I have found myself this week saying, “Elizabeth, you need to take your own advice.”
The past several weeks of life have brought a lot of no’s.
A lot of “I’m sorry you’re not the one.”
A lot of conversations that have made me question how I spent my time.
And a lot of wondering if I’m on the right path of non-traditional pastoring and writing? Or is there something else? How could I better financially support my family?
And if I’m being honest, I’m at the point where I’m not dealing with the uncertainty well. My bank account looks afraid for what is to come too.
So, in fear of what is not, I’ve robbed myself of joy in the present. And I’m certainly not living up to my words for the year: “let worries go.”
But here’s the thing: I published a book about all of these feelings. Though people say I wrote about infertility, it’s really not a book about infertility.
It’s a story of setting out with a dream but life not turning out as I expected. It’s a story about hitting rock bottom yet finding your way to still go on living. It’s a faith story of how unanswered questions and fears for worst case scenarios become pieces of a tapestry of growth. It’s a story that’s mine and it’s a story that is yours too.
So bottom line: I’ve been here before.
I recently told a friend who asked me what I thought Birthed was about: “It’s about life being more beautiful than you ever thought possible if you wade through the suffering.”
Bingo. It’s time for me to believe in my own book’s message again.
Life can be good, in fact very good on the other side of the unknown. I’ve seen amazing opportunities come out of nowhere at the most unexpected time. I believe faith is not faith unless it’s tested. So here I am trying to remember. Trying to be full of faith. Trying to take my own advice.
Anne Lamott in her book, Three Essential Prayers: Help, Thanks, Wow (a great read by the way) says this about life’s hard patches:
“Grace can be the experience of a second wind, when even though what you want is clarity and resolution, what you get is stamina and poignancy and the strength to hang on.”
This morning I prayed for an extra portion of grace in my coffee cup. And I’m praying that for you. Stamina. Poignancy. And the strength to hang on.
Something is coming. Something better on the other side. I just have to hang on to see it. You do too.
What’s your advice for you?