Three days. I have missed three days of regularly-scheduled blogging in two weeks full of excuses - from out-of-town family staying with me to persistent computer troubles and a handful of other little things that would sound nice as an explanation but would just be an excuse. And if you know me, you know I've declared an end to excuses. Who's got room for those any more?
So here's a dose of the truth: I haven't been able to get my heart and my head wrapped around the same thing at the same time here lately, and most of that is a heart issue.
Now, I've also told you that I believe in living out loud, that hopefully my authenticity can be an example to whatever might be rolling around in your heart and somehow be an encouragement. In that vein, it's been tempting to make a mess of this place and blurt out the littlest and biggest things that have wrapped around my heart, then let you sort out what maybe that all means.
I admire authors that do this well, this balance of enough detail about their life that you can connect with them on a personal level but without changing the story so that you don't walk away knowing all about them and nothing about God or a great deal about them and very little about yourself. It's easy to fall into that trap, and for many years, I did so.
Which is why I would never want to turn this blog into a diary.
Confused yet? Good, me too.
But this is what it is: the real reason that my words have been blocked is because what I need to say is simply not for this audience. As much as I love writing, as much as I'm honored that He's chosen to put this unique gift in me, there are some words for which this gift of language simply will not do. Those some words are words that belong between me and my Father.
It's easy when you talk for a living, when you write and tell stories, to lose your story and get all wrapped up in these other words you're using until it just seems natural to pour everything onto a page instead of into a prayer and then, I don't know - everything just gets jumbled. The gift included.
Then your heart gets heavy with the words you need to say, but your hands and your mind won't cooperate and you just get frustrated because these are important words - you know they are - and they won't come spilling out of you all for this little whisper in your heart that tells you...
God is waiting for these words.
He's waiting because He knows that when you tell Him, you will hear them, too. Not polished, refined words meant to sound holy but the raw bleeding of a heart that's thirsty to touch its own story again, that is saddened by having been caught up in the gift to the point of forsaking the Giver, and that is suddenly, keenly, profoundly aware of having completely lost it and needing to talk...not to an audience today, but to a Father. To a Creator. To a Man named Love who can answer those words from that heart in a way that no comments, no 'likes', no subscribers or followers can do.
Which is why I will not ramble and sputter and stumble here when who I really need to talk to is God.
It's common in these days. We see it on Facebook and Twitter and all around us. (My friends and I call them "emo" messages; maybe you have another name for it.) People who hint that they need to talk, hint that something's going on, leave these cryptic sentences and one-liners so that you have to ask. I'm guilty of it, as well (though I catch myself these days and rather just say what I mean). And the truth is...when you're waiting on someone to ask, when your heart is begging for someone to take notice...whatever words are built up inside of you are words meant for your Father. Try praying, not posting and see where that takes you.
All that said, my current book project (Prayse) is all about prayer. Not some "Dear Lord, here I am with my hands folded and head bowed" conversation about some socially-acceptable pulpit prayer, but an invitation to reconnect with the power of an honest prayer prayed from a raw heart. And not because I'm some fashion of expert on the subject (I'm not.) but because in the way He's disciplining my gift and dividing my language is teaching me just these beautiful lessons on what prayer really is. Hint: it rarely starts with a "Heavenly Father" and ends with an "Amen."
There are some days, I would love to share with you and maybe even include in Prayse some of the ridiculously unconventional, indescribably powerful, God shows up right now prayers He's taught my heart to compose...and maybe one day, I will. But for now, He's teaching me to never confuse words between the two of us with words for the gift. Because if I do, then I let God simply pass through me instead of settling in my heart. Then how can I ever know this Man whose story He has entrusted me to tell?
I'm putting new energies into Prayse (shooting for maybe an Easter release? I hope you'll get into this project with me) - and into several other things. I'm going to be writing about some of those in the upcoming days. Perhaps even later again today, since I owe you a few entries. There's this mess and yet, this dance, in my heart and it's got me in a mood.