Twenty chapters in seven weeks.
When I couldn’t even write one chapter in the past year.
You’d think I would be celebrating. Singing in the streets.
But, I want you to know.
Breaking free to take steps to walk the little girl in me out into the world. Isn’t so easy.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am that the words have been coming. But, as I turned my heart to write the book that stalled for a year in post traumatic stress, there is something about putting my voice to print that just terrifies me.
Because doing so, puts me in a place where I feel so small. Insecure.
Speaking in my full voice.
It brings me back to the way I felt.
Sitting on the bus.
On my way to the high school across the train tracks — on the other side of town — in the morning.
Between Two Worlds
They closed the high school in my neighborhood. So, I had to take the county transit to another one.
I’d step out of one world in which I lived at home. Where life wasn’t kind.
Where life wasn’t anything like it was at school.
Where teachers loved me. Where I felt safe. Where everything made sense.
But when I was at school, I sat in classes with kids that didn’t live in my neighborhood. My friends had daddies and mommies. Who helped them with class projects. Who came to watch them play at school concerts, while my momma said it was a waste of time to sit through a concert to hear me play just a few songs.
It was the same on the weekends, when we had debate tournaments. Parents would volunteer as judges. Or came to pick them up. We’d all huddle around afterwards. But, my parent was never there. Some moms and dads would ask if I wanted to go out with them for ice cream afterwards. Where are your parents?
It was awkward. I’d have to wait until the parking lot would clear. And my ride would come later.
Everybody’s life seemed so normal.
Of course, I never told anybody this.
My world outside was completely separated from what was happening inside me, the moment I stepped back into the house.
Somewhere between these two worlds — school and home — was the me who sat on the bus.
That’s how I feel right now.
I’m very close to completing the manuscript.
I’m scared, friends.
I don’t know what is going to happen if I actually finish the last chapters.
I feel like I’m back on the bus, in transit between two worlds:
– one world where I’m feeling alive and free.
– another world where I’m on my own and afraid.
Are you standing between two worlds too?
Are you trying to move out to new places — even if with tiny steps — and feel fear threatening to stop you from seeing the journey through?
The Hardest Part
Go back. Don’t even try to think about it — thinking you can change.
These are the voices pulling at me.
What are the voices holding you back?
As I look back at the chapters already written, you’d think I’d breeze through and wrap this thing up.
But, I’m here to tell you.
I thought the hardest part of the journey was beginning.
The hardest part of the journey is finishing. Because there’s no more wondering what will happen.
Because the hardest part of any faith journey is leaving.
In order to touch our feet on the promised land ahead, we’re gonna have to continually do the one thing we’d rather avoid.
All the way.
Do Not Be Afraid
Because leaving the life we’ve known is scary. You and I are attempting to step into a new world we’ve never traveled before. We’ve stayed safely in our own world.
But, that’s not where God is prompting us any more, is it friends?
The hardest part of the journey of faith involves staying with the fears and anxieties — while trying to remember God’s promises of faithfulness — and taking one step ahead with Him.
Among this chaos, I’ve been hearing another Voice speaking — quietly penetrating.
“Do not be afraid.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”
~ Gen. 15:1
These are the words God confided to Abraham, the night He made a promise to him. God pointed Abraham to look up at the stars in the sky and made an oath with him about a future he couldn’t see.
An uncountable new life. Birthed in a new land.
God didn’t promise him escape from the battle, consequence or pain.
But, God promised His presence.
He himself would be Abraham’s protection and greatest reward.
Just like Abraham, we may be surrounded by God’s promises about the future, flickering like stars in the sky.
And just like Abraham, we may also feel frightened.
And that’s okay.
The Same Night
Because that’s exactly what happened to Abraham, the same night God showed him the stars and made him a promise that would change him to the core irrevocably.
“As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.” Gen. 15:12
Even in a nightmare, God continued to reassure Abraham He was near. And His promises still hold true.
If you’re like me, walking the space in between fear and faith —
Don’t feel guilty both are at play in your heart.
As we navigate our past into the promise of a unknown future, God says to us in the present –
Don’t be afraid.
I am your shield.
When you feel like giving up, remember you’re not alone.
Between here and there, this is what transformation looks like.
We are holding onto the God who is holding onto us.
Together, let’s keep each other company.
I see you.
You see me.
On this bus we ride through life’s many destinations, God has us covered.
He will be our shield.
How do you need God to be a shield for you today?
How is the movement of “leaving” a part of your current journey of faith?
Pull up a chair. Click to comment. It’s been awhile. Between faith friends, there is always a familiar comfort when we catch up and share.
Thank you, friends, for praying for me. You are God’s grace to me and I’m celebrating how far I’ve come on this journey with you, by confiding in today’s post. As friend to friend.
Not a day goes by, I don’t return to this virtual place of safety. Because psst… I’ve been typing my chapters in WordPress, as if I’m writing a long post to you. I’m thinking of you, as you walk through your stories — your families, loved ones — your circumstances sometimes changing faster than lightning striking, while at other times, feeling slower than molasses. Both of us, longing for the gift of refreshment of other’s thoughts. Thank you your gift of friendship and comraderie. You bring joy to my soul.
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Photo credit: A taste of summer via Photobucket.