Friday, November 9, 2018

Obedience

I had been hoping things would look different right now. I was hoping I would be feeling great, home life would be going relatively smoothly, and I would be writing.

But God has said, "Not yet."

At first, His "not yet" was in the form of a gentle nudge. A whisper while praying in church: "Take some time to quiet your mind and tune in to Me."

Yes, I knew what that meant. It included many things, including waiting on starting any sort of writing.

But within a week my own ambitions took over. I WANT TO WRITE! Never do I feel more alive or more energetic than when I am writing, and rarely do I feel so close to God. A friend also lent me a book - a book that absolutely spoke to me on many levels, but especially on writing with little ones in tow - One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler. She details her writing a book with four, then five, then six kids. Reading her writing journey added to my excitement, and my confidence, in starting my own. But God again said, "Not yet! Wait on me." Jennifer's notes on the natural pauses that occurred in her writing due to birth and motherhood and their blessings on her writing, allowing her to gain a new perspective and seeing her ideas growing "richer and fuller," did add to my willingness to put my own writing on pause. Still, my mind has been greatly on writing.

But God knew early on - perhaps because He knows me so well - that he'd have to hit me over the head rather than nudge me. Still, it was nice of Him to give me a chance to listen first.

A chronic tiredness that I have has grown into an absolute fatigue, such that I have most often been unable to think straight. A heaviness has hung over my head, and I have been convinced that I am developing something similar to dementia. And I have been unable to write. Literally unable.

Today, after dropping the kids off at school, I stepped into church and knelt to pray for five minutes, my head cloudy and heavy. "Lord, I give you my fatigue. I give you my writing. I give you everything standing in the way of my coming to You."

On the way home, I listened to a talk and then turned on Christian music when the talk was over. Two complementary messages floated through the van and to my ears, drifting into my brain and opening my eyes. I have things I need to work on before I can take on writing, things that are fundamental to my life and my motherhood. And I can see it now, these same things are fundamental to my writing as well.

My mind is clearer now than it has been for I, literally, can't remember how long.

Now is not the time for writing. I am not ready yet. Ok, Lord, I accept it (but please give me the grace to accept it more, because... well, you know me).

I tell my kids often, such as after they stand up while eating and fall off the chair, "I tell you things for a reason. You would be smart to listen."

Doesn't God say the same to us? "I have a reason for what I do and for what I instruct you to do. You would be wise to listen to Me." I would have been better off it have been obedient in the first place.

A priest I went to for spiritual direction some years ago would talk about the "opportune time," a concept we are familiar with under the words "appointed time." It is the idea that God has a time for everything and that He, not we, knows when that time is, when these gifts He wishes to give to us are best given, when His plans will be best fulfilled. Meanwhile, He works to bring about the situations in which those gifts and those plans can be given and fulfilled. He is not stingy but rather wants to give and fulfill at the best, or opportune, time when they will have their full effect and be best received.

Now is not the opportune time for my writing. But I trust someday it will be. I hope it will be soon.

And so I am left now with a call to obedience and to personal growth, and I am left to waiting, and to hope. Hope that God is preparing me to write in the way that He desires me to write and that the waiting and the pause will be fruitful.