This week in my writing course we are focusing on writing the hard thing. My understanding of this is that it is the thing which I don’t want to write, but I know it’s inside and is showing itself on the edges of everything else that I write.
It’s in the shadows of each post; it’s in between the lines; it’s in my head when I’m writing other things.
It’s not actually just one thing – as if I could write a post or a paragraph and say ‘ there you go. There’s my hard thing and it’s out there now.’ It is so many things and feelings and experiences and questions and doubts. Maybe it’s everything ? Maybe writing is never the easy thing ?
I’ve always written, but only for myself. Writing for others to read is akin to taking the covers off. It’s exposing and can be a little chilly. It makes me want to hide away. And yet there is a lifting of a weight off my body – after writing I feel physically lighter and my mind has moments of liberation once the words have been released.
What makes writing the hard thing difficult ? Perhaps it’s that I don’t want to grapple too closely with some of the thoughts I have, or acknowledge that ‘this is really how I feel’ or put down in words the questions I have about God’s ways. Why would I let anyone else read them even if written? You might dislike me, or disbelieve me, or challenge me, or criticise me or ridicule me or shun me.
but that is why I must do it.
I don’t want to live inauthentically. I can’t live inauthentically. I want to know and be known. As I really am.
So here is the start of my hard thing.
Let me tell you a little more about myself.
I am a woman who loves God with all her heart; who has been pretty well acquainted with hard things for most of her life; who still believes that God is good, and yet can swear at him when he asks more of me than I think I can give him.
I am a woman who has been blessed beyond measure in so many ways and has been given gifts and talents which I love using and which can serve others too.
I am a woman who messes up but who is forgiven – each day.
I am a woman who turns to chocolate and crisps when trying to remain on the right side of melancholy.
I am a woman who is a leader but who really doesn’t want to be asked to do that again because it’s so hard.
I am a woman who has suffered with depression , and for whom it is an ongoing illness. I have wanted to end my life and I have days where it is a fight to not act on the impulses, and not many people know that.
I am a woman whose body isn’t the body I want – not aesthetically but in its physical limits.
I am a woman who loves to laugh. Who wants her children to think she is the funniest person they get to spend time with, and who finds humour in the dark places.
I am a woman who wants to live with the big perspectives, and enormous visions, but who also craves rest and solitude.
I am a woman who is full of colour but who had become convinced that she was more of a muted grey. I’m finding the colour again.
So now that you know a little more about me, may I ask,
‘Who are you ?’