I put my writing away for a long time. I should rephrase that--I put myself away for a long time. Who knows why? I've tried to analyze it but I draw a blank. I just know somewhere along the line, I wasn't "me" any longer.
I walked away from God for a long time. I couldn't stand the pain, the hypocrisy, the questions. After twelve years of doing things my way, I turned to Himand found I hadn't even been walking on my own two feet. He had carried me, never making a sound. I snuggled into His big arms and had myself a good, long cry.
I told Him I wanted what He wanted and I was ready to listen but he held me. I wonder if He didn't trust me? Or maybe he just wanted me to know, really know, that He wasn't going to abandon me?
When He put me down, my muscles weren't in very good condition because I hadn't walked in such a long time.
I remember one time I fell. I was really making some progress. Long strides, pumping my arms, moving fast. I guess I got going a little too fast. I was confident God had given me the ability to teach and lead women and I was full force into it. I didn't realize until later that what I thought God was asking me to do and what God was really asking me to do were two different things.
Thinking that women's ministry should be my focus, I arranged for the women of our church to go to a conference and I was all about doing everything to help them and to lead them. I chose which sessions I would attend based on which would help me best teach, serve and lead the women.
One was based on the book, "If You Want To Walk On Water, You've Got To Get Out Of The Boat." I figured I could help them learn to step out (as I had) and do what they had a passion for, do what they were good at, etc.
At the end of the session, Amy turned on the song by Casting Crowns, "The Voice of Truth" which just happens to be MY song. I was taken aback. She passed out index cards and instructed us to close our eyes and listen to the song. She had us keep our eyes closed while she asked a question. We were supposed to write down the FIRST thing that came to us.
"What is keeping you from getting out of the boat?" She asked.
"Others." I wrote.
"What is it that God wants you to do?"
It scared me so bad I shoved that index card in my bag and got out of there. I came home from the conference and cried for about 3 hours as I relived that moment. Then I put it all in the back of my mind and went about MY business.
Months later, my life seemed to be in utter chaos and exhausted, upset and angry one night I literally fell to my knees and yelled, "What do you WANT from me?! What do you expect me to do?!"
It was that quiet, still voice people talk about.
"What?" I said out loud, "You can't be serious."
And then I cried again for hours. I was still there on the living room floor when my husband came home from work to find me in a ball, crying. He was pretty shaken up and after I told him what was wrong--that God told me to write, he laughed at me. He said, "Everyone seems to know that except you."
Laughed at me!! I was furious. Then he said, "Well, then. I suppose you should quit this nonsense and write."
The next morning, I got down on my knees and apologized for being so stubborn. I was embarrassed that I had acted like such a fool.
"If you want me to write, do you think you could give me some indication of what it is I'm supposed to write? Is there a verse or something I could look at or something?" I prayed.
That little voice in m'head came again, "Jeremiah 29:11."
At this point I was pretty freaked out. I didn't really know I'd get an answer so quick. I was baffled because I didn't know what Jeremiah 29:11 said. I grabbed my Bible and flipped to the pages past Joshua, Job, Psalms, Isaiah and then the pages popped open to a page that had an index card shoved into it.
I looked at the index card and thought I was going to hurl.
I looked up and closed my eyes. I took a deep breath. I held it. I looked down to see the title of book. Jeremiah.
Not just anywhere in Jeremiah. Yep. Right there. Jeremiah 29:11.
See, I told you. I knew you wouldn't believe me. But its true. And its three years later and the butterflies are still on acid.