What’s it All About?

Hey, there, dear friends. More stops on the midlife crisis express. Buckle up. 🙂

The above is the last page from my memoir. Can’t believe I actually dug it out after all this time, opened it up, and actually gave you a glimpse. But, it’s kind of significant to this present circumstance, so…

Anyway…

I wrote that bit about 5 years ago. Ok. Probably closer to 6 or so, when you add the year of shuffling my ambitious thoughts one publisher to the next.

I read it now and it’s just…wow. There was a nice little pocket of hope back there. I forgot I had it in me.

Like this:

Greater things have yet to come. Greater things are still to be done. This is only the beginning.”

And:

“Be well and be blessed right where you are for who you are.

Oh, pithy phrases, yes. Somewhere within is still a touch of delight in the flow of the words, honestly.

And, really, it’s nothing I don’t still believe, deep down.

Yet…I look at them now and, frankly, feel a little foolish for all I have to admit I was dreaming then versus where I now sit…

Which is on a secondhand couch with a cover that doesn’t fit quite right in a house yet unfinished.😏

Countless heartaches yet unfinished.

A life…yet…unfinished.

There was a lot more I wanted to be doing now, if I am being honest.

I wanted to be that polished, well-heeled author/speaker, going from one place to the next sharing all the knowledge He’d given me.

Advocating for my autistic beauties.

Reminding others of His truth, His grace, His providence.

(Not to be crass, but seeking a chunk of that providence and, perhaps, even that oft-elusive thing called financial security through fees and sells.)

I had been on the stage for years, after all. I could kind of, sort of public speak.

I’d played everything from a busybody mom (Father of the Bride) to an early 1900’s murderess (A Rose for Emily).

I even got our high school’s version of an Oscar ( coined the Larrys) for supporting actress once.

It was exhilirating and freeing to be up there playing pretend, particularly for one whose confidence had been so diminished over the years by abuse.

( And, yes, part of me wishes I had pictures to show you, too. But, there are a lot of things on the road to divorce from your high school sweetheart/acting partner- one of which is the disposal of artifacts related to your time together. )

At any rate, with that resume, I could potentially sell myself accomplished, right?

Even if, even if…I didn’t feel it all the time?

Or, really, hardly ever? 😏

Ummm…it turns out, no.

For, I discovered the hard way, as most things with me have had to be discovered, that playing a little old lady exposed for poisoning her lover’s lemonade and exposing my own vulnerabilities are much, much different.

For one is a performance and the other is just…not.

The other is life.

My life.

A life, granted, I can call redeemed in Jesus.

Hallelujah for that!

But, still a life I felt protective over.

Still feel protective over.

With kids and events and hurts and joys I felt and still feel protective over.

Things….not for sale.

I quickly found I just could not get up there and share it with anybody.

Nor could I sit smiling behind a tower of fresh books and “hawk my wares”.

Literal agony!

So, as is my tendency when faced with agony, I shut down and dashed away, flinging aside any regrets for the sake of safety.

There weren’t a ton of offers, or something, but I did beg off some opportunities and sure didn’t go pursuing any new ones after I realized how out of my wheelhouse it all was.

It was not long till the faint buzz calmed in this little town and beyond.

And not much after that that it went silent altogether.

So…now, 5 years later, here I am.

Still facing down the same pack of insecurities, if not more.

I have my things I do, my cookies I bake, my youth I talk with and counsel a bit.

Yet, overall, I find myself in further retreat than ever.

And maybe, just maybe, nursing some regrets that got imbedded in spite of my cross-country run away from expectations.

I hate to pull out the word “failure”.

It gives me such an unpleasant, sour feeling in the pit of my stomach.

And people invariably chide me for using it.

But, for all intents and purposes, according to a lot of standards, that is the word that suits me just now.

For, I ventured out in something big, picturing one thing, and it did not, in fact, become that at all.

It failed.

I failed.

Oh, it’s all right. I need no comfort as I put those words out there.

It’s just an unfortunate necessity as I ponder my life.

Where it’s been, where He wants to take it.

And, in all this midlife crisisy mumbo jumbo I have been serving up so often lately, I have to keep asking myself one key question:

“What’s it all about?”

