In this moment, there are a million things I should be doing.
But I am not.
In this moment I am on my smartphone typing this in an email to myself.
Because, well, I have no idea where my notebook is (let alone my pen) and getting out my laptop didn’t seem to meet the “urgency” requirement of the situation.
One moment before this one, I was doing my third load of laundry for the day and praying. And suddenly my heart began beating hard. The kind of heartbeat you hear.
Somehow the two merged together – the heartbeat and the prayer – and my heart sounded like it was saying “right now right now right now…write now write now write now..” so here I am ..right now, writing now.
Long ago I began to realize something was different about me, that my need to write things out isn’t a compulsion everyone feels. I realized some people can express verbally what I can only seem to get out with pencil and paper (or in “email to self on cell phone”.) At some point I understood that not everyone makes their spouse stop watching tv so they can read aloud a paragraph from a book because they admire how the author “put the words together”. And I am guessing not everyone is excited to get to the end of a long day (into that quiet time when the household is settled) just so they can finally shake the big messy jumble of words out of their brain, and onto a piece of paper so they can make sense of the chaos of the day..by writing through it.
But I do.
I always have.
Pain, joy, moments of faith (or lack thereof) and the everyday important nothings – I am always longing to sort it out in writing.
But for the last couple of years – I haven’t.
The jumble was there. The words, the feelings – all largely unsorted and unexpressed.
I could explain this change by telling you I am busy as a mom of three sons (I am) or tell you that the loss (darn you layoffs!) of what I thought would finally be my “dream job” as a corporate Mommy Blogger had devastated me (it did) but it wouldn’t really be the truth for my lack of writing.
I wasn’t writing because I was broken.
Broken – such a word! I almost deleted it just now. It sounds so dramatic, right? So over the top? I have a good life while so many are struggling with shattered hearts and lives in complete fragments.
By the grace of God I am neither fragmented nor shattered but inside – deep in the jumble of the unexpressed – brokenness lived.
You see, I became simply convinced God would call me to something but it likely would not be to write.
Because what do I know about writing for a purpose, or reaching the hurting soul with words? “Nothing”
What could a simple wife and mom from American suburbia have inside that could change one thing in a broken world? “Nothing”
What about me could possibly attract anyone to anything, let alone bring others closer to God? “Nothing”
The answers of “nothing” had been mine. For no matter how much I begged God to answer these questions – I could not hear Him reply. And no matter how often others told me God had not designed me for a life of “nothing” – it still wasn’t getting through.
I just knew I had to be more. More worthy. More beautiful. More – everything. To speak God’s truth to others.
That was my brokenness. It was my broken truth.
But two things happened – to explain how I ended up writing what you are now reading.
The first occurred as I was browsing social media a few weeks ago. I saw a picture of a beautiful perfectly-perfect cross – it was a wall hanging and it was gorgeous.. Golden, shiny and with a lovely design on it. And I found myself thinking “I would love that on my wall but, eek, there is no way! I would have to re-paint my walls first. No way could something so lovely be thrown onto my wall – it would highlight every mark from an indoor thrown basketball, every dent from a hastily kicked off shoe and every ding of unknown origin. I’d be better off with a beat up old cross ..might make my walls look better!”
And I laughed – until God stopped me in my tracks.
And I did that strange sudden stop “hahahaha..oh!”
A gilded cross.
Wasn’t that what I had spent my life asking to be? Before I would write or do anything He called me to, I wanted Him to make me into something covered over, embellished on the outside, golden and lovely.
And I knew in that moment it was the opposite of what He ever intended.
His cross..THE cross..just think of what it would have looked like. That “old rugged cross”. If anything it probably looked more like wood taken from the very manger where His story began – raw, old, marked and scarred.
Yet for all of us who are “the people of the cross” (as terrorists have recently taken to referring to Christians) that battered ugly cross makes life beautiful.
So why was I waiting to be gilded? How would it change anything or anyone if I were a gilded version of me, with my true self hidden beneath? God has called me to be me – not a gilded cross but something far more worthy. He is calling me to be real with you all. Through writing.
No, I will never be gilded in gold – but I am covered by grace.
I am a painted cross, if you will.
Like the coat of paint my walls still desperately need, I have been re-painted by God with a coating of forgiveness, grace, hope purpose – a coat of paint which brings out the beauty of “me” beneath, but doesn’t disguise it.
The second moment was just now, when God spoke within my very heartbeat.
I had realized (finally) that He was calling me to write, and that He had a course marked out for me – but still, I felt called to wait.
To wait for the moment, His cue. His time. My heartbeat.
“Right now..right now..write now..write now..”
And so I wrote. Right then. This.
And I have no idea what comes next, or what the exact plan is.
I promise to write -with truth and authenticity. To show you my real heart and to write out those jumbled thoughts to be read by you all (gulp!).
So stay with me – because reading the crazy ramblings of the girl who stopped doing laundry when her heartbeat began to speak to her seems like it could be, at the very least, entertaining.
“…but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:4