Any Minute Now

Any Minute Now

Yesterday was a weird day. I woke up and everything was fine. Showered and got dressed, and everything was fine. Got to work and everything was fine. Had been at work about an hour and everything was still fine, but then all of a sudden – I was anxious. Full on knot-in-the-pit-of-my-stomach-I’ve-got-a-bad-feeling-about-this anxious. And I had no idea why. And I couldn’t shake it. All day. I did ask for prayer backup in the late afternoon and that took the edge off, but by the time I got home, all I wanted to do was go lay on the living room floor and pray. And journal. I felt like I really needed to journal. So I really needed to find my journal. Because it had been awhile. Well over a year according to the date on my last entry. And as I read through those last recorded thoughts from August 2015, it was eerie how similar the thoughts I had on that day were to the realities of yesterday.

  1. All The Single Ladies. In 2015 it was a ministry idea proposal I had written up and submitted in hopes of helping my church change the conversation around singlehood and single women. I had high hopes for it and was asking God to help it get off the ground. Yesterday… I had just gotten a text message setting up a meeting, to talk about getting a ministry off the ground in 2017… to change the conversation around singlehood and single women.
  2. “Leaving Nazareth”. In 2015, it was a script idea that I was telling myself to get off my ass and get writing because I thought it could do really well. Yesterday, it was a script I was reminding myself to get off my ass and finish because it actually has a deadline coming up in January. And I still think it could do really well.
  3. Some guy. In 2015, I was trying to make sense of some conflicting signals coming from a conflicted character. “What is this? Where are we? Is he…” Yesterday, I was not thinking about him (or anyone) AT ALL. I only added this here to laugh at myself and THANK GOD for the prayers that He answers with “Nope.”
  4. Any minute now… for a few different reasons, on that day in 2015 I was convinced that my life could completely change for the better at any moment. I was so full of hope, practically just waiting for the phone to ring with an offer, a “yes” or some kind of recognition that was going to change the game for me. Yesterday, knowing that call never came (yet) I realized that I still had that hope…

Here’s the thing. Judging by the amount of Facebook statuses I’ve seen begging 2016 to just be over already, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that it wasn’t the year most of us imagined. By pretty much all measurable standards, 2016 has been a garbage year. A dumpster fire of epic proportions. And pretty much everyone will be happy to close it out. Myself included… but also… I’m not mad at 2016. And I think when a lot of us look back at all the bad, the worst and the ugly that happened, if/when 2017 is better – it’ll be because of seeds that were planted and roots that went deeper in all the sadness, the madness and the chaos.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately because I’ve been comparing my progress with the progress of the people around me. Friends have been moving and starting companies and getting roles and doing shows, and yes they’ve been working hard and struggling, but they’ve been having visible triumphs. And meanwhile… I haven’t done anything. This has easily been my least visible year. No shows, no internet presence, no nothing. And that definitely wasn’t the plan. I recorded things this year. That never went public. I wrote things this year. That just didn’t go anywhere. I even filmed things this year. That were never edited and never released. In fact, yesterday, I tried to turn the tide – tried to set up a rendezvous to get already shot footage so I could edit it myself and get it released in 2016. “No problem, how about Monday?” said my friend (and The Universe). So okay. That’s a wrap for me in 2016. There will officially be nothing to write home about in this year.

And that’s okay. Because all that footage, all those songs, all that writing — it still exists. And a lot of it will (hopefully) find its footing and find a place in 2017. And you know what else will probably show itself in 2017? A lot of the lessons learned and the growth and strength that were required in 2016.

All month I’ve been encouraging myself and the people I know not to count 2016 out just yet. As long as there are still minutes left in this year, there is still possibility, anything can still happen. And as we’re literally in the last days of it, I still believe it’s true. And while I’m not counting out the possibility of a life changing phone call or encounter, I’m more aware than ever that the greatest power to change my life forever, for the better is in my own hand… it might be in what I choose to do today. Or it could have been in something I did yesterday. Or maybe in something I wrote 2 weeks ago. Or filmed months ago. I don’t know.

I just know our lives are changing all the time. Moving closer to the big moments that we’ll remember as milestones, but milestones take miles to get to. So we shouldn’t count ourselves out or discount the quieter days (months/years) of our journey.

However this year was for you, I pray that 2017 is better, but I hope that you don’t buy into the idea of 2016 as a total loss. I bet you’ve grown more than you realize, learned more than you know and are better, faster, stronger than you think. And it’s not for nothing. It’s for whatever’s next. And it’s gonna be great. Any minute now…

Crying in the Bathroom

Crying in the Bathroom

This time last week I was crying in the bathroom at work.

