I am fearless and fiercely protective of those I love: Just try coming for one of mine. As I wrote in my personal manifesto #GentlyAngry,
“I aspire to live in peace, but I ain’t no punk.”
“I encourage you never to mistake my quiet or my cool for anything, please. Draw conclusions at your peril. Often mistaken for a sleeping kitten, I can, when provoked rise to defense, a cobra coiled. Cobras can be deadly.”
In life, there are no dress rehearsals. When it’s time to do, the strong ones get it done, because there is no other option.
My two best friends are, as usual, holding me together with love, prayers, and libations as I navigate the inevitable storms of my life.
Appearing strong and visibly adept at keeping things in order, asking pointed questions and moving things forward as necessary all day every day, marriage, home, adult children, in my career, in my world, I do what anyone would do under the circumstances, I get it done…or at least it looks good.
At night when no one is around, when I can finally release the breath I’ve fiercely held tight all day, in unguarded moments, writing my prayers saves my life. Among the things for which I am profoundly grateful is the backlight on my laptop. I literally write myself through scary places, lighting my own candle in the dark.
I now understand in a different way that the Lord is a refuge…a stronghold in times of trouble. Studies have shown us that people who are able to spend time writing through difficult circumstances have better outcomes and less depression.
Let’s look at David. David lived an extraordinary life, suffering extraordinary pain, often of his own making. He was human. Among his greatest gifts in my humble opinion, was the ability to write himself through his valleys.
I am thankful that even in through my times in the valley, I never feel alone.
I am thankful that I am able to write my pleas, my prayers, talking myself through fear using faith.
I do not believe that children of God are never afraid. I believe that we have been given resources to walk through our fears to the Throne of Grace, to find rest and refreshment and refuge there.
Consider something a wise friend wrote about writing yourself out of the dark,
I write and scratch at all the complicated inside-outness of my own head. The words, no the writing the words down, they help make sense. I draw my own road map in reverse. It happens and then I write it.
Life can be an [expletive deleted], but I am by far more fierce and better equipped. She needn’t be afraid of me, but she should absolutely fear The God I Serve.
And that is what we writers do. Wielding words suffused in Grace, we light our candles in the darkness, and then we are less afraid.
I am a very serious person, so I laugh a lot. I write because it helps me understand the way I feel about the world. I married my high school sweetheart, and together we made two exceptional people and raised a dog so remarkable, I wrote a book about the faith lessons he taught me. I envision a world where each of us embraces the Perfect, Precise Image of God that we are, naturally, at every given moment, even as each of us exists in a liminal state.