Sunday, January 31, 2016

31 Days, 500 Words

31 Days, 500 Words may not seem like much of an opener. But for me, it’s the opening of 15,500 words yet to be told…aching to be told…needing to be told.

So many days and nights I’ve longed for this moment, dreamed even. The moment to begin again. I’ve asked many times of God, when can I write? Most times the reply was, I never said you couldn’t. Or something like it.

It doesn’t matter if these words form a book, if they flow from one stream into another, or whether they connect one day of writing to another. It just matters that they are. That they simply are written.

Just today God said to me, it’s the discipline that’s needed. I prefer inspiration, to the point I avoid discipline. Yet the two can work together if I will allow the habit of writing daily to give room to the inspiration that is never far away.

But why did I ever stop in the first place? It wasn’t a conscious decision. I got stumped one night, unsure of my thoughts, untrusting of God’s leading. The subject matter that gripped my heart didn’t fit into the chronological story I had been telling. It fit in the story alright; it was painful and raw, it was the present, it was the “now.” I traded the keyboard and vulnerability of the moment for a hesitancy and a bed. I said goodnight on the story. Not ever dreaming so many months and years would pass before waking.

There’s no guilt here. Only grace. Grace deep and wide enough to get back up, to risk again. You see, a great fall caused a great hurt, and a lot of confusion. A piece of my heart was lost, broken off. Without it, I couldn’t find my voice, and all the words I could think of turned to chaos in my mind. I was told that wasn’t a bad thing, but over time I scarcely believed. Like most perfectionists, I placed too much pressure and heaped condemnation on myself. As if that ever helps.

That broken piece of my heart was found on a high ropes course 40 feet above the ground in the Colorado Rockies. I was attending a retreat centered around the healing of the heart, and the night before had been raw and hard as I wrestled out many previously avoided questions that had been suppressed during the few years of back to back tragedy and sufferings. God knows what his girl needs. I geared up, followed the bridge to the towering course surrounded by peaks of glory all around without so much as a worry or fear. I was excited for the fun of it.

Nodding at the instructions of the guide, I took off on part 1 of the course. Mind you, in my exuberance I had chosen the more difficult option. Yes, it was naïve. Once I felt the whole weight of it, too far forward on a shaky rope as thin as my pinky, fear gripped me. I held on for dear life, each step and reach of the hands a desperate plea not to fall. No way did I dare to choose the difficult option on either of the next 2 stages. After all I had just experienced, what crazy person would do such a thing?!

I played it safe. Stayed in control. As in control as a person could possibly be 40 feet up on a wire with planks too far apart and swinging boards from Hades. Life is like that sometimes. Hades. It sure does burn and makes a girl want to tuck her tail and hide.

But something happened high on the platform of the last portion of the course. I debated with the guide whether to take the easiest way or the really hard. As he unhooked my cable and safely clipped it to the easy, Wait! was the shout that rose up from somewhere deep down inside me. “Put me on the hard. If I’m going to do this, I’ve got to go all the way. I can't take the easy way out.” I could barely believe what I was saying, but I knew it was truth.

Taking every instruction given me, I stepped out onto a new hope, a deeper belief. It was hard. It was deliberate. One step and one yank of the cable at a time—the anchor above me. It was long. Yet even as the last guide, who was also the first to send me out, reached out his helping hand, I knew I had to decline. “No, I’ve got it. I’ve got to this.”

When the ending had come full circle to the beginning, a firm platform signaling the start and end of something greater and more real than even I had anticipated, I just needed to have a good cry. Not because I was weak, but because I had found strength again. I heard my Heavenly Daddy say, I’m so proud of you! You were made for this. You were made to risk again.

The rescued piece of my heart was brought back into the whole. To have been wounded and to get back up again is everything.

So here I am back at the beginning. It’s time to write again, however many days and keystrokes it takes. In the words of Bagger in The Legend of Bagger Vance, “Settle yourself…let’s go. Now is the time.”

(This is My 500 Words challenge, Day 1, found on It is my first published writing in nearly 4 years. My last 2 blog posts HERE and HERE give a snippet of the backstory that brought me to a season of hiding out in fear and other places. This post is also out of my comfort zone, because it's unedited...that's one of the rules for the 31 days. haha Ok, maybe I cheated just a little, I only added one word. Here's to writing!)