Hunger Pains and The Neglected Pen

When I started this blog in 2015, I wasn’t really looking for much of an audience. I was just looking for a place to find release. I needed to get the words out of me or they were going to silently consume me to the point of implosion. The thought of that outcome was too scary to even imagine. To be eaten by the very hunger that compelled me to write in the first place…how ironic would that have been?
So I wrote. I loved it and I loved the sense of being known as I carefully formed each phrase of thought.
But the past year came in like a flood and with that heavy rain came new growth opportunities that I never could have been able to anticipate. Good things have bloomed and I’m grateful for the downpour of blessings that have washed away yesterday’s old mindsets .
However, I stopped writing because I got caught up in the flow of the new. The refreshing rain gave me moments of tangible joy but that relentless ache started gnawing at my insides again. That familiar groaning that says, “Nothing else is going to satisfy your desire to write…except writing.”
So here I am at the end of a very full year and my soul is having hunger pains. My new experiences have drowned out my old restless ways. God knows I needed that baptism as a reminder of His amazing grace. But it’s not thirst for adventure that wakes me up at night anymore. It’s a longing for a recorded life.
What’s the point of living the dream if no one knows about it? Not for glory or glamour, no. For a chance to point to the One who brings wholeness as we allow our hunger and thirst to draw us closer to Him.
After all, a satisfied life means that we are to  live at the intersection of the external and the internal. Always. If we are drenched from the rain but our hearts are weak from starvation, we are still half-empty. If our inner being feasts on manna but our bones become brittle from neglect, then we waste away.
To be made whole is my greatest desire and to do that means I must respond to the hunger inside by documenting my thirst-driven life. So I choose to drink of His grace and I pray that my well lived stories ultimately reflect the Story Giver.
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My New Mantra

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We all need something to hold onto when the storm clouds roll in. Let’s be real: Life can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be unbearable. Too many of us are walking around dripping wet in yesterday’s rain.

In an effort to maintain a positive outlook on life, I’ve come up with a new take on an old saying. It’s becoming my mantra because it helps me regain focus during the storms that threaten my sunny days. Here it is:

When it rains, it pours….so I’ll just open my umbrella.

Sure, I could nix the umbrella and dance in the rain like many naïve well-wishers have advised. I’ve actually tried that but I’m always left with a wet head and freezing toes. A girl could catch a cold!

And I don’t want any evidence of the rain on me. Dancing wild under the torrents only leaves me with clothes that stick to my skin and weigh me down. Then, after painstakingly removing the wet layers, I have to wash and dry them so they don’t stink like mildew. That just seems like unnecessary work to me.

Shoot, I’d probably never even wear that outfit ever again. It would just remind me of the day I was miserably caught out in the rain. And who wants to be reminded of the downpour?

The thing about an umbrella is, you can be out in the elements without getting completely drenched. It gives you a firm grip on the soggy situation. It provides you with a covering yet still grants you the freedom you long for as you navigate how to get from Point A to Point B in the inclement weather. The key is simple: You just gotta keep holding on to that umbrella.

I love what the Bible has to say on the subject of unexpected rainstorms:

“…his glorious presence, his immense, protective presence” is a “…shelter from the driving rain.” – Isaiah 4:6 (msg)

 The presence of God is what we need. The days when we can’t see beyond the tip of our nose because of the driving rain in front of our face are the days when we must cling to the protection that He offers us in His presence.

Having an umbrella when the sky drops out is the only thing that will keep us from being washed away in the flood that uncertainty, bad news, fearful situations, and unwanted interruptions inevitably bring. It is true that sometimes the rain seems like it will never stop. One storm after another can threaten anyone’s idea of happiness. But I’m not going to settle for conditional happiness. I want the lasting joy that comes from spending time in God’s presence. Without this joy, we are stuck out in the hazardous conditions just waiting for lightning to strike.

We don’t have to live that way. I won’t live that way. I am not going to stand by and wait for the grey skies to appear over my head. I will hang onto every single promise that God has given me and spend as much time with Him as I can. I’m going to smile as I remember how He’s covered me in the past.

I’m going to open my umbrella.

photo credit: via photopin (license)