I need to write.
I need to write and I need to stop worrying about what the reader will think. I just need to write.
Winter funk stopped me from writing. See? I haven't posted anything since January 29th. It is now April 21st. What happened? I'll tell you what happened. The agent came back to me after having the manuscript for three months and told me I need to try again. She said, "Don't re-write, re-phrase." It was like a ginormous horse-kick to my stomach.
I tried, believe me, I tried. I wrote myself in circles and ended up deleting every word out of sheer disgust. I sent the manuscript to a writer's service for their feedback. More criticism and more discouragement followed. Less writing followed again.
I enrolled in my master's degree program at Walden University to get my MS in Mental Health Counseling. Because it is an online school, nearly all of the homework applications are writing assignments. For five weeks, I had a 100% in the class. Then suddenly, the prof started getting tougher, deducting a tenth of a point here and there. My assignments, which were once something I looked forward to, are now turning into something I'm dreading.
Do you see the pattern? I receive criticism, whether constructive or not, and I find myself completely unable to move forward. I don't know where it began, but I do remember years ago in junior high and high school, being praised for my writing ability by countless teachers. But when I got to college, during my very first semester I had a professor who hated everything I wrote. That was 1992. It took me until 2006 to dare to write again.
I received this email devotional yesterday.
CAN A SAINT SLANDER GOD?
For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen. 2 Corinthians 1:20
Jesus told the parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25 as a warning that it is possible for us to misjudge our capacity. This parable has not to do with natural gifts, but with the Pentecostal gift of the Holy Ghost. We must not measure our spiritual capacity by education or by intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured by the promises of God. If we get less than God wants us to have, before long we will slander Him as the servant slandered his master: "You expect more than You give me power to do; You demand too much of me, I cannot stand true to You where I am placed." When it is a question of God's Almighty Spirit, never say "I can't." Never let the limitation of natural ability come in. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be manifested in us. The servant justified himself in everything he did and condemned his lord on every point - "Your demand is out of all proportion to what you give." Have we been slandering God by daring to worry when He has said: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you"? Worrying means exactly what this servant implied - "I know You mean to leave me in the lurch." The person who is lazy naturally is always captious - "I haven't had a decent chance," and the one who is lazy spiritually is captious with God. Lazy people always strike out on an independent line. Never forget that our capacity in spiritual matters is measured by the promises of God. Is God able to fulfil His promises? Our answer depends on whether we have received the Holy Spirit. I'm not placing blame on God. I really don't know where this ailment comes from. I really don't want to give the Enemy credit, but I do have to believe when a talent is God-given and meant to be used to advance the Kingdom, someone or something might want to stop that talent from coming forth. I see it every time our church tries to put on a play.
Go on devil! Bark up someone else's tree. I don't have time for you!
I refuse to slander God through my inability to put His talents to use. I will not let the battle be lost -the souls be lost - to procrastination and discouragement. I will continue to praise the Lord for His gift of the Holy Spirit who has brought me to such a time and place as this to reach the world with the story He walked with me.
Every day, I make the dreaded journey to the elliptical machine in the dining room to do my daily workout. I start with yoga, move on to do exercises with a stability ball. Sometimes, I even do the AbRocket - anything to procrastinate doing the 30 minutes on that machine. But as my obese frame finally gets into the rhythm of the music pouring from my headphones, I find my stride and begin to sing my favorite Smokie Norful song outloud and breathless, as the tears stream down my face.
I have decided,
determined... i'm committed
That i'll run no matter the cost
And I have decided,
determined... i'm committed
That i'll run
Even though at times I may get lost
I'm going to finish my race
I'm going to take my proper place
In the winning circle
I'm going to run anyway
I dont know where or when or how
But I know that i'm going to make it
Oh i'll run this race
Nestled safetly in amazing grace
I've made up my mind
And I dont have much time
But i'll run, Til I Finish