I was planning to write anyway. Really I was. I’m working on manuscripts for a couple of clients, and I’m back on the campaign trail with my seasonal job. So, there’s that. However, I’m tired of my excuses. I made time for Scandal almost all season, so I could have made time to write on the blog.
I saw this picture on Sunday, after starting my day of worship in a terrible mood. I didn’t want to go to church, my son was annoying me, I was underwhelmed with the result of weeks of work. I didn’t feel like I had anyone to talk to, and God would not be impressed with my whining. As we drove toward church, I turned off the radio and told my son not to talk. I felt something very sinister around me, saying nasty things.
No one loves you. No one cares that you exist. You don’t make anyone happy. Your boyfriend isn’t serious about you. Your son has no respect for you. You always let people down. You’re going to end up alone. You should just shut up. No one wants to hear you sing. No one wants to read your words. Your business is a joke. You should get a regular job, and stop wasting everyone’s time.
In the past, these thoughts have overtaken me. I’ve battled depression since I was a teenager, but I have never felt the urge to retreat into my darkness as much as I have lately. It’s not something I fight day by day, but minute by minute. I’ve had therapy, and I believe in it. I’ve got the receipts to prove it. However, I am more plugged into the journey of finding myself while following the example, the way, and the life of Jesus than I have ever been. I asked God to break that yoke in that moment, and He did.
My cup may not be running over, but I am thankful to have a cup at all. So, I’ve been able to stay in the light and feel the sun on my face, even as I failed to understand exactly where this was leading. Until tonight.
Tonight, when I was pulled away with work from the selfies and memes, status updates sharing the muddiness and confusion in the church instead of the peace and omnipotent power of Christ, I got a glimpse of where I was going astray in living my purpose. What was a simple question from an editor turned into a major consideration in the overall tone of the manuscript. The author and I both had an aha moment. It was amazing, but, in the scheme of writing, a general part of the process. I finished our call, and went back to social media to be entertained.
It was there that I saw a small blurb of a story, shared by a friend who is building an incredible ministry many miles from me. The story was about the hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls who have been abducted, and two weeks later have not been found. I was angry at the media for reporting on stupid basketball owners and Oprah’s new chai tea, and then I was convicted for being a pawn. I am guilty of spending too much time playing when God needs me to be laser-focused on being a voice to those who would otherwise go unheard. I am guilty of using social media to promote myself instead of God’s purpose. I am guilty of getting in the way, and I broke down crying. I apologized to God. I asked for forgiveness. And with that, the missing pieces of my purpose, things I have been searching, asking, praying for years to be revealed was given to me. I saw myself for the first time in my life as God sees me, and I am so thankful because I know that I am not worthy. I’m not worthy of the calling on my life, yet His grace is sufficient and has equipped me for the journey. However, I have to put childish things down. I have to use the tools provided by the world to promote His purpose, His agenda. It’s powerful. It’s more than I deserve.
That’s when I realized that I have not truly allowed my cup to hold the living water. How could it be filled with, or even run over, when I continued to place items that don’t belong in it? I’ve been guilty of covering the mouth of my cup with barriers of silliness and foolishness, and wondering in the same moment why I don’t feel truly fulfilled.
We have to stop using television, social media, smartphones, and each other as placeholders for what God is trying to reveal and pour into us. We’re wasting time when God wants His vision for our lives to be fully revealed. We need to put down our distractions so we can become fully aware of God.
I am free. I am okay with whatever comes. I am ready.