An assignment called me out of the waiting room. I have an actual, paying writing job. After five years of botching my words and learning to keep fear at bay every day, I am standing on the x that marks the spot.
This is not the end; it is a glimmering mile marker. I will absolutely celebrate this assignment, even though it does not resemble anything I would have imagined for myself. How am I a writer? How am I working for a church? What just happened? Yet when I glance behind me, the trail is clearly marked. I didn’t stumble here. I was led.
Have you ever had a moment like this? Resistance tries to pull you back. Instead, you put one foot in front of the other, without knowing where on earth you’re going, but you actually end up somewhere and look around and think, hmm- I wasn’t expecting this, but I wish I had.
I heard a job opened up at church. That was a first for me. I never heard of a job opening up at a church before because I had never been in the vicinity. But it would never work. No college education, no resume, and no way I could work full-time. Yet this desire to pursue it anyway brought me to an actual interview. I expected to hear a specific something I had written which brought me there. But my future boss hadn’t read anything I had written. I was only there because others told him about me. This happens?
He assumed I had always been a writer and asked where my I kept my trunk-full of journals. No, sir. I only had one. And I threw it away a decade ago.
I saw a therapist during my divorce because I needed help sorting it all out. She recommended I keep a journal. So I bought a bundle of blank pages from Urban Outfitters. Bound in a vintage scarf. Golden threads woven through turquoise butterfly wings. 27.99, she said. It still made me smile. Whatever it took to make me smile, especially since I was expected to grudgingly detail the very things I wished to escape- losing my high school sweetheart and our dreams, hearing he never really loved me after seven years together, realizing I chose to live a lie instead of doing hard things- like figure out who I was. Preferably before I chose a partner for life.
That time of my life annoyed me. Once it was over, I threw the journal away. Glittering wings and all.
I never, ever thought I would write. I woke up one day, a wife and mother of two, and had this feeling come over me- I’m going to be a writer. No one understood it then. But now I do.
It’s no secret that my favorite thing to do is talk, and eat. Talking while eating and listening to live music is the culmination of my love languages. And I used to do all three things all the time before I became a mom. I would start with dinner, move on to drinks, spend some serious time on the dance floor, settle in my seat, and wait. We had been out for hours. Everyone saturated in truth serum. Surely someone would talk. I wanted to listen.
Everyone had their own late-night list to accomplish, but mine was to hear other’s stories. I wanted to hear it all. And I wanted to share all of mine too. Some people shared. I know they thought I was super weird. But they didn’t share everything. Not all the truth serum in the world and a listening ear carry enough punch to knock down all the walls.
I questioned myself, like I always do, and wondered if I should stop talking so much. But it was always there in the back of my mind. This need to go deep. Why was I made this way?
Now, I sit down and hear people’s stories. In a single hour, we meet for the first time and they tell all. They aren’t afraid. Alcohol may loosen inhibitions, but Jesus frees people from their chains. And I’m not afraid either. My hyper-sensitivity is no longer my kryptonite. It is my gold.
We get down in the trenches together and remember, not to dwell, but to celebrate. We all have a story, but not everyone has purpose. So that is my job- to find those with purpose. To excavate the why’s and highlight the how’s.
Maybe I wasn’t designed for you. But if you see my soft spots through these words, and you know them too, maybe I was designed for you. And you for me. If you found this somehow and you’re tired of winding through the wilderness, don’t stop. You don’t need to know exactly where you’re going. Just keep going. When you reach the x, you’ll plant yourself. And bloom.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20
There is something wonderfully sacred that happens when a girl chooses to look past being set aside to see God’s call for her to be set apart. Lysa TerKeurst