My chest hurts. Everyday. All day. It’s a dull but persistent ache. I told Man. He sort of laughed.
“Why is that funny?” I asked.
“I just don’t understand.”
“Me neither,” I sighed. “It just feels like there is a big hole in my heart. Probably where my soul used to be.”
We both laughed then. You have to laugh and find humor in it all.
I did the laundry today. It took an immense amount of effort. It’s taking effort to write this but I feel compelled to write. I know it helps me.
A friend recommended a book to me called Anything. (I can’t remember the author.) It’s a recount of a woman’s experience when she and he husband prayed together that they would do anything for God. Anything. They would sell all of their possessions and move to Africa to serve people there if that was what He wanted of them.
They didn’t sell all of their things as God took them down another path. It went on to share what other people’s “anything” is and how it could be right in front of them. It could be helping people in their own neighborhood or to help their family. To do what God has called you to do, you first have to get over yourself.
I am so there. I am over myself. I don’t want to be like this anymore. I want to be productive and effective. I know I am those things as a mother but it also feels like what I’m doing for my family is still a service to myself. You know? I feel like God wants us to reach further than the four walls of our homes.
A few months ago I started volunteering at the hospital. I’m assigned to the Woman’s Health Services. It’s a high security floor for mom’s who have just delivered babies. I help by putting together charts, answering the phone and buzzing people in who come to the door. Kind of like a bouncer. Ha. I have very little patient interaction. My job is more to free up the nurses to care for their patients. It’s not very fulfilling. Another job where I am helping someone else to be succesful.
I’m starting to appreciate that more though.
Man and I had an argument a few weeks back, the details of which I won’t go into. However, part of it was about my need to do more. To do anything.
“Paint,” he said, “I keep telling you, you have to use these talents.”
“How is painting going to help anyone but myself?”
“That’s not for you to know. If God gives you a talent you use it and let Him do the rest. You don’t get to Grandma’s house by looking at the car in the driveway. You have to get in the car, turn the key, gas it up and head down the road.”
I used to use fear to direct me in what I should do. That sounds wrong and backward. There is a scripture that says, “God does not give us the spirit of fear but of power and might and of strong mind.” When I felt afraid to do something I would think of this verse. Fear is not from God. It’s from ourselves. It keeps us from doing God’s will. So when I felt afraid I would take that as my “go” signal.
I would cry every time I saw any sort of live performance because I wanted to do that so bad but was too afraid to. One day I saw an audition post for one of my favorite musicals. As I read it my heart raced and my face flushed. Fear. Fearfully, I prepared for an audition. Auditions are still scary but performing never is. I love every bit of it! It’s not a “hey look at me!” thing either. I am happy in any role I get from ensemble to getting props to wrangling kids to doing hair. It’s all theater and that’s what I love. How God will use that, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just to teach me about overcoming fear.
The books I’ve written: I am terrified every time I submit a manuscript to a publisher.
Painting: Well…a lot of my art has been for children’s rooms and is a copy of work that someone else has done. Those projects have taught me how to manipulate paint but little about creating something original. That’s the part that is scary. I have painted or created pieces with other media that are original and all mine. It was a fear I had to conquer to do that. Now the biggest fear is putting my art out there. What am I afraid of?
Until I figure that out I have to take care of business at home. My kids need me to be present and available. My home needs my attention. My husband needs my support and affection. So even though I wake up every morning with nausea or pain in my chest I have to get up. I need to snuggle my sons and assist them as they ready for their day. With great effort I am doing those things. What I would really like to do is go to bed and sleep until this whole thing goes away.
I am able to see that this is all a good thing; labor pains before something new arrives.