“I’m never writing again!” I cried out with tears in my eyes and a whimper in my voice. “I also deleted Facebook off my phone and I’m done getting on it!”
My husband is rarely surprised by my dramatics, but still always actively participates in helping me come to a quick resolution. He has learned that listening with a sympathetic ear, then quickly redirecting whatever lie it is that I’m believing, is the best approach to the circus I drag to town on the crazy train.
“She’s better than me. Her writing is so raw. She quoted scripture and cussed in the same paragraph. I’ll never be this good and I can’t take the embarrassment of it all. I quit!”
Ronnie wrapped his arms around me and let me cry it out. He assured me that my writing is good, that people can relate to it and that I’ve just got to keep writing. I wiped away my tears and nodded my head, but damnit…I was done.
I thought about this all day, wondering if I should announce my departure from the podium, no, that’s so dramatic and attention seeking. Maybe I would just go silent, no, that’s not what God called me to do. Ahhh! I should take a class and read material from more writers that I want to sound like! Wait! That’s inauthentic.
I was spinning my wheels…did you hear it too? I was spinning MY wheels, as if this calling was somehow meant for me. As if I was in control. As if I had a say in the whole thing.I had made this thing all about me and, quite frankly, it was mostly made up. All the thoughts in my head were swimming around, festering, giving each other high fives, breeding, pumping each other up, all the while sending me off the emotional cliff, headed for writer suicide! I was doomed!
It’s a really bad place up there. Exhausting. Lonely. Dark. There is very little truth conceived there and the demons that lurk there are evil ones, waiting for their hot bed, waiting to destroy me, ready to kill. It’s moldy and seething. It’s the rotting flesh of my own pity. The place my confidence goes to die. It’s God-less there…or is it?
I believe that no place is God-less. I believe that the fear we live in is simply the privacy fence that we look through, seeing the green pastures ahead, but too afraid of the barbed wire we imagine is lining the top. I KNOW that God exists in crack houses and dirty motel rooms. I know he follows his people into war. I know that he sits bed side during failed suicide attempts. I know.
So how in the hell could I deny that he was here, in this the ugliest of sins, envy? I couldn’t. He was there and I intended to seek his counseling, because I was dangling my feet right over that ledge, posted and ready to jump head first into the abyss.
“God. Help. Save me from this. I don’t want to be jealous. I don’t want to be self-loathing. I don’t want to toss-away the passion you have given me. Help.”
He heard me. I knew what I needed to do.
I picked up the phone and dialed her number. What the world was I thinking? Was I really about to do this? Hopefully she won’t answer. She answered. I confessed. I was free.
The truth we shared was beautiful. I confessed my jealousy. I told her about my emotional breakdown. I murdered the demon that I had carried with me all day long. And you’d never guess, but she had felt the same way. Turns out, she isn’t super confident about her writing. She’s a little embarrassed each time she hits Post. We also talked about how rare it is that people are vulnerable enough to call and talk about what ails them, usually resorting to something far less attractive and far more damaging.
At the end of our conversation she thanked me for calling and told me I was a great writer. She reminded me that God used TWELVE disciples and a messiah to deliver one message. I and she are just two of the voices carrying the same message. The message that there is hope, that God does save and that although every voice is different, each is valuable.
“I’m never writing again!” quickly evolved into, “I think I’ll write about this!” And I’m glad I did. Today that monster didn’t win!