If anyone ever tells you that doing God's will is easy, they are lying! Following what God says is often not only difficult but also inconvenient. That's not to say God is difficult or inconvenient, He's not. On the contrary, I have found Him to be quite easy and readily available. More so than any person I have ever met. And it is those characteristics that drive me to lean into the difficult and often inconvenient tasks He tosses at me.
I'm blessed in many ways, but I want to talk about one in particular. God has gifted me with a knowing that I have honed through the years. No, I'm not psychic and I'm not always great at discernment but what I am good at is hearing Him when He speaks to me. Hearing really isn't the right word though. It's not audible...it's more an impression that is placed in my mind. An instinct. I consider it a huge blessing because to me, what it means is God and I are in close contact. I can not think of a better being to be connected to so to have such closeness leaves me in awe daily. When it hits me, it's usually a connection to something or someone that requires careful attention to perceive. Sometimes I ignore it, yep. I do. But the thing about God is that if it is His will He will bring it back to me multiple times, as many times as necessary until I can not deny His movement in the matter. It has happened time and time again so you'd think I'd have learned to just be obedient right away. Ha! Maybe someday.
Unfortunately, with the blessing of His contact comes what feels like a curse at times. A feeling of craziness. An awkward walk that requires blind faith and trust that is challenging to follow in this world of science, fact, and 'do it yourself' mentality. Many times the actions He requests defy reason, or at least earthy reason. Many times, they require oddness and a general lack of concern over what other people think. This is the curse of it, especially to a person like me who struggles with confusing self-esteem with what other's think of me.
I liken it to Noah, the man who built an ark for God. Everyone thought he was crazy and I bet he felt crazy more than once as he followed God's instructions. I bet his heart was hurt by the passers by and scoffers, many of them who believed in the same Lord. I bet he had anger over being chosen, "Why me? Why me?"
I took a little hiatus from writing to take care of some very important personal matters that needed to be addressed and worked on. When the time was right, I took a seat at the computer to continue my career, ready to take on whatever project God had for me.
Having writer's block is nothing new. I've learned to just walk away and give it time so I did just that. Again, when the time seemed right, I sat back down in front of the screen.
Sigh. This went on for several months. I began to focus on my other job, I'm a transcriptionist, so at least I was being productive and making some money. Election day came and I awoke with an ominous feeling. I had a level of anxiety that was abnormal for me which to me was odd. This passed election was by means fun, but it wasn't anything to have THAT level of anxiety over. I found myself close to tears many times that day but just blew it off the best I could.
Soon after, a barrage of very similar incidents began to rain down on me. It was uncanny how many people came to me in a matter of only two weeks wanting to discuss the same subject: depression and suicide. It's a subject I know a lot about having struggled with suicidal ideation most of my life. I'm open about my relationship with depression and I believe that is why nearly a dozen people reached out to me asking for information on how to see it clearly, how to help a loved one, and two people I love dearly were in the midst of helping a loved one come back from an actual suicide attempt. I knew, this was no coincidence. This was a God-incidence.
I sat wonder if perhaps God was calling me to cease my writing career for the purpose of focusing on the lifting up of those who suffer with the debilitating mental problem of real depression. It made my heart sink to think He might be asking me to stop doing something I love (writing) to go and do something so people-centric. It's NOT what I wanted and I stomped my feet like a five year old a few times as I attempted to submit myself to His will.
Shortly before Thanksgiving, God put something in front of me that gave me great anxiety and sadness, much like I felt on Election day. It weighed on me for three days and I knew it was important but didn't know why. But then Thanksgiving hit and I became distracted.
A few days later, God put this VERY SAME thing in front of me in a DIFFERENT location and the same anxiety hit me. I knew instantly, God was calling me to listen. He was calling me to take action yet I had NO CLUE what action to take but I nodded my head and said, "Tell me what to do."
