Shortly after I purchased the blue table, I woke up and knew immediately that I was in a battle. No one was knocking down my door and trying to steal my muse, but someone was playing head games with me about this whole writing thing.
The battle actually began a few weeks earlier when my husband Bob and I decided I should cut back on my hours at Starbucks in order to make more space for writing and listening to God about what’s next. The mailbox still held bills and we incurred some unexpected expenses, though, and I was feeling the weight of the decision. I thought to myself, “I need to justify my existence.”
Ever have a thought come to you that seems like your own but you wonder where it came from? Well, that’s what happened when I heard the words “justify my existence.” I’m writing this now with the benefit of hindsight, but in that moment, I was felt that I was a burden and the emotional weight of that momentary belief brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to do whatever I could to stop feeling what I was feeling, and that meant I needed to find work. NOW.
Here’s a quick summary of my professional life in the past 25 years. After Bob and I married in 1990, I worked for two years for a publisher. I left that job and opened my own literary agency. It wasn’t very successful, but that didn’t matter because I got pregnant about two years after I set up shop. Becoming a mother was an excellent reason to shut it down. I’ve been a mother for almost 21 years now, and I was home full-time until our only son Michael went to kindergarten. Then I worked at a gourmet chocolatier--somebody had to--and after that at Starbucks.
Back to the present. I was in a tailspin about being a writer and it was a fight to believe and trust. In my head I knew I didn’t have to justify my existence to my husband. He had been the one to say it was time to step away from Starbucks, insisting I was never going to find what was next if I held on to something just because it was working (even though it wasn’t). To quote Christine Caine: If the horse is dead, dismount.
As I plodded through the morning, Psalm 29:11 came to mind: “The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.” I grabbed my Bible and read the entire chapter. This is what God whispered in my ear that came out my pen:
You Who spoke and created everything,
You Who speaks
and breaks cedars,
Whose Voice strikes
with flashes of lightning
the desert of Kadesh, the wilderness of our unbelief.
You Whose Voice
twists the oaks
and strips the forest bare--
You do not use
Your power to intimidate
You do not use it
to make us fearful
to make us aware
of our weaknesses,
our many, many weaknesses.
in order to ADVERTISE:
What You have
You do not ask for any payment.
You do not require anything in advance.
This truth silenced the voice of the one taunting me and gave me something to actively believe and trust in when so much about my journey is unknown.
What does the word UNKNOWN mean to you? How has God’s gift of strength comforted you?