Hi, I’m Karen, a wannabe writer, and it’s been six months since my last post…
This is just a post to let any readers out there know, all two of you probably, that I’m still here. I’ve just been… ignoring the fact that in order to be a writer, you have to actually write.
I’m not sure as I’m even typing this what this post is going to be about, or if it will be about anything at all. I really have no idea where this is going, and it may not go anywhere.
Right now, I’m sitting here on a Friday morning on what is my “staycation.” My son slept at my parents house last night, my husband is out golfing with his brothers and father, and so I’m enjoying a cup of coffee on my front porch all by my lonesome after “sleeping in” until 8am. Ugh, what happened to sleeping in?!
I got the urge to pull out my handy dandy Chrome Book I bought for myself last Christmas to use strictly for writing, thinking it would motivate me to write more.
How’d that turn out, Karen?
So here I am. Writing. About nothing. But at least I’m typing something out, right? Are you still reading or did you give up yet on my jumbled thoughts all over the page?
Stay with me.
Over the course of the last couple months, something dawned on me: It’s been a really tough year.
For my family. For me.
I’ve lost three loved ones in the span of nine months, two of them in the same week. The other, the day after my birthday. I thought all was status quo, and then one simple move that I thought would be an exciting new step for me, changed everything. I started a new job back in May (still at Liquid Church), after five years in a comfortable, steady and familiar role, that unleashed a fury of anxiety and panic I never knew I had, opening the floodgates to a lot of soul-searching and counseling and, well, crying. Lots and lots of crying.
I realized it was a lot of change in one year.
And I don’t like change.
And my body and mind let me know how much I don’t like change too.
I always had my suspicions about my struggles, but when a professional tells you that you suffer from anxiety and depression, it becomes all too real. I have been fighting it, ignoring it, pretending it’s not there, but this summer it has all come to a head. I’m in a place right now that’s working hard at accepting these facts and understanding that it’s okay to be this way, but that’s really hard for me to admit. I’ve prided myself over the years on being the “girl who has it all together.” But over the past six months I’m realizing one huge flaw in that perception:
I’m not that girl.
Hey, World? I’m not that girl.
Hi, I’m Karen, and I’m not that girl.
As the summer winds down, I’m learning more and more that I’m actually still in the accepting phase of all of this. I keep thinking I’ve turned a corner, and then I’ll frustrate myself with thoughts of, well, I just need to be a better Christian or I just need to have more passion or I just need to love God more, or I just need to take medication and it will make me better.
But it doesn’t work like that.
I thought by the end of summer, I’d be back on track.
But I’m not. I’m still in this. I’m not writing this post to give you the happy ending. I’m not there yet. It’s not over.
And I’m realizing it may never be. I’m not saying that in a “I’m giving up” way, I’m saying that in a “I accept this” way.
This fight may never end. And I need to learn to accept that. I need to learn to accept who I am and accept I don’t have it all together.
But I also need to learn how to accept that. There are two different ways to accept something.
Think of it this way:
Your leg was cut off. Will you sit there and say, oh okay now I can’t do anything but sit here with one leg, I guess I have to accept this fate. Or do you say okay, my leg was cut off, I can sit here and do nothing or I can accept this and learn how best to live my life with the one good leg I have?
I struggle with anxiety and depression. I can accept it by sitting here and feeling sorry for myself. Which I admittedly do a lot. Or I can accept it by learning to live my best life with it.
Where is your acceptance at? I’m still learning. And I’m trying to show myself some grace, because this is hard. I’m hard on myself and I would bet you’re pretty hard on yourself too.
We all need to understand life is not one line on a chart that projects upward. It’s not an easy three-step program to get you to the end of it fairly unscathed.
It’s a process. And process looks a little funky on a chart…
I have on my laptop a sticky note that simply says, “Process,” and one that says, “Student” as a reminder to myself everyday that everything is a process, and I need to be a student of that process.
Life is a process.
And I honestly cringe every time I see it because I hate process.
I hate the process of things!
I’m very impatient, and always looking for the quick fix, the easy way out or the fastest solution. I will do anything to skip the process.
But I’m learning that it’s in the process that we see progress.
Progress rarely looks forward moving. It’s really more of a zig-zag, dips and turns and valleys and mountains. It’s a treacherous hike. But in order to progress, we must trust the process.
Trust the process.
This has been a very frustrating time in my life. This has been a very frustrating concept to learn. And admittedly, I’d always rather skip the process to just get to the other side, unscathed. That has always been my MO.
But this time I’m trying hard to accept where I’m at, and accept that being in this process is exactly where I need to be.
Trust that this zig-zag, criss-cross way of progress is actually forward movement.
It’s redemptive movement.
God’s number one movement in this world is a redemptive one.
God is always moving towards redemption.
He wants our lives to always be moving towards redemption.
But nothing can be redeemed when we don’t accept that we are broken people in need of redeeming.
Redemption comes in our acceptance.
Redemption comes in the process.
Redemption comes when we can boldly admit, I am not that person.
I am not that girl.
And God says, “Good. I never asked you to be. Now come with me, please. We’ve got some redeeming to do…”