This week, writing has been like piecing together a busted skeleton. I keep typing, searching out the bones of my experiences but never finding the joints. Nothing comes together. Meanwhile, it snowed. Again.
And here it is. Friday. The four days behind me look like some sort of bipolar episode – incredibly bad rebounding to deliciously good. The computer screen can’t make sense of it, and for the record, either can I.
I wanted to write about Lent, and how even though last year I had an epiphany about giving up ANGER instead of sugar, this year I haven’t managed to do more than remember to pray every morning before I slog my way out of bed. The post I started got deleted (guess who) before I had a chance to publish it, and I was too tired to attempt a rewrite.
I wanted to point you towards my writing group compatriot Addie Zierman’s blogging trip to Armenia for World Vision, and how she’s quietly, perfectly capturing what need looks like.
I wanted you to see the beautiful, laughing pile of girls that gathered in my house to make wantons and nachos and talk about the best and worst parts of their days. How they filled the room with life and grace and ideas, and how, even though my co-leader Brittany and I are supposed to be guiding them, they are the ones showing me a deeper understanding of heart.
I wanted you to commiserate with me about spring cleaning when it looks nothing like spring, and how clean is a relative term when three little bodies are doing their best to destroy any sense of order I’m attempting to create.
I wanted to do everything I could to stay away from what I’ve really been afraid of, because it’s not clean, or trendy, and it doesn’t look good on Instagram.
But if I take a deep breath and really get down inside everything I wrote this week, the underlying story line is that my feelings of inadequacy come dangerously close to ruining me, over and over.
Everything I did this week was tainted with insecurity – spiritual failure to find a Lenten practice, parental inability to keep calm, writer’s frustration and envy that others seem to do so much with their words while I struggle to write a six hundred word blog post every week or two.
In short, not enough.
I thought, by now, in my 30’s, I’d be done with this. But it is work. It is constant, demanding work to refocus my thoughts and beat back the voices that tell me I’m not good enough at this, great enough at that, pretty enough for this, thin enough for that, smart enough for this, capable enough for that.
More often, I fail. And yell. And berate myself. And binge on homemade brownies. I start wanting to quit.
And yet somehow, God has the patience to put His finger under my chin, tilting my head up toward the mountains I can’t see, the help I don’t feel.
He’s there. Maker. Creator. Author. Perfector.
He’s not done yet. Either am I.
Friends, what are you best tactics for fighting insecurity? Can we make a running list and encourage one another?