The day started out normal. I got up, went to work. Everything was fine. I was thinking about an event I was hosting that night and was working on the relaunch of this blog, so I was a little anxious about the outcome of both those things, but not overly so. And then I got a text. Asking me something about the election. This election that might not completely destroy our country, but has definitely deep-sixed many a Facebook friendship. And the question was coming from a huge influence in my life, someone I love and respect very much, but who I also had to strike a “Let’s-just-agree-to-disagree-and-leave-it-alone” deal with over the summer. Because I can talk politics and I can talk religion, but when religion and politics start getting overly enmeshed, my soul starts trying to leave my body via my sweat ducts. So when I got that text, as politely as I could, I declined to continue the conversation. And the text that I got back (message version, paraphrase) said that my answer confirmed why they had heard a certain word over my life when they were praying for me. And that word was “barrenness“.

Now listen, I wouldn’t say I’m wildly insecure. But I am wildly sensitive. I always have been.  So to cope in the real world, I’ve learned to mask a lot of it and deal with it on my own time; so it’s rare that I encounter a sting that I can’t pocket for later. But that was not a sting. That was a shrapnel bomb direct hit to my face. Everything external went mute and it felt like I had actually been physically struck. And I can usually have civilized conversations with my emotions where we can agree to meet up later, but not in that moment. My emotions were like “We out here. And we doing this. NOW.” So I picked up as many pieces of myself as I could and dragged them to the bathroom.



And I cried. And cried. Because damn. Barrenness?? To be barren is to be unproductive. Unfruitful. Sterile. And the first and most obvious association has to do with children, and more specifically, the lack thereof. To say that to any single, 3o-something is probably not the best idea,  but for me personally, I won’t lie – it’s a sore spot. And to have someone close to me throw that in my face — it was devastating. Not just mean, it was overkill. And it was actually the overkill-ness of it that helped me start to rally. Because it was just too much.

So it was in a bathroom stall at my workplace that I realized how far I’ve actually come on this journey. Because within minutes (and after desperate”please pray for me!” texts to a few friends), I felt the truth rising up in me and I just said “No. I reject that.” And I stopped crying. Because my life is not barren. If my life is an orchard and all the different hopes, dreams and desires are trees, the marriage and children one might not seem to be doing anything at the moment, but it’s not the only tree that I have!

And it can’t be the only one you have.

I don’t know what my life looks like from the outside. Different people see different parts of my orchard depending on where they’re standing, but I have actually spent a strange amount of time the past 3 weeks being consistently verklempt just thinking about how strangely blessed I am. To see friends who I’ve prayed for finding their feet and progressing on their journeys. To remember little conversations and random moments from YEARS ago and see what shape they’ve taken in 2016. Even just the fact that in the middle of crying, I had friends to pray for me! To be in that state and know who to call for backup – that’s fruit of a growing tree. It’s all fruit. So I left that bathroom stall and went straight back to doing what I was doing the moment that bomb was dropped – working on this blog.

Because that’s the whole point of this thing. Our lives ARE NOT and CANNOT be defined by this one area. Our self-esteem and self-worth cannot be based on it. It’s too much pressure to put on one tree. Especially since I don’t think marriage and children are a tree… I think they’re fruit. Fruit that could sprout any day from any tree in your orchard. I think way too many of us have spent way too much time staring at the ground waiting for this one thing to spring up when there are so many other things we could (and should!) be tending to right now.

Listen, the life I live today is not the dream life I would have described to you if you asked me 20 years ago, 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. But if you described my current life to those past versions of me, I’d think they’d actually be pleased. To hear that in the future they’ll have great friends, that they’ll be a stronger writer, that they’ll be generous and empathetic. That they’ll be funny and working on some great projects. That they’ll have been behind some pretty cool changes in some pretty cool places. That they’ll be happy. And hopeful. And looking forward to what’s next. And when they’d ask “But am I married? Do I have kids?” I wouldn’t tell them.

And if no one told you – how would you feel about your life today? If your life today, stripped of it’s marital status, was described to you. What would you think? What do you think? Is your life fruitful? Are you who you want to be or at least on your way to becoming her? Because if not, changing your marital status won’t fix that. And if so, your current marital status shouldn’t break you. Don’t let this one area trick you into thinking it’s the only one that matters. It’s not. And if you take a look around, I bet you’ll find that your life is bearing more fruit than you think.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit– fruit that will last– and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
John 15:16

So ::note to self:: stop crying in the bathroom.

So what do you think of all that? And what is some of the fruit of your life that you’re most proud of?