I spent the next two days crying as though someone had drowned my dearly beloved puppy right before my eyes. I was seriously mourning the loss of something I never had. Actually, I was mourning the loss of a "could-have", possibly "should-have" had. I knew I needed to to do something to easy the pain I felt and while I wish I could tell you the specifics and not be so ambiguous, I can't, so bear with me. What I can tell you is, I felt a little crazy and that crazy feeling made me scared to tell anyone what was happening within me.
I wrote my feelings in a letter with a plan to send it out into the universe and I knew exactly where I needed to go to release it. On the way there, I called two different friends I trust with my life and told them of my craziness. Both had compassion and understanding of what I was doing and were supportive, despite what I expressed as "sounding nuts." I knew exactly what to do to put this whole thing to rest and stick an "I'm done" flag in it.
Things did not go as planned though. What I desperately wanted to do was not safely possible so I sat in my car wondering what plan B was going to be. In the silence, God guided me someplace different and I followed obediently. Once there, His impression was clear...
"I am. I don't see anything."
I widened my view of the world taking in every detail, as well as the big picture all at once. My heart skipped a beat when my eyes fastened to the very thing I was led by God to see. In disbelief at what I was seeing, I knew this little crazy trip of mine was not going to be a finale. No, it was only the beginning and I was about to have to become Noah.
Tenaciousness nearing obsession overcame me as I began to dive deeper into a mystery. God impressed, I listened and moved. Crazy, nuts, filled with compassion and God's agape love (crazy, nuts, and agape all fit together perfectly) I went where he lead, said what He asked, and watched a mystery begin to make perfect sense to me.
One morning, I was making breakfast and fell into the sweetest daydream, a wishful-thinking best-case-scenario ending to all of these events and I beamed inside at the simple thought of this possibility. But my smile was stolen by reality quickly as I spoke audibly,
"Who am I kidding? That's NOT going to happen!"
Quickly God impressed upon me something amazing and I spoke aloud again,
"But I could write a book about that!"
My smile returned instantly as I realized, God wasn't done with my writing career at all. In fact, what He wanted from me was a combination of the two things I thought I was going to have to choose between. Well, how about that. God sure is smart! In addition, just two days ago I was asked to be part of a start up Christian ministry that will provide support for depression. I feel very honored and I accepted.
That is how the idea for my current work in progress arrived. Depression, suicide, mystery, and the perfect daydream filled with enough hope to give any reader a chance to embrace compassion, understanding, and love. The story will be about two characters who struggle with depression, each handling it in a different way. Their lives will intersect and through their interactions, the reader can receive many messages. The depressed will learn that they are not alone in their struggle, that there is a way out, coping skills, and hopefully they will see pure hope despite their condition. The people who don't understand depression will become educated about what it really is and realize that it isn't as simple as changing your attitude or chosing to "let it go". In addition, they will learn hoe to see it, how to really notice it, and how to respond. Finally, the world at large will hopefully get a very important message about compassion and the importance of it in our everyday lives.
There is more to the mystery and my Noah-like actions that followed which have led to some good ole' hurt by passers by and scoffers (many of them who believed in the same Lord), as well as anger over being chosen, "Why me, Lord?". I have been attacked over this, I've been called horrible names, and I've been frightened but make no mistake, I will follow as long as He leads. I now fully understand exactly why I felt such dread on Election Day and believe me, it had nothing to do with the actual election. I now understand why God gave me so many emotions over a situation that had absolutely nothing to do with me, and I now understand that the persecution I face is just beginning. But here's the thing about God, He doesn't lead us then leave us when the going gets tough. No, He brought me this far and my obedience to the craziness has led to my current circumstances. I know without doubt He is holding me in the palm of His hand and He's got this! 100% got this. Whether it ends well or not, whether it causes tears or smiles (most likely both), whether it makes me look insane or simply like a person who cares- He's got it under control and I trust Him. I trust Him 100%, good, bad and ugly. He WILL and trust me, already has, made GOOD from a very sad and bad situation.
So, I here i am moving forward with my task feeling both blessed and cursed and I can honestly say, I wouldn't change a thing. Have an amazing day!