Create new document. I see them all the time, but today those 3 little words brought me so much joy! I asked my mom and sister if I could drop the kids off for a few hours this morning to do something I’ve dreamed of doing for a long time now. I’ve dreamed of a few hours alone at a coffee shop where I can write. I love writing and I try to make time for it when I can— usually at night, bemused and worn by the day. But this dream was different. I wanted to sit midday, away from all of the distraction, and focus on writing. God created me to be creative and it has taken me so long to fully embrace this. I’ve always been jealous of the organization and put togetherness of my friends. I’ve also envied those who are further along in their careers. Doctors, lawyers, the careers that exude success. The women that just seem to be checking so many more boxes than me. Don’t get me wrong, those other boxes are all amazing. The problem is that I was deceived in to thinking that the boxes I checked were somehow less important than the boxes other people were checking. And worse, I was completely ignoring one of my own boxes, creativity. God made me with talents unique to me. And yet I was stuck in a rut wishing I could check boxes that were not even on my list.
So let’s get back to today and officially, Beginning again.
I’m 30 now. Older and wiser I guess. Less concerned about what other people think maybe? Ready. Inspired. Whatever the reason, today I decided I was ready to embark on the dream God put in to my heart. I was ready to write. I was going to make it a priority instead of an afterthought. Full of excitement, I packed the kids in to the car and was officially on my way! Sort of. Because, as I pulled out of the garage and in to my newly imagined beginning, I literally got stuck in my own driveway. It’s snowing today. Like a lot. In Minnesota we just hit the record for the most snow in February, ever. And it’s still snowing. I knew it would be a struggle to leave but living in this beautiful state my motto has always been, “if you don’t go out in the snow then when can you go out?” Especially this winter. So no, snow was not going to stop me— at least not today. I grabbed a shovel and dug out the back tires so that I could finish backing out of my driveway. It worked and we were on our way. The kids had packed boots, coats, and blankets— all the things they may need if we ended up in a ditch. I told them to be prepared because it was not totally unthinkable that this would happen. They almost got so excited about the idea of spending the day in a snow ditch that they were bummed when we made it to my sister’s house safe and sound. That is so me by the way. I love it when something unexpected (not dangerously unexpected, just different!) happens and suddenly your plans are thrown out and you get to embark in to uncharted happenings. And if you are stuck with your family even better— give me all the quality time! Life happens in the interruptions right? Anyway, sorry for that little tangent. Back to writing! So I dropped the kids off, grabbed a shovel, (just in case) and began my trek over to the local Caribou Coffee. I’m sitting there now writing and reflecting on what it took to get to this place. Physically and figuratively, what it took to leave the place I was at and to begin again on a new path. It can be hard to start a new path. Especially, on a snow day! On my way to my parents it was so much easier to find a clear path on the main road. The back road, the road it seemed only I was taking today? That was hard. And there weren’t many tracks to follow. I had to make my own way. How many times do we start out on a journey of faith or otherwise that we get stuck within the first few moments of the journey? I feel like this is so common. You hear a word, a promise from God over your life and you are ready. Ready for the promised land! See you again never Egypt, I’m done. I’m in the promised land! And then, like my tires spinning in place at the end of my driveway, I realized although I may know God’s promise still stands and trust that it is true— I may still have to travel through a desert (or blizzard) to get there. This happened to me. If I’m being honest I would tell you I feel like I’m in the desert right now. But I am not camped here and I definitely will not be making it my home. I’m moving forward, one step at a time, toward God’s promise.
Have you ever been there? If you feel stuck right now, tires spinning— I would encourage you to make a move. Grab a shovel and dig if you need to. But get moving. Newton’s first law states that an object in motion stays in motion unless stopped by an external force. My whole way here I was hoping for green lights. If you are familiar with driving in the snow you know that it’s much easier to move ahead with momentum than from a dead stop. If you stop it can take a lot of effort to regain traction and get your tires moving forward again. If God isn’t giving you a red light through his word or the Holy Spirit, keep moving forward toward the unique passion and purpose that he has put in to your heart. And if you get discouraged, like me, find someone to help dig you out and start again. Sometimes this is a family member or a close friend. And other times, a lot of the time for me actually, this is an author. I’ve read so many books lately that, although not at all related, seem to pick right up where the last left me. And the author seems to nonchalantly grab me by the hand and lead me along to the next truth that God has been preparing me for as I leave another book, chapter or season behind.
So if you ever feel stuck, my advice would be to search for and firmly establish God’s promise and purpose for your life in this particular season. And second, stop filling life with so many distractions that you don’t have the time to pursue the unique project that God has given you. Simply put, make his purpose your priority. If you don’t know his purpose, start by making a list of who you were created to be in him. And be sure to include what makes you, uniquely you.
God made you, YOU for a reason, because he needed someone just like you to do something only you can do.
Let me leave you with this. It’s a quote from one of my favorite children’s books, When God Made You. I cried the first time I read it— standing in the aisle at Target. The emotion of it caught me off guard, I wasn’t ready for it. The message I want to leave with you is this. Be you, fully and uniquely. Check your own boxes, stop looking at someone else’s list, and don’t stop moving forward.
“So be you— fully you— a show-stopping revenue. Live your life in full color, every tint, every hue. Discover. Explore! Have faith but love more. And learn and relearn all that God made you for.”