My brothers are all artists, they capture life better than a photograph and give life to the ideas shuffling around inside their heads. Jealousy filled my heart as a young child. I wanted the ideas trapped in my head to magically pour through a pencil onto paper. They made it look so easy.
It seemed unfair for ideas to be stuck forever in my head but I didn’t have the skills to open the doors and let my ideas free. I also didn’t understand growth takes place through a series of failures and lots of perseverance.
Along came writing.
Throughout my life words have coaxed me close. In high school I filled folios with my heartfelt prose. God used words to spill-out everything festering in my heart. Words kept me sane and on the straight and narrow during my teenage years. But I developed a strange relationship with words….
Sometimes words were so powerful I couldn’t face them. There’s nothing like holding a pain-filled pen, I mean, who wants to do that? When celebrating, who has time to pause to write? I’d push the words aside. The more they wiggled for freedom the more I shoved them down into my heart’s deepest dungeon, even the happy words.
Sometimes laziness won. I didn’t want to take the time to free the words. Unlocking the words buried deep in my heart and walking the belligerent words to the surface was too much. Time was easy to fill; it always is when we’re on the run.
Sometimes I wanted recreation, to be out scaling Yosemite’s walls with climbing partners more than sitting on my bedroom floor back flush against the long side of my daybed. Fresh air and adventure provided immediate satisfaction. There’s no denying a job well done when gazing across mountain ranges from the top of a summit. It stroked my bruised ego.
All along I knew running from the words I was called to write would only last so long. I wish I stopped running sooner. You can never outrun God’s plan.
A few years ago I waved my white flag towards heaven. (again.)
Through surrender and commitment to write an overarching life pattern came clear:
I get distracted, left with a lot of half done projects, fragmented ideas and unraveling confidence.
I give up.
A rainy day before Christmas I drove through some foothills and sat in congested city traffic to meet with writers I trust to influence and shape me. Our varied backgrounds are united through common faith and call to write. These trusted women are a significant part my writing and life story and you should check out their work here, here, here and here for my entire tribe of encouraging and prodding influencers.
In the past, God revealed a theme halfway through the year. Over the past few years God wove hope, love and faith into the fibers of my heart. This year, while meeting with my friends He gave a word before the New Year began:
It’s been nudging me the past four months like my dog’s nose at daybreak. FINISH wants to be my friend, my ally. God’s good like that, He prepares our hearts for the path ahead. He cares for details of all sizes. How would I be able to successfully finish if I began halfway through the year?
Finish requires a mental shift. When I push my body in races, hikes and climbs my mind adjusts.
I define what my finish line is. I’m realistic with myself, I won’t set any records on my road bike or with my favorite Salomon running shoes and that’s okay. This year I plan to let that grace percolate through my soul as I finish what God gave me three years ago. This makes me positively nervous. Unlike years past, I know I’m in for it!
I plan to endure through training my body to perform. I don’t give-up when my time resembles a couch potato. I TRY AGAIN. A pattern of prematurely giving-up began with my perceived artistic failures as young child. It’s time to break the pattern and press on!
I know I’m not enough on my own. I surround myself with people to train with and hold me accountable. This is an area God began building years ago. In my small corner I’m blessed with the prayers and support of the most incredible friends. I am wildly blessed!
I choose less. While training I wake for early morning training and say no more than I care to admit. That’s because I’m a yes girl. Life seems short and I like spending time with people. My dad’s unexpected death reinforced the frailty of life (this year I’ll painfully finish my article “My Best Yes”, the last time I ever saw my dad alive) but there’s a balance between yes and no. People are trying to dress-up yes and no, but no means you are missing something and yes means you’re gaining something. It’s best we’re clear what we’re gaining is worth the loss. This year, yes and no will be more black and white with this girl.
Finish will never happen if we never start. Have you prayed over your year? Have you asked God what you need to start and finish? Are you like me, needing to tie up loose ends or do you need to get up and get going?
Surrendering to God if we’re not willing to start and finish the work He called us to isn’t fully surrendering.
This year I’m not banging the pots and pans excited for a clean slate and fresh ideas, this year, I’m excited to finish the work God gave me three years ago.