Yeah, I still don't get it all.

At the same time, like clouds parting to reveal a beautiful starry night, some of my confusion has blown away and I may have caught a glimpse of the big picture.

For those of you who don't know me well, I'm a girl from a small mid-west town who grew up in a little Baptist church. I was homeschooled, spent many an hour painstakingly practicing piano and harp (Dear Dad and Mom ... thank you for all the patience you had with my musical frustrations!), and from a very young age I was a storyteller.

When I was a little kid, my dad graciously typed as I dictated a play script that I now see is laughably bad. I made up stories for my friends and brother as we carpooled to AWANA. When I learned how to use the computer for myself I wrote a "book" about my friends that my dad edited, printed, and bound. At the age of twelve I convinced friends to join me in writing a magazine ... an effort that extended through the end of high school and involved not only a magazine but also a blog and a website of our own.

Books happened too. I plotted stories that illustrated, in the fiction realm, the grace of God as I knew it from my own life.

Then college happened. I went to a well-reputed Christian college far, far away from everyone I knew. Suddenly my life was busier and more demanding than I'd ever known. As I looked around at all the confident, unfamiliar faces that surrounded me, it seemed that I would never be able to survive that place. I couldn't handle college as calmly as them. I couldn't coordinate all the demands on my time. It felt like I couldn't even pray. My pleas to God seemed to bounce of the unfeeling walls of that impersonal place and come right back at me.

I didn't stay long enough to find out if it would get better.

That's about the time I stopped writing. My confusion and sense of failure sapped all the energy that had gone into my stories. If I wrote about my poor, disillusioned character Jordan, I was afraid that I would become mired down in her pain and mine. So I put her aside, and tried to take care of myself.

I'm now in my last semester of college in a different place, a different major. I'm surrounded by amazing people and I've had incredible friends and adventures. But I still hesitate to sit back down and fill blank pages with the stories that used to be so vivid in my imagination.

What ever happened to my sense that writing was God's will for my life, part of His purpose? It once seemed that He had built it into me as an integral part of who I was. After four years without it, I began to doubt everything I knew about what God had for me.

Maybe writing was just a season ... my desires have shifted to serving God on rivers and mountains. Rather than spending my time sitting on a chair and staring at a screen, I'd rather hike to a cliff and watch stars.

But ... God doesn't waste things.

People, experiences, moments, seasons ... they have a purpose in His plan.

So as the fog clears in my mind, I am beginning to wonder ... what if my new desires and joys are not an attack on who I used to be but rather a complement to it?

The adventures that call me could feed and fuel the words I write. In the same way, the time I spend in reflection as I write can stretch and grow my heart to further enjoy life and serve God in all I do.

I don't know if I'll write books again. Probably. But whether God has books or blogs or whatever for me, I know that He has purposes in Who He is making me.

And while I can't see the whole picture, it's a beautiful view, and I am growing in my love of the One Who created it.

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