Stories to Guide Our Way
February 18, 2020
For a few weeks I’ve pondered the direction of this blog moving forward. Since 2015, at the onset of Bill’s illness, it has primarily centered around coping and maneuvering around life, when life is in chaos–and the aftershocks of earth-shattering grief, when life changes after death.
Lately, I’ve thought of my calling in life. The kind of wondering that leads to life changing decisions, specifically if there is a special focus to hone into from here on out.
I am one to find greatest joy in purpose, not merely pleasure itself. Blame it on the Enneagram or my emotional makeup, but if I am most satisfied in life, then it needs to be making a difference in another’s life.
An easy answer to said question is, well, writing. Maybe occasional speaking. Oh, and I love to invest in the lives of people (often confused with meddling if one asks my children).
Yes, writing is part of my purpose, but more like the conduit of my calling.
And when I speak of callings, there are some that are universal (or should be), like I know I’m called to love others, speak truth, help the oppressed, etc.
That, and I know we can be all over the place with this calling word, especially when some on earth believe we are direct descendants of the animal variety, and if we are hardly a theory away from apes, how can we believe we are made with a specific bend toward anything of unique significance from God?
And truth be told, when I heard my calling, it was at a time before I wrote such things down, so the details of when it happened, how He spoke, and where, are fuzzy.
But what was said is stationed in the corner of my soul, waiting to jump to life.
Basically, I have special moments with God that I feel called to share, as the moments are not solely for me, but also for you.
A story within a story.
All pointing to Him.
Like an allegory, an illustration, a word, a phrase, a verse–all illuminating Him–like a highlighter on an otherwise black and white page.
Lately these moments are accelerating from occasion, to all the time.
The first time I heard God was on my physical fate in 2001 as I sat in the back seat of my minivan, cleaning pen scribbles from the new leather. It was an over-the-top speaking into the silence, with a moment so absurd. The declaration has yet to happen. Really, I have no idea if it will result in my fatality, or more of a warning to pay attention.
Some in my closest circle wonder if the moment itself is not literal, but more of a metaphor or something of that sort. I’m checked periodically all the same–the last time only two weeks ago.
This particular cancer, yes cancer, has its illustrative qualities–the most obvious for sure on how the enemy works in our lives–insidiously, silently, subtly interweaving his voice in with our own, until we no longer recognize one from the other. And before we know it, the silent killer has destroyed vast territory of our wellbeing.
This morning I wake to the following words–
Pick a fightA causeTo fight for
Odd, I think as I hear the words awaken me.
I have permission to choose?
Choose what? A fight?
I am not one to fight on purpose, but the thought excites me.
So while on a run, my thoughts wander around to a simple word with profound meaning: identity.
It makes sense, since the struggle with identity has been a wrestle for some time.
The day my first book was stolen (literally) in 2008, the first authentic thing I said that day, journaling my thoughts, was,
Who am I?
Who am I when I am not doing something of significance?
I wanted significance to compensate for my feelings of worthlessness after early years of instability, and writing felt the way out of this repressive state. So surprise, surprise, I poured myself into this divine calling to write a book (another story for another time), not knowing the unexpected outcome would crush my identity even further. I thought it was an end-all to all things wrong with me, and He used it as a tool to shatter the competing voices vying for my identity, leaving me on the bed, wondering after everything was stripped away, simply–who am I?
The biggest battle after Bill left, outside of grief and longing for my best friend, was simply figuring out,
Who am I?
Who am I if my identity has been wife, and I am no longer wife?
Who am I if I am no longer a parent of a child, when the last child has left the nest?
Who am I?
Likely not all the moments that will burst forth on this site will answer this age-old question. Some will pertain to other topics we question that hopefully will guide our paths back to HIM:
Why am I here?What’s the point?Do I matter?Do I want coffee, or tea? 🙂
So, how about I ask the same of you–
Who are you?
Really? Under the facade, fear, falsities?
What I am discovering is I am most myself, when I am most like Him.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says it better–
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Until next time, when we will meander our way slowly down the FREEDOM trail with a few moments that tackle this age-old topic.