I wonder if anyone else ever reaches this place as a writer?
Second guessing each new word as it forms on the screen in front of me, I backspace until every single letter is gone.
Blank paper seems to match my mood best these days, so I decided tonight I had to push through my emptiness until something was written worth posting.....................
and that's when Forest Gump appeared in my mind.
Oh, Forest, I totally get you.
My beard isn't quite as long as yours, but I'm right there with you on that seemingly-endless, two-lane highway.
I feel the ache in the calves of your legs.
I feel the throbbing in the flattened arches of your feet.
I understand exactly what was dancing in your mind as you stopped in your tracks and faced the runners who had started following you as if they believed you knew exactly where you were going even though deep inside you had no earthly idea what was next.
I see their eyes waiting for you to speak, and I feel the lump in your throat as you try to think of something philosophical to say..................
The truth is:
Writing is my running.
And writing has been a nearly-impossible challenge for me most of the summer.
When I dream about my future as a blogger,
I can almost imagine music in the background as I type these words,
"My momma always said you've got to put the past behind you before you can move on. And I think that's what my writing was all about. I have written for six years, seven months, seventeen days, and four hours..............."
Then suddenly, without warning, my fingers stop moving across the keys.
I've got nothing.
Readers (if there are any of you left) stare at the screen waiting for another post.
But no new words appear.
You keep waiting.
And then one day my new post finally appears.........................
And this is all it says,
"I'm pretty tired. I think I'll go home now."
And just like that my writing days are over.
Very non-dramatically I turn around and go back to my pre-blogging days and, like the characters in the Forest Gump movie, anyone who somewhat regularly read my blog simply moves on to the next thing in life.
After all, there are plenty of other words out there to read.
Endless Facebook posts, countless tweets, thousands of blogs, millions of books................
words are not difficult to find if you're looking for them.
I'm not sure if it was the writing project I attended in June or too many miles in the car traveling to and from Kentucky, Florida, and Texas, or the fact that my new website has been hacked and temporarily shut down........................
but something has affected the writer inside of me.
Something has stopped me dead in my tracks.
I've posted lots of pictures from our family's summer on both Facebook and Instagram.
I've tried to soak up lots of wonderful memories with family and friends.
However, buried deep inside many of these photographs are layers you can't see with the human eye.
Normally, these are the kinds of things I write about in a blog post, peeling away all the unnecessary parts of a photo leaving only the parts that matter.
Right now, though, there are big things going on in our family's life that I just can't talk about on the world wide web and probably never will.
I pray about these things, and it's as if the ceiling catches each word and throws it back in my face.
I read the Bible and find myself relating to the most messed-up characters in God's story.
Sometimes I keep Tim awake at night, hoping that if we talk long enough we can change things that are out of our control.
I'm reminded in these dark and uncertain moments of the frailty of life, the vapor of it all.
I teeter daily on the wire that hovers over hopelessness; and in my effort to stay balanced, I learn all over again exactly what real faith looks like.
Faith isn't me being able to keep my weak and shaky feet moving forward.
Faith is God empowering me to courageously press ahead, fully aware of just how risky every single step really is.
Forest Gump was running in his own strength and eventually he got tired.
When I write in my own strength, I get tired too.
Forest knew people were following him, so he felt compelled to turn and make some sort of declaration when he reached the end of his running.
As a blogger I realize I have a major problem when I reach points of feeling as if I need to make some kind of public declaration for my lack of writing.
I never want to blog because I think someone is waiting for the next word.
I want words to flow from me because He is waiting and because He knows my words somehow bring me back to Him.
I need to write so that I am transformed from the inside out.
I need to write to heal my soul.
I can't fix life.
I can't be enough, do enough, pray enough, care enough, or love enough to change one thing or one person on this planet.
All I can do is allow God to constantly change me into the person I'm supposed to be.
Tonight, I'm thankful for Forest Gump.
I'm thankful for my old blog site.
I'm thankful for the power of words, and I'm thankful that even though I felt like there were no words left inside of me God somehow showed up and filled this screen with exactly what I needed to hear.
Nothing's different in my life tonight except for me.
And that's exactly how God works.
So I'll keep blogging even when I have nothing to say, because God has reminded me once again that it is in the clicking of the keyboard as I wait for Him to answer that I am renewed and restored to face another day.
Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Praying especially for you who find yourself waiting on the Lord and struggling to understand His plan.