I’m feeling better than I expected post-surgery. Sure, I’m sore. It feels a little like someone kicked me under my arm, or like I overdid it on weight lifting with my left arm/chest, but that’s about it for the pain. The bigger issue I’m having is sleep. It’s been difficult to come by. I sleep in 2-3 hour cycles and then I’m awake and alert. I’ve been working hard at just staying in bed once I wake until I drift off again. Not indulging my brain by engaging in activities which keep me awake longer.
Emotionally I’m getting better. Had a few days of introspection where having had cancer really seeped in. It’s a process, like most things. Some days, hours, moments are better than others.
I had the opportunity to get out of the house and head to Church on Sunday. Saturday was another rough night of very little sleep, so by the time church came I was feeling the burn of exhaustion, but my need to get out of the house and fill my cup far outweighed my desire for a nap. I’m so glad I went.
While up at around 3a on Saturday, I used the moment of darkness and silence in the house to pray. My heart has been heavy lately. I believe firmly we are all granted spiritual gifts in this life. Sometimes it’s easier to just say “gifts” in general, but I believe the gifts that bubble up over and over and over aren’t just coincidence, I believe they are divinely appointed. You can embrace these gifts and hone them so they become more developed to the point where they not only benefit you, but benefit others, or you can choose to dismiss them, run from them or be afraid of them because sometimes when you are close to them, use them, they are so powerful it is actually scary.
I’ve been in the latter mode for a while now. Afraid.
Like others, I have several gifts/talents that have come to the surface throughout my life. I appreciate all of them. For instance, painting/color discernment — that’s a gift. I never used to see it that way, but it is. And it may seem like a shallow gift, but sharing the gift with others has brought joy into lives of some of my closest friends. Not everyone is good with color, can see their undertones, understand the emotions they can illicit. I do. I love the power of color and I love helping others see it to. Now, why is that so dang easy for me to embrace and admit, but being a writer is so hard?
I have always written. I’ve been journaling on the regular since I was eight years old. And even those journals are pretty well put together for an eight year old. I love words, I love their power. I love word-smthing a sentence until I feel when I read it. I love expressing how I feel through written word. Heck, I still write thank you notes — the old fashioned way. Pens, journals, calendars, date books — some of my very favorite things. If I am not writing here, in my blog/journal, I’m doodling on paper. If I don’t have a pen or keyboard handy, I’m writing in my mind.
For a few years now I have had a book swirling in my head. Lately the desire to write it, to fill pages with my thoughts, experiences, understandings has become almost over powering, but — FEAR. So Saturday, at 3:00 a.m. I turned it over to God. I turned it over in a way I don’t think I ever have. I know having these fears comes from the deepest part of my humaness. The part that judges harshly, tells me I am not talented, no one will read it, or need it. FEAR. But I do not believe God would have filled me with this talent, this passion, this longing, these words if it wasn’t His intent that I use them on behalf of others. So, I asked Him to take the fear and replace it. I didn’t ask Him to replace it with anything specific. I just asked Him to wipe out the fear. Give me something else to cling to so I can move forward and freely write.
Sunday Bryan, our pastor, picked up with the Divine 9 series (we’re on session 7, but it’s not up on the website yet – stand by). We’ve been studying Galatians 5. Specifically verse 22-23:
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Sunday’s word was Faithful. Bryan did such a great job sharing how we use faith in our everyday lives, regardless if we’re Christian or not — every time we board an airplane, we have faith it’s in good shape and going to take us from point A to point B, safely. Every time we get behind the wheel of the car, we have faith we will make it back safely. We use faith all.the.time. The sermon was going along swimmingly and then Bryan began speaking directly to me and all that I could hear was Romans 12: 6-8 —
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
My gift is writing. It is my mission field. I share my experiences not to boast, but in hopes that someone, somewhere will find comfort in someone else having going before them in a similar situation and coming out for the better. I’ve always tried to keep the lessons life has offered and shed the experiences when they have not been pleasant.
Bryan had no way of knowing that as he prepared his sermon, God would use him to directly answer a prayer I had not yet even formulated. I asked God to replace the word FEAR for me in relation to writing, actually to publishing, my words, and in that moment He did. FAITHFUL. I will choose to be faithful in my trust — that God granted me this talent to use it on behalf of others. I have a responsibility to hone it and use it for the good of those around me. To encourage those who need encouragement and to guide those who feel lost like I had once been. And I will not do this by working through fear, I will do this fully filled with FAITH that I am simply answering a call on my heart, and I will do it gladly. Amen.