Monday, March 30, 2015
i asked God for a sign
Last week I posted the above photo on Instagram with confidence that Draft 2.0 of the book would be done by Saturday afternoon. I was sure that on Sunday, my twenty-sixth birthday, I'd be on to celebrating a new year and a new manuscript completed. Much to my own disappointment, I didn't make my goal. Not even in a slight, sort of way.
On Wednesday morning, I woke in a funk. I'm not sure if it was the intense word counts I was asking of myself, the intense desire to start the celebrations, or the impending ski trip on the calendar but I wasn't making any progress in my word count. Thursday was more of the same and the start of celebrations with Jason. I was thankful, so thankful for the distraction. I was so sad to have made such progress only to be met with a bad attitude and lack of words.
Thursday night, closer to that midnight hour that ends in AM, I laid in bed and felt doubt creep in. Doubt that said you can't do this, you won't do this, you're dreaming a messy, ugly, soon-to-be-carcrash kind of dream. And, I wish I were being dramatic when I say, I mourned right there over that manuscript.
I laid awake for more moments than I'd like to admit, asking Him how I dreamed up such a wild, misconstrued thing. I wrestled with words in the way I always find myself doing in the dark of night. I asked Him how this writing about hope could feel so hopeless. And, in the way I tend to do, I made a plan. A plan that faithful girls make. A plan where we tell God He best give us a sign. I told Him not a little sign, not a flicker, but a big, bold, undeniable sign.
I lived Friday in a bubble of wishing to know. We ate lunches, ran errands, took walks and played with dogs. All the while, I searched for that hawk that would fly so close I'd know, for the wall graffitied with HOPE, for a billboard along the freeway screaming out WRITE AMBER. And nothing.
Come Sunday, I felt deserted.
I asked God because I trust Him. I asked not to test Him, but because I want assurance. I want a burning bush, a pillar of salt, a dove with an olive branch. I want Him to move the way I read about Him moving for His early people. I know He's a God of impossibilities and my asking for a sign seemed minor, easily accomplished, and fine. I didn't get my sign.
Instead, He gave me a reality check. I sat distracted in a cushioned church chair while a pastor talked passionately over my busy working mind. I wrote furiously, my stream of thoughts scribbled and scrawled over and over again. Scribbles that said I love you, but I do not act according to your whims. Scrawls that said, I love you and, in that, please know your place.
I understood, but I wanted my way.
I laid in bed that night thinking of a pastor's words when I was torn on where to attend college. Over the dusty sand of a small Mexican village he told me, "When making big choices, follow what's good, what works and just be sure to take Him with you. As long as He fits, you're headed the right way." I knew I'd left Him behind.
Manuscript 2.0 is too small, too constricted, too scared of what He has laid here in my little fleshy heart of fear. It's disappointing as its writer, it's too gentle as a reader, it's uncomfortable as a Believer. So, we're going to try again. We are going to do it together as Him and me. It's not about my small words and big fears this time.
Pray for us.
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