Why I write… Tonight I remembered.
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
The scent of lavender is faintly in the air in my room. My new purple string lights and paper lanterns are warmly glowing. My little green handmade mug is steaming with chamomile tea. Life seems perfectly cozy and in order. It’s a lie.
Behind me I have a pile of dirty clothes in the floor because I haven’t unpacked my clean clothes from my laundry bag. My bed sheets are a wreck from the 5 hours of tossing and turning I did last night before finally falling asleep at 5 a.m. The muscles in my neck and shoulders crackle like popping bones when you touch them. My heart is fluttering weirdly and my hands shake with nervous energy.
I’m a wreck. I’m wrecked. I’m chronically stressed and I’m anxious. All the cozy aspects of my bedroom and the yoga I’m about to do are just weak attempts at relaxing before I go to bed, in hopes that I can actually fall asleep tonight. I’m not confident it will happen.
I lead a Bible study on campus and started this semester thinking I’d be able to handle the responsibility of being the sole leader. I thought I’d be able to handle 18 hours my senior year so that I could take 12 my final semester and relax a bit. I thought I’d be able to handle interning with my campus ministry and taking a little extra responsibility. I thought I’d be able to handle my boyfriend getting an adult job and having weird work hours. I thought I was strong.
The stress that has been piling up in my life is finally starting to show. I knew it was there all along, but it is physically affecting my life. I’m dizzy and lightheaded, my heart races, I’m dizzy, I’m always nauseous, I’m exhausted, my moods are pretty negative, I’m cynical, I’m burnt out, restful sleep is a joke, and did I mention I’m always dizzy? I had to ask for an extension on an assignment today because nervous energy wouldn’t allow me to sit still at my computer. I went to the doctor today hoping to get a diagnosis that could be easily fixed with medicine, but that didn’t happen. I left very frustrated. All I want is to feel okay again. I just want to fix everything. On my own. Without help.
Tonight I asked two girls in my Bible study to lead the discussion because I’m having trouble doing it alone every week. They came in with these verses in 2nd Corinthians. I almost started crying right when they started.
I have not been boasting in my weaknesses. Quite the opposite actually. I’ve been complaining nonstop about them and I’ve been crumbling under the weight of my failures and shortcomings. I’ve been looking down at the joy I have permanently etched into my skin and haven’t felt it at all.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7:24-27
I’m falling with a great crash because I’ve forgotten my foundations. I spend the majority of my time working and serving in a campus ministry about Jesus and I’m forgetting about Jesus in my own life. That’s why I write. To remind myself. To remind you. Jesus is better.
I am so fearful of the world. It’s scary and life is hard and I’m all too aware of reality and the bad things that can happen. I’ve seen drugs and alcohol take over the lives of people I care about and wonder if that could ever happen to me. What if I can’t deal with my mental state in a healthy way? I see friends lose people they care about in freak accidents and I’m constantly on edge, waiting for a phone call telling me someone I love is dead. Good things happen to me and I’m fearful of the bad news that will certainly bring the good to a screeching halt.
As we went around the room tonight, tearfully and honestly sharing real and deep things in our lives, my mind kept redirecting back to a truth I learned when the anxiety first started. None of these fears come from God. Because He is good. I just have to remind myself.
And I have to remind myself that my weaknesses can bring glory to the powerful Creator- the loving Father- if I allow Him to have full control. When I am weak, He makes me strong. Somehow. And that’s why I write. It’s the National Day on Writing and people are sharing #whyiwrite and I almost forgot. I’m glad I remembered. I write because I struggle to say things out loud. I’m not good at on the spot descriptions and I’m not good at voicing emotions. I don’t just write blogs. I write poems and turn them into songs because I want to be a musician. Somehow I have lost my way of following that dream in college, but I guess that’s a post for another day. I write fiction and I write reality. I write for me and I write for others, and most importantly, I write for my faith.
I hope my words can glorify God. I hope sharing my weaknesses can help me deal with them and I hope something I say will make someone interested in knowing Jesus. Because He is better and He brings joy in all circumstances. He is love and He is light and the darkness can never overcome it. He brings hope to a lost world. He brings peace to an aching soul like mine. He’s a Savior. That’s why I write.