There isn’t an inkling inside of me to be an author. Maybe, that’s why this is so hard to start and stick with. Prior to the last four years of my life, I haven’t ever felt a soulful satisfaction to put pen to paper and share what’s inside of me, exposing events that have occured, revealing reactions to certain situations and sharing the stirrings of my heart. In fact, those words, expose, reveal and share cause a portion of myself to shut down. Upon hearing them, my first instinct is the fight or flight syndrome. Not being much of a fighter, the flight mode usually ensures an escape route to a secure setting. Causing me to shy away from any venue that would introduce vulnerability. (Presently, I’m working on myself to adjust this reaction. Refusing to run away. Instead, choosing to stand not in my own strength, but relying on His instead.)
But, after 25 years of adult self-diagnosis, I’m learning part of this is simply how I was created. My personality traits were recently validated when I read the book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by, Susan Cain. Can you believe that title tantalized my thinking? Oh, but it did! (I’ve always known I was a wallflower, I’m learning to like it!) I saw myself in statements like, “They are the ones that prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion. Who favor working on their own over working in teams.” Again, I could relate to thoughts like, “Innies, they are the ones who find joy in doing their own thing, prefer a book rather than joining a party or think monastic silence is bliss. There is no longer any need to feel quilty or like we are oddballs because of our preferences.” While reading, I nodded in agreement with what was written and found kindred companionship with the people descibed on the pages. “I wasn’t alone.” “There are others like me.” These were freeing thoughts that allowed me to better understand myself.
Engaging in the next episode, does not conjure up feelings of comfort. I know it will prevent me from staying in those safe spots. What it will entail and the possible outcome creates a scenario of uncetainity, uneasiness and the unkown. Feelings of anxiety, fear and possible failure stare me down like a viper ready to strike with its paralytic poison. Preventing me from pressing in, to finish what is before me.
Honestly, the grueling work has been done, suffering the loss of Samantha, grinding through the grief, healing because of a Holy helping hand and eventually reincorporation into the earthly world. What is left is really no big deal!!!! All that needs to be done is weave it all together to tell a story and then simply write it down.
It sounds so simple. But, I struggle to start and stay focused. The deep dive into the unknown creates a barbed wire barrier. I allow the feeling, that I don’t know what I’m doing, and that I’m being unproductive torment me. Causing me to start then stop. I have tried before and been derailed by my own demons. Run right off course, when I rely on myself.
In addition, I know there will be details to the drama that I haven’t dealth with yet. Questions that I have avoided because I can exist without uncovering the answers. Recordings I haven’t listened to. Afraid of what I will hear. The biting words of a little girl missing echoed throughtout the media. The how and when certain things were discovered and in what condition they were in. Situations such as these are easily ignored because of the painful prodding into the reality of it all. Nonetheless, facts that need to be addressed in order to set the stage. They may not all get included but, I feel like I needed to know what I’m writing about. As I begin to delve deepeer into the parts that I haven’t picked apart, I feel the bandage over my broken heart taughten to deflect these painfullyl pointed truths.
Today, I realize, it will be necessary for me to look beyond myself, past the borders of what is safe and secure. Casting my vision over the feelings of inadequacy, to right where He is. Completely expecting to be equipped to handle the erruption of what has been submerged. Not pushing myself. In contrast, allowing myself to be led “to” and “through” it all.
After being isolated for so long, I thought reengaging with the world was a good thing. Partaking in two part time jobs, volunteering in different venues, being a wife, mother, aunt and sister, neighbor and friend all had benefits. They all kept me busy. Hours well spent but, some of what I was doing was simply a distraction. Not that it didn’t serve its purpose. Reconnecting with society did show me healing had occurred and that I could be a shell of my former self. But, in reality what had happened was I had become engrossed in the details of everyday life; living but not being led. Surrounding myself with tasks and todo’s that interfered with sitting still and spending time with my Savior.
I have know for quite a while, what was necessary. That is, relinquishing some of my responsibilities in order to promote relaxation within. Severing the sense of security that is a byproduct of compartmentalized committments. It felt good to rely on the rhythm of each day; wake up, work, return home, rest and repeat. Oh and by the way, I was earning an income. After completing employment in the nonpaid position of “stay at home mom” for 19 years, it felt good to get a paycheck printed with my name on it. For any woman that can relate, who walked away from a career to concentrate on raising her children, returning to the workforce has the potential to be empowering to the point of intoxication.
Certainly, I had carved out a life that hindered the Holy Spirit. Working at an upscale boutique, I allowed myself to be infatuated with the sacred stitches of designer duds. Don’t get me wrong, the clothes themselves weren’t the bad things. Nor, my place of employment. I worked alongside spiritual soulmates and assisted incredible women. Instead, what went wrong was what crept into my conscience. I allowed myself, even if just slightly, to be absorbed by my surroundings. Everything was beautiful and I allowed it to grab my attention. At the time, I didn’t mind it !!! As a matter of fact, I was enjoying the earthly entanglements.
Not having the ability to silence the Holy Spirit; I could only stuff down so much. I knew what I was doing was in essence disobedient. God no more wanted me wrapped up in the world. Picking and choosing for myself rather than placing myself in a position of purpose was not pleasing to Him. My attention to Him and the telling of His story had been usurped by the attraction of what the world had to offer. The hours of complete quiet that promoted a profound connection had disappeared into the daily grind.
My immediate family witnessed this new pattern of self protection. All along, in disagreement with this way of life. David, constantly inquiring, “Elizabeth, when is something going to give? Nearest and dearest to my heart, they were the ones that prodded and poked me to return to my previous work. Able to see when I am in my element, better than myself. Their prickly encouragement is unwavering and unending. I’m grateful they haven’t become agitated to the point of giving up on me when I haven’t poured myself out in the right places.
No longer working two part time jobs, able to make my own schedule and carve out hours of quiet uninterrupted hours has allowed the Spirit to swell back into my soul, allowed my eyes to see the everlasting and my heart to ponder what is important. Afraid of being lonely, kept me connected. Walking away wasn’t easy but, it was necessary. Lessening my life load has increased the Almighty activity within. It is a good thing. Exactly, where I need to be.
So, I pick up where I left off. With no condemnation for being careened off course. Once again, it is time to attempt to gather the scattered half written stories and complete the scenarios. Fill in, with the chapters that need to be written and compile all of it into an organzied presentation of papers.
Embracing, that I don’t know what the end result will look like. Strangling the thoughts of anxiety that a single soul may never care to read what I have written and get back to the real work of my life.
Praying every step of the way that with each word written, I would hear His voice.
Pleading, that He strengthen my spirit so that nothing has the power to deter nor distract me.
Inspiring me, with ways to retell His story to touch others.
Finding peace, that he will do with the final project what He pleases.
Instilling, that no energy is required of me to figure out the future concerning, all of that….
Assuring me, all I need to do is write.
Believing, when He calls it complete and the bound book is placed into the hands of an open heart it will serve to strengthen someone’s Faith.