Facing the Freefall: Should I Write?

I have a confession to make: I have no idea what I’m doing.

Sure, I’m geeking out and learning like crazy. Books on writing line up on my Kindle like an auntie’s Precious Moments collection. Some credit their author’s skill by being helpfully hilarious. Others give solid scholastic advice. I’m forging ahead, gleaning wisdom, and conquering chapters.

Stepping off my beaten path, I joined Instagram. It happens to be awesome. Who knew? Everyone else, right? Now tell me why I should start Twitter. I’ll listen.

I’ve wrestled and fought with words, held up my end of the dream the Lord put on my heart in April: one blog post a week. This will be #12.

I thought it would get easier as I went along.

But still it happens. Every time I put my words in this space.

It’s like the moment I walked onto the field at Family Camp and saw my firstborn being hoisted higher and higher, the intersection point of three ropes. Wow. That’s my girl up there so brave.

Then two ropes let go.

My heart leapt to my throat as she fell. I thought I was witnessing her death. But the last rope caught her in a beautiful, life-giving arc. She swang. I began to breathe again, realizing that was the plan all along.

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This writing thing?  This is my “Do Hard Things” thing. It takes major effort to lift and pull words off the ground. Editing bingo is a compulsive pastime; I lay ideas on the board and look for patterns, praying for connections to bridge the gap between what the Lord is doing in me and what might encourage others.

Then there’s the transparent moment of publication—when the only thing to hold onto is the Lord’s goodness. Freefall, where his truth alone turns the splat into an upward arc.

I want you to like my words because I want you to like me. But those ropes don’t hold.

And I realize this was the Lord’s plan all along. How better to know his heart than to learn to let go of everything else? Stats of my site views and visitors. Likes and comments on Facebook. The little red hearts on Instagram. I cherish each one.

But the only support that can hold the weight of who I am is Him. He’s the one who changes my falling into flying.

I love words like my boys love legos. I get lost for hours in their colors and shapes, trying to create something special.  At times, I wonder if I’m doing the right thing, spending so much of myself on what doesn’t come easy. Does it make a difference?

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A friend messaged me a giddyup the other day, screenshots from Jen Hatmaker’s latest, Of Mess and Moxie.

“Doctors put in the work to be good doctors. Teachers do the work to be phenomenal teachers. Budding creators cannot imagine themselves beyond the need for development or unworthy of the investment, paycheck or no paycheck. Worry less about getting recognized and more about becoming good at what you do. Take yourself seriously. Take your art seriously. You are both worth this.”

Does it make a difference? Does beauty or struggle, obedience or surrender in any area of our lives matter to the one who sees and supports it all?  I have to say yes. And if it pleases him, then all the rest is wonderful grace.

I may still not know what I’m doing, but I know the one who does.

Guess what just jumped to the top of my reading list?

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 NIV


Is there a struggle you are pressing through to engage a dream? Please leave a comment and share your story.

Swing Photo by Artem Bali on Unsplash

Common Cowardice

Last spring, as I was considering the magnitude of changes our family is embracing, the Lord did a sweet work of encouragement that made for a poignantly vibrant Full Heart Moment.  A copy of Marcia Moston’s book, Call of a Coward, came into my hands and drew me into the story of someone just like me who had been called to serve with her family out in the nations.   I was eager to walk alongside her struggles and triumphs as she traveled the path the Lord set before her, much of it riddled with pot holes, sharp drop-offs, and breathtaking views.

Lady walking in San AndresAs the pages turned, I began to wonder if she had lived in the same village that we had traveled to for mission work in 2006 and 2011.  Then Tim drove up on his three-wheeler, and there was no doubt.  I was treated not only to laughter and lessons pondered with a new friend, but with old ones, too,  as Marcia’s story twined with the Stromstad family during the early years of the Home of Life in Guatemala.  Hugging them all from my reading chair was a warm sunbeam of hope and joy in a season that had been looking rather gray.

Out of the overflow of the heart, this person writes.  My post, Full Heart Moment, was the fountain, dashed off contentedly in the quiet hours when the rest of the house was sleeping.  Basking in the Lord’s encouragement through the book and the satisfaction of a completed post, I assumed the blessing was complete.  Then Marcia Moston herself commented on TheGoodNewsFamily, and we traded emails in the days following.

When the Lord desires to do a work, the ripples often travel further than we can see.  Marcia was also touched by the common places and faces we loved, and wrote about how she discovered the connection in her post Counting the Cost on her blog.  As our family explored the grocery store in Costa Rica this summer, translating the ingredients to make meals in our cabina, she posted an interview with me, God is Able to Turn a Woman’s Heart about our calling and the way the Lord coaxed me back under the wing of His plans for our future.  I’m amazed by and grateful for her kind support of our family’s journey and for the way she is helping me overcome my own fears by the word of her testimony in her book and her blog.

Through the Front Gate, Guatemala

And that is the essence of why I write, spending hours playing with words and tinkering with nuances: yes, so that I can express my heart, but more so that the Lord might use it to be an encouragement to someone else in the steps of their walk with Him.  When we share our stories with their difficulties and victories, faith is multiplied and our common cowardice becomes a stepping stone rather than a barrier.

“They overcame. . .by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;” Revelation 12:11a