Writing is really an outlet for me, a way I engage my heart, a way I process the journey with God, especially. I got my writing jumpstart six years when I started writing honestly and vulnerably about my journey as a young missionary who didn’t have a clue and who was barely getting up off the floor most days.
I wrote and wrote. And people responded and a community was formed, which birthed friendships and discussions and launched another community, A Life Overseas which I launched with my dear friend Angie Washington a few years ago. I found a lot of joy (and probably, okay definitely, some pride) in that little blog of mine, a lifeline to staying fully alive and engaged.
And then a move back to the states, and then another back to Thailand, while working a full-time scramble trying to pump enough life into this nonprofit The Exodus Road so that it could breathe a bit on its own, and my personal of lifeline of writing got lost somewhere along the way. Whether it was just the season or my own crazy-stupidity to not take care of my soul (probably a little of both), I barely wrote — honestly, for myself – for three entire years. A post here and there, but my blog stayed dormant mostly. People kept reading and commenting, but I wasn’t paying attention. I hadn’t been paying attention for quite some time.
A Wake Up Call. I’ve really tried to start fighting for myself more here lately. I look around and notice a bit of soul-wreckage — the kind that comes from running too hard, for too long. So I’ve started exercising regularly (and with friends!); I invite good people over for real conversation and fun drinks. And I’ve started writing again. Baby steps perhaps, but I’ve thrown out things here on my Facebook page which seemed too daunting to write a full-on blog post about. And even though it’s just a status with meaning here and there, I’ve loved it. It’s brought real life and joy. To listen to what He’s telling me, to spin out the words, like my own kind of art, and to see how people respond.
And, Tuesday, I took a bold step — resurrections is sometimes more vulnerable than even creation. I knew my site was having trouble with my hosting company (it had partially crashed, similar to this last Spring), but I hadn’t had the capacity to even look at it until this week, to step back into blog world — that “home” that wasn’t work, but was just . . . me.
And two hours into a live chat, I got the final verdict. The text of the posts were saved (maybe, fingers crossed) but the entire site itself and it’s content and all formatting is lost. No back ups anywhere, REALLY. Thousands of comments, hundreds of photos, over 500 posts chronicling my journey overseas in these raw words I can’t re-create. We still have one hail mary left that might restore things if we call in a weirdly-coded back-up and an IT-houdini-backflip-move, but it’s looking like the HOUSE HAS BURNED DOWN PEOPLE (not that you remember the house, it’s been quiet for several years, but the house sure carried a lot of memories for me).
And I’ll admit Tuesday was a day spent in the pit, among the ashes. Yes, this is true. BUT. But, here’s the thing I’m continuing to see in my life –
“Any movement towards freedom or life, towards God or others will be opposed.” (-John Eldridge)
YES. I try to pay attention to my soul and lift my head up off the mat, and WHAM! Not happening. There’s an IT hell between you and that dream, sweetheart. I step towards community or a Spirit-whisper or life/work balance again, and you’d think I was trying to drag deadweight up a hill in knee-deep mud walking barefoot.
The gravity of gerbil wheels and rat races, anesthetizing and apathy is a heavy one. And those voices telling you to just sit down, it’s too hard and you’re too tired, are loud – LOUD in your exhausted, distracted ears.
But, man, it’s these moments that count, you guys- these moments in the mud on the side of the mountain climbing towards life. And I’ve chosen to sit down for several years now, tossed in the towel on something I really love, a way God shows up in my life, and I’ve got to tell you, I wouldn’t recommend it.
So, today, can I say? On your feet, friends. One step forward. Back in the ring, back in the saddle, again. And then when the sh*t hits the fan, get back up again. And then again. And one more time. Expect opposition, expect mud, just know that beat downs don’t have to equate to knock outs. We need each other fully alive too much to quit.
Update. This post was originally posted on Facebook when this site was down. However, thankfully!, the hail mary actually worked after about two weeks and nine hours of work from my amazing husband. A few posts were lost and I have lots of maintenance and security issues to catch up on, but turns out the house didn’t burn down, after all. WHEW.