My mother taught me that God speaks to us in many ways, if we slow down, breathe deep, and begin to tune our awareness to the frequency of our heart. Today God’s voice encouraged me deeply as it often does in the form of a small square of paper with delicate purple letters attached to my Yogi Tea bag.
“Speak to make yourself happy. Don’t speak to impress others.”
As I work to create this blog, to write and share my vision with the world, the possibilities for discouragement multiply like maggots, like bacteria, threatening my creative organism. Learning to make and manage a website is daunting in ways I never imagined, and the amount of tutorials on how to do so are almost as overwhelming as the process itself. Not only that, but when I dig a bit deeper into the Youtube space of people who want to start blogs, I find all these videos about how to make money doing so. In other words, it quickly transmutes into starting a business, which I am not ready to even think about. Ew. I simply must create to survive. I must inspire myself first and foremost, otherwise I cannot thrive.
This reminds me of a clip from one of my favorite movies, P.S. I Love you. The heroine, Hillary Swank, has just met the love of her life–the man who for her was “the end of life as we know it”–and as she walks beside him in the chilly yet charming Irish countryside, she talks about how she must “create something…or be enslaved by another man’s…something.” She is, as she put it, “butchering William Blake.”
“I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man’s. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”
This image and idea stuck to me like cat hair after a visit to a cat cafe, but until recently I did not recognize why. Made in the image of God, we human beings are creators of things big and small, and if we do not plug into the Source and pursue our creative potential, we wither quickly like the overgrown plants that we are.
The past six months of being single for the first time in my life compounded by the isolation of living in a foreign country has taken me into the depths of my soul and birthed my identity. I finally am alone with myself, but not really. Praise God, it’s me and Him. I feel both weaker and stronger than ever, more spiritually balanced, confident, and self-actualized, yet more often than I wish precariously teetering between mania and depression. As I described to my friend yesterday, I am getting whiplash from the fluctuations in my mood and spiritual energy, it feels like I am driving 90 mph very close to a concrete wall on one side and a cliff on the other. This isn’t the raw experience I was looking for when I said, “God, take all of me and remake me and my life in accordance with Your will.” The journey becomes more intense with each passing day, and there are no exit ramps. As I listen to God’s voice telling me to share my vision, there is no option to put off until tomorrow what I should do today. My choices are simple, avoidance and the accompanying spiritual shutdown that manifests in depression, irritability, anxiety, etc., or pressing forward into this overwhelming new chapter heedless of my fear. The choices that God gives each of us are non-choices, like when my mom says to my 9-year old brother “you have two choices, you can eat your salad and then have dessert, or you can not eat your salad and go to bed early.” Only one choice will bring the blessing of spiritual and physical renewal that is captured in Isaiah 40:31.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
So as I sit here pressing forward into the terrifying world of blogging, I hold on to God’s voice that comes to still and restore my fainting soul from that beautiful, timeless book, and from my Yogi Tea.