catharsis, noun: the act or process of releasing a strong emotion especially by expressing it in an art form.” ~ Merriam Webster Dictionary
What does a writer do when they have not been prompted to write? The desire to do that which one loves is overwhelming yet the muse they rely on for their words has not spoken. I never really considered myself a writer. I am not trained at all in the written word, at least not in a formal way. But over the last few years I have developed such a passion for it. When I sit at my computer I get lost in the beauty of the experience. It is both cathartic and creative. There is a secret place in me that has always wished I was more creative. I have such an appreciation for the arts yet I have always felt as if I was on the outside looking in. Not really talented in any medium of art…and that is not being modest, it’s brutal honesty…I have often felt like my appreciation of the arts has been a longing to be a part of something creative. When God birthed in me this desire to write I was both elated and terrified. I am not a writer. A communicator, yes. A writer, no. But He was giving me this opportunity to dabble in something creative and that excited me. When I began my blog in July I never could have imagined how much joy, how much release, and how much intimacy with God writing this blog would give me. As a one who has written in prayer journals for years, you would think this revelation would not be a shocker but of course, it was. I often think God must sit back in the throne room of heaven and get a great chuckle out of me. I tend to be slow at catching on sometimes. I imagine Him giving a dramatic, “DUH!” with a shake of the head…cause in my mind God is Italian so His gestures must be off the charts. He probably talks with His hands too.
What makes my writing so unique is that I never just write to write. In fact, I can’t. Don’t believe me? Well I tried it tonight. I sat at my computer with the full intention of writing about a Group I am currently teaching on Wilfredo De Jesus’ book In The Gap. I got through the first paragraph and I paused. What I had written felt empty. I had the best of intentions but as I reread my words I knew God had stopped me. Why? Because He never prompted me to write on this topic. In that moment He reminded me that my writing has always been about what He lays on my heart. To share snapshots of my life and my journey, through the events and episodes that He uses to shape me. The circumstances and struggles of life that He desires for me to share. Whether funny or serious, my writing at its very core is never about me but always about God. He is the One who gives me the passion to write and therefore when I try to step ahead or around Him to write…it simply does not work, the words do not come.
Tonight I had such an overwhelming desire to write. Since going back to work a month ago I have had little time to think about my writing. The adjustment of schedules and the transition into a new role took precedent over pretty much everything. Yesterday, I was sitting in my office and I was gripped by fear. Not an “I’m afraid” fear but rather it was a dread fear. In a moment this horrific thought crossed my mind…”What if I never write again?” It was a fleeting thought at a random moment, and it left my mind as fast as it entered it. But my heart sunk at the very suggestion that I may never write again. Truth be told, tonight I sat at my computer so that I could prove to myself that my fear was unwarranted…I would indeed write again. Yet, as I sat here, completely unprompted by God, my words were flat. They didn’t flow forth the way they usually do. They lacked everything that made them even worth sharing…they lacked God. Hitting delete never felt so good!!! Don’t we all feel that way sometimes? We have all made decisions that we know full well we never consulted God on. We impose our will on Him and then expect Him to bless it as if it was all His idea in the first place. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were just a delete button away from a “do over” when we put our desires before God’s will. Alas, we do not have that luxury. However, we do have the beautiful gift of knowing that our God goes before us. He has prepared in advance all that He has for us. Where we are going…He’s already there. Instead of trying to beat God to the destination maybe we should just treasure the gift of knowing He is paving the way. When we are on the road paved by God delete buttons are not necessary. When we trust God, He even uses our mess ups for His purpose and His glory…this blog post is proof of that.
This morning during our staff prayer time God laid two words on my heart…”hopeful expectation” I didn’t know what they meant and I honestly did not have the time to ponder it either. Those two words, jotted down in my prayer journal, were followed by the line “I have hopeful expectation. Father, I don’t just hope you will move…I know you will!” It’s amazing how something you write down at 9:30 in the morning comes back to speak to you at 10:30 at night. Hopeful expectation..I am full of hope because of who God proves Himself to be over and over gain in my life and in the lives of those around me. His hand print is everywhere. Sometimes my vision gets a little blurry and I need to get refocused, but that’s my issue. God never changes and my hope is firmly rooted in my Creator, Almighty God, the One who reigns over heaven and earth, He who is the same today as He was yesterday as He will be tomorrow. My hope rests securely in all that God is and one thing I know for sure…God is a mover. He never slumbers and He never sleeps. His watchful eye is always upon us…His presence is always among us…His Spirit is longing to ignite a bold movement, a movement of His children; bringing the truth and the grace and the love of Jesus Christ to those who so desperately need His touch and His redemption. I bask in hopeful expectation not so that I can write again, no this hopeful expectation is my “I’m ready” stance. Ready for a great movement of God. Ready to be used when God calls upon me. Hopeful expectation…the anticipation stirs in my heart as I am engulfed with the excitement of being in the middle of something so much bigger than I can even imagine. Is there any greater place to be than in the center of God’s plan…in the middle of His movement? I can tell you this, there is no place I would rather be.
As I get ready to hit publish I recognize that this may be one of those blog posts that is simply my journal entry in an open forum. If the lesson is only for me, I am okay with that. Sometimes this is exactly what I need for God to walk me through certain thoughts, emotions, or attitudes. There is so much freedom when we take off all the baggage and just walk in honesty with our Savior.