Writing, sharing, life….

It’s a weighty question, but a worthy one.

For, if my end aim is only to make myself feel good for a while about myself, then it’s all for naught.

A flash-in-the-pan sensation at best.

Such a feeling will never satisfy. Not even worth messing with.

But, if this pursuit is truly about honoring Him with what He has given me alone to honor Him with, then…. it’s invaluable.

For, despite how I let the world and my own massive doubts rail against me some days-too many days,

It really, truly matters not what others think of my offering or what becomes of it.

After all, no deficiencies-real or imagined- can remain where one gives purely of one’s heart to the Father.

The past cannot truly define, the present cannot truly disappoint, and the future cannot truly discourage where His truth exists…

Now, I have to chuckle at myself a bit here as I just looked back on that page once more.

A few sentences above the other quotes I shared, I also said this:

“For the message isn’t how to be a success way down the road or how to be a success at all.”

And a few phrases down, just before the “be blessed” bit:

“Don’t look too far back and don’t strain too far ahead”.

Ahem. Well, then, Lord. Using my own words to set me right, huh?

He has a real way with that….🙂

You know, all this, and I still have not a notion really what He has for me next, but I am learning, with His patient reminders, not to fret on it.

Ok. So, thanks for riding along with me a ways, dear friends. I pray wherever you find yourselves at, you are feeling His presence guiding you into all He has for you. Blessings! ❤

When It Feels Like No one is Listening

I have been in this place before.

Or, at least, places like it.

The halls are long and narrow.

The pictures austere compositions.

And the acoustics echo lonely heel clicks as I wander the cold square tiles.

I come to places like this when spirits sag, excessive words grow empty, or I honestly wonder what good l am actually doing.

Oh, but this isn’t necessarily the same as in the past.

It doesn’t feel like the usual precursor to a depressive episode.

Nor the drag of a lowering self-esteem.

Or even the melancholy I used to experience when I’d write my heart out and no one but the crickets were there to receive it.

No… rather, it is a deeper pondering of what I’m saying, whether it truly lines up with what God wants me to say, and how to proceed with it, especially when the listeners just don’t seem to be there.

I have to wonder if the Old Testament prophets had these moments.

Did they ever fear their messages were useless, or would be without an audience?

Not to mention did the thought of should there even be a desire for an audience ever enter in?

When does it become vanity, for example?

Well, I’m fairly sure they wanted someone to hear them in their lonely existence. I can’t imagine just how hard it was to deliver the messages they did to a largely hard-hearted nation.

I don’t exactly deal with that on the level they did, even with the state of our nation.

But, in order to share Jesus with others, I suppose I should hope someone is out there reading.

And to feel a camaraderie with my brothers and sisters in Christ here, there is nothing wrong with a desire for conversation through this avenue.

After all, He did call me back to blogging for the nth time in my stubborn little life.

It can’t be for nothing.

Can it?🤔

Yet, looking around here, I do have to ask God what this is all for?

I really do. I feel like one of those Old Testament prophets. Not that I could ever, ever presume to be on that level…

But, in that sense of feeling like I’m doing nothing more than shouting into a vacuum, I relate.

For the nth time in my blogging life, no less.

When will it not feel this way? Will it ever not feel this way?

Oh, not that I’m really torn up over it anymore. Too aware of how some of my own choices have affected my writing ventures for that.

But, Lord, really, isn’t it a waste of time, always asking me to write for…

Well, for next to no one?!

Nothing but my breathing in this skinny corridor answers for a moment.

And, then, comes the reminder right between the eyes:

Never. God says. There’s no waste where My glory is lifted high. No vacuums where higher purpose prevails.

And your purpose?

Like those who came before you, to take the words I’ve planted within you and give them back to Me.

Beyond that, what I do with them isn’t your concern.

Ah. That knocks the wind right out of me. I stop all the pacing down these eerily silent halls, arrested suddenly by the remembrance I am hardly alone in them.

Those seemingly austere pictures?

Portraits of those gone before, those who wrote what He directed without ever fully seeing the fruition of them.

And, more than that, He meets me there in the midst of it all, listening even when no one else seems to.