It's been almost six months since I've written anything. I'm not filling up journals like I used to, my social media has been near inactive and, overall, I don't have anything to say. If I'm a writer, this isn't supposed to happen, right? Call it writer's block, call it a healthy break and time of rejuvenation, but I call it an unlearning. An unlearning, but also an invitation to what it really means to be led by the Spirit and see myself for who I really am.
This six month writing hiatus falls within my first year out of college. I wish I could pass along practical advice for those behind me just stepping into this season. But, again, I have nothing particularly helpful to say, I only have my story to share. I pray within that you'll find the grace and guidance that you need for yours.
Part of this 'unlearning' post-college has been grasping that I really don't have a defined direction for my life. Every which way I turn, I sense the Holy Spirit raising His gentle hand in objection. A 9-5? No. Part time? Eh. Grad school? Nope, not that either. I'm trying to exercise radical faith by only giving my time to the things that I truly feel His peace in. It's been one of the most frustrating seasons of my life, but, I am wholeheartedly convinced that something is getting ready to be birthed in me that would otherwise be smothered if I was distracted and not purposefully nurturing it.
The only place where I feel God's peace is building my own space to thrive. The world will not make that space for me and I refuse to be a victim. Here's the thing about creating your own opportunities: only a few people will understand your need for it.
I kid you not, I have never been apart of anything that I felt held me perfectly and gave me space to fully be myself. So, I'm going to make something that does. What lead me here has been years of shoving my ambition and vision down down down and trying to be "normal" and failing miserably at it. At the end of the day, what lit the fire in me was the realization that my two choices were to keep lying to myself about who I am or to actually give myself a chance.
The truth is that I'm incredibly entrepreneurial.
I'm a reinvent the wheel kind of person.
I have the "let's tear it all down and start over so we can really see how this works" kind of curiosity.
I have dreams of reform that I want to see in the church and the world that I know are before my time.
I am a pioneer, a boat-rocker, a storm chaser, and my father's daughter.
Yes, I'm here ready to show up for the world, but I'm also learning to show up for me. And when I show up for me, the parts of the world that I'm meant to paint will get painted in incredibly bright colors.
Nelson Mandela once said, "Humans cannot bear the burden of their own inherent greatness." But with God all things are possible.
I have an insatiable craving to look at my life and be amazed at what I've done. I can't bear the thought of growing old and looking back and only seeing what I could do in my own strength. I simply cannot settle for working to manifest my own ideas, ingenuity, creativity, and vision. I cried on our couch a few weeks ago because I realized that I don't have what it takes to do the things that God wants to do through me. When I shared that with Jordan, he in all his wisdom said, "You don't, but God does."
For me, this is a time where God is arming me so He can unleash me. I can't deny that somedays I feel like a failure, somedays I wonder if I should've chosen a different major, I fend off thoughts that I will be in this liminal space forever, and I have to stare down giants that loom around the corners of my apartment that say, "You will never be your full self. You will never make the mark on the earth that you're meant to. You will never figure out what you need to to excel." And this last one is a long staring contest, "You will watch everyone around you flourish while you remain stunted."
But my dad believes in me and always has. My husband believes in me and always will. My Heavenly Father has anointed me for things that I'm not sure when I will see but I can't undo what He's done. And not believing in myself just flat out makes me sad and that's no way to live. So, I'll believe in myself even when I feel insane and directionless; Because how dare I not believe in something that God has spoken with such care and intention. So, for now I grope around in the darkness, practicing wielding tools I'm unfamiliar with and building something I can't yet see growing. It's not about me at the end of the day: it's about following His Spirit, trusting that He has laid a path before me even when I can't see it, and finding Him along the way.
God doesn't interact with who we think we are. He interacts with who He's made us to be. Until we get on the same page as Him, we are missing out. At our core, we are all incredibly resilient, beautiful, powerful, worthy, and wondrous. But you won't see it until you get at His feet and start engaging with His Spirit and hearing His dreams for your life. When He told me two years ago, "You're too big for counseling, Taylor," (my profession of choice at the time) I'm realizing that what He meant was, "I'm not going to let you go through life helping others excel while you live in a shadow. I'm going to show you you before you show others who they are and who I am. I'm going to unearth what's in you but what you've never seen before. Later, you can help people. Live your life, see me, and then you'll see you."
I've stopped trying to think up my own story by piecing together my talents and gifts and interests like everyone always told me to do. All I want is to hear God's gentle invitation and step towards it. I won't move into a space or into a story without knowing that He has breathed on it with His rhema, living word. Maybe that's paralyzing for you to hear. Throw it out. We are in different seasons. Peace be with you. But I'm taking every thought and ambition captive and laying it at His feet so that He can reveal to me the story He has already written for me. And I already know that it's something I've never seen before and that no one else has ever seen before.
Maybe that's why I often feel compassless and directionless. Who is a role model for me? I couldn't tell you. I can point to dozens of men and women who I want to be like, but I can't point to someone I want to become. Because she's me and she hasn't become yet. She's becoming.
He's been teaching me lately that writing, at its core, is not about transferring information from one mind to another. It's not about showing the world what I know. It's not about revealing how what I know can make your life better. For me, today, writing is about me being transparent about my story so that maybe someone else might find the courage to live theirs unashamedly. I think I've been in a "writing slump" because who I am today has outgrown what I thought my craft was about. I have no desire to stand above and whisper life-secrets to my followers. I have no desire to create a system where people are dependent on me to get through life. But I have every desire to be someone who is comfortable with being uncomfortable and not really knowing the next step.
I have every desire to offer my life vulnerably and hope it gives others permission to live bravely. I have every desire to be a safe place for people to fall apart and to rise. I just want to be a friend. Because the truth is, I have no idea what's going on. The only thing I claim to know for sure is the one that does know what our lives are all about: His name is Jesus.
The truth that life isn't about you becomes more real and freeing everyday. More often than not these days, I dread lending "advice." I'm practicing laying hands and praying before my mouth speaks. I say His name more than I say my own life experience, hoping that they'll hear His heart. Hoping that in my weakness, He is seen as strong.
When you step into the place where you feel naked and feel exposed and feel without footing, that's where the real work gets done. I'm there, by the grace of God, and I reach out my hand in invitation. Do you have a dream that makes you feel naked? Does dreaming at all make you feel exposed and shaky? Have you run so far from any sense of uncertainty and shame that you're not sure how to feel and press into those things anymore? This isn't an invitation into a life of fear and shame filled thoughts; This is an invitation to actually be honest with yourself and with God and to step into courage as you ask to see yourself and His glory in all their fullness for maybe the first time ever.
Write your own songs until you're out of songs to write so that He can give you His songs. Write your own books until you see the finitude of your own imagination and are freed up to receive what He wants to say and then write that down. Vent in your journals, pastor those kids, work your job, build a business until you realize that it's only with Him that you can do all things.
From the writer who has nothing to say but everything to ask and hope for, you have permission to be, not be, try to be, then be His all over again.
What I've learned about what it means to be transformed into the image of Christ, be reconciled to Him, myself, & others, and how to be His disciple.