Perfection. Ugh! I thought it was my goal for most of my life. Aren’t we raised to always do our best? In hindsight, I realize it was my enemy. I realize the anxiety it caused and the joy it stole. Controlling EVERYTHING was my method of achieving peace. It was so wrong. I wasn’t peaceful. I was a bitch.
Forgive me—the thesaurus offered no suggestions to replace this word. It’s okay because it drives the point home.
Some readers don’t know me at all.
Some have known me in recent years (BC-before Christ / AD-after death to myself).
Some knew me through the years my personality has been less than approachable.
Some of you believe I am still the person I once was. It takes time.
I regret the energy I wasted through the years but understand the sovereignty of God and the time needed to break this strong-willed woman so I could be transformed. Hence the title “In the Midst”—it is a process.
We tarry to tackle difficult topics because we need to write in retrospect. Overcomers often write and this is awesome to hear their testimonies. There are volumes of books and blogs written after the storm. I feel challenged to write in the midst of my trials because I trust things will be fine in the end. I feel a need to be transparent in this season of life that is quite uncertain by the world’s standards. I have a hunch many are hunkered down in isolation, afraid to admit things aren’t savory topics for social conversation. We are secretly struggling with anxiety more than ever. As I hunt and peck to find the voice for my platform, this topic seems to be the one that burdens my heart more than anything. As I prayerfully consider what God is leading me to write about, struggles with anxiety stand out. Ironically, I am anxious about writing.
I just don’t do it.
God provided a vision of speaking in front of a large audience a long time ago. I would counteract that vision with my own self-sabotaging vision. The venue is filled with people but there is an entire section of folks who are ready to call me on the carpet. Ready to call my bluff and question my credibility. The need to perfect life before I write keeps me from speaking out about marriage, parenting, and balancing life with [insert any number of commitments and roles I’ve taken on].
I recently celebrated a birthday; another trip around the sun. For me, it’s a day to load the deck with cards I want to play. I look forward to the day, not because I am narcissistic and want to be celebrated. I spend most of my time throughout the year serving others. Dang—that DID sound narcissistic. Let me explain–it is less about control and more about being opportunistic. I get two days a year to call the shots—my birthday and Mother’s Day. Mathematically, that is only a half a percent of the year to have carte blanche. I don’t like the limelight but savor these two days of the year.
I had lunch with a dear friend who asked me what I planned to do with the rest of my birthday. I work a night shift so my day had technically just begun at noon. I had a few errands but wanted to spend the afternoon writing—to purge the RAM memory of my mind and clear the thoughts that were accumulating. I have so many rough drafts on my brain; I needed time to lighten the mental load. The anniversary of my birth triggered many memories and topics for discussion; my mind was heavy with material.
She appreciated my desire but added, “I don’t have that much to say.” (or something similar). Keep in mind; this is a very dear friend. Aside from my daughter, she may be the only other INFP in my immediate circle of friends. INFPs make up just 4-5% of the population so we are rare. Considering our personality traits, finding another INFP is statistically unlikely. These are friends to cherish—they “get” you.
The old me [the b-word] might have taken offense to this comment.
The new me pondered her comment, appreciated it, and concluded this—
God didn’t call Katie to write; He called me to write. She has a different calling. I am being obedient to His call for my life. I am still finding my voice and being shaped in His image. I know I need to write out the thoughts He has placed on my heart and mind because He has a plan and a purpose. I feel a desire to write things out in the midst because many of us are riding out wild storms.
Storms that have come out of nowhere.
Storms that are relentless, that you cannot see coming to an end.
Storms that are catastrophic where we are but not getting any news coverage on the other side of the world.
Storms that are difficult to admit we got ourselves into.
Peter is known for walking on water to meet Jesus. Often we focus on the fact he lost faith and fell into the stormy sea. Here are a couple things to consider—
Peter stepped out in faith in the MIDST OF THE STORM. He didn’t wait for Jesus to calm the sea to step outside the boat.
Peter was one of 12 disciples. Eleven other Christ-followers were sitting in the boat while Peter stepped out in faith. Doing what everyone else is doing, what is safe may not be what you are called to. I trust many of the 11 were praying for the situation.
In the midst of a dead-end career, a struggling marriage (he is an ENFP), financial difficulties, and many other life situations, I will transparently write about stuff that has no definite conclusion or happy-ever-after ending. Because life happens in the midst of it all and everything happens for a reason. God has been good through it all.