Thursday, July 26, 2012

Random Journal Day--back in the saddle!

Being back in the rhythm of my life means posting on a more regular basis, including the weekly Random Journal Day. I not only missed contributing last week, but reading all the offerings from my blogger friends, who are witty and wise and continually teach me through their art--word, picture, paintings.

Tonight I raced into the room where my baby brother is now sleeping, grabbed a journal quickly and have yet to open it. Shall we do so together?  With no editing, no forethought, not even a glimpse of what season and year I've grabbed from my shelf?

Ah, Spring 2007. Hmm, here's a hard entry. An unexpected one. But when have I ever shied away from such as this?

Saturday, April 7th
I've had a lot less trouble leaning into physical pain in my life than emotional or mental anguish. I suspect this is true of most people. We simply don't know how to be still--to rest--no matter what the trouble. I know that the most agonizing thing in my life is NOT my body but my work, my manuscript, that ever-evolving, never ending work. I'm just NEVER in control, which is exactly what what I should feel in every aspect of my life, of course. But I've never been in control physically, I never even try to be. But I've been under the mistaken impression that I have some control over my own writing. But as His disciple, I should know better. Should know that I must let go, lean into and trust HIM.

To that end, I worked all afternoon, and am here. Doing what I can. It goes round and round in me that this should be done [finished]--not that I think it's perfect or that I necessarily disagree with KH (my editor) or JE (my agent). But should I have laid it down? I know there was NO ONE to agree with me, NO ONE who saw that 'laying down' as anything but quitting. But I've never been sure and I know the difference between quitting and releasing. I've wanted to quit often. But I'm afraid I didn't relinquish, let go, stop in obedience. So what if the world didn't understand? 

However, since then, since a year ago, I've tried to hold lightly to OA (my book was called October Afternoon) so that it doesn't matter anymore.  If the end comes, I hope I'll rejoice and move on to what  He next calls me.  If I must continue here, writing and re-writing, then so be it. Just do the work. 
"It's only sport," I told the doctor during the nerve conduction study the other day. And it's only books, only story.  Not eternal. I don't want to have my life marked by this one thing.

So the trick--if it's a trick--is to do well, remain obedient and strong. Stay focused even when my heart is gone.  When my hands are lifted, I still put my fingers on the keys and do the work.  How do I explain this to anyone? Who is there to understand?

A year after this entry, the work stopped. The manuscript was put in a drawer and has not been looked at since.  It surprises me now that God had spoken to me about laying it down a full two years before the end came. I remember the strong sense that I was to let it go, and the fight I had within and without about doing so.  My own inability to stop. My continuing struggle (to this very moment!) with the sense that I failed because it wasn't ultimately published.  The words of this entry help. They confirm something, but also remind me (again) of the wisdom of 'instant obedience.' I don't know what would have happened if I'd relinquished it as He asked. I only know what actually did happen. But there's a lesson in it. And it's one I continue to learn. Like Lucy following Aslan in Prince Caspian, if I see/hear Him calling I must follow. No matter what others around me say or think.


Modern Day Disciple said...

So timely. Yesterday I realized I loved something I wrote too much. I love these words "But I've been under the mistaken impression that I have some control over my own writing. But as His disciple, I should know better. Should know that I must let go, lean into and trust HIM." Thank you for sharing this- perfectly timed. ANd so brave to share...your lessons are not lost- God is using you.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

This really speaks to me. I also had a wonderful dream writing project that I thought was exactly what I was supposed to do...and God put the brakes on it and re-directed me...and here I blogland. Maybe someday I will be able to refurbish the original project and it will the right time and place...but not until GOD says so. He is still teaching me to listen to His words, and learn from Him before I attempt to put something out there that He never intended to be seen by others eyes. He knows best. I will trust Him.
Thank you for helping me to see that this is how God works with others as well. I love this sharing we are doing. It is like being in training for something bigger together!

Recovering Church Lady said...

Interesting, Just this last week I picked up an old book idea that I had let go of a year ago. The time is right...I think. You never know for sure do you?