The Everyday-ness of a Brave Life

I loved the holy tension work of finding my two core values. It sparked life. I saw me again.

Because January has not been kind to me. It could simply just be winter blahs. I am susceptible to them. I know it is partly because prison has not been good lately for both of my boys. My happiness is not co-dependent on them (a continuing work) but their lives were looking hopeful for a season. Now we are back on repeat. I’m so tired of repeat.

Writing has been so hard lately. Well, not all writing. I have already completed writing three different programs for Lent and Good Friday. Now in the dark of winter. Duh. But sermon writing is simply stuck, uninspiring. 

I’ve read 13 books already in 2019. I’m walking away from the computer and looking for inspiration. And the comfort of the couch and a big blanket. But I feel like I’m just stealing inspiration from someone else’s inspiring writing. I pray often, “God, bring this inspiring stuff out of me again” as the couch consumes me.

I need a warmer day to feel fresh air. I broke my ankle 4 months ago. I’m healing yet a bit unstable. I’m forbidden to be anywhere near ice or snow. Warmer air means less ice and the pumping of life through my veins again with outdoor exercise. I was stationed on that couch a lot through October and November. I am certain that sun on my skin and moving my body at a faster pace (though slower than I was in October before the “great fall”) will help open me up as I’m also certain that the repeating of my boys in prison will still weigh heavy on me.

Then I read this and I decided I am going to steal this inspiration—with full credit, of course!.

What I’m saying is that we don’t live a Calling. We live a life. And life is unwieldy and malleable and weird and unexpected.

So for those of us who are trying to live in some kind of relationship with God, our calling – at least our vocational calling – is a fluid and ever-changing because God is always about doing new things in us and with us and in the world.

This year, in the middle of our church break-up, I lamented to my spiritual director that all the emotional and spiritual fallout had made me unable to write, unable to do “my work in the world.” (Like she was fooled. Of course I meant My Calling.) But she shook her head graciously and reminded me that our work in the world changes.

“The question to ask”, she said, “is what is my work in THIS SEASON?”

And this is the beautiful and difficult truth of it, isn’t it? We are not given a calling, a path, a map that we can take and use to set out on alone with our can-do attitude and obedient hearts.

Rather, we are given ears to listen and a God who is always calling us.

We’re not given one path to follow. We are given the constant, repeating bird-call of Love.

And if we listen, we’ll find that that God’s call, like the birdsong, guides us gently in a way that seems winding and indirect and long. The way we were always meant to go.  —Addie Zierman

…in a way that seems winding and indirect and long. That is the everyday-ness of living a brave life. Every day we are in it. Not every day is good. Not every day is steps forward. But step forward we do listening to what God may have next for us. Sometimes we get grand days that become markers on our life path. But way more often we get everyday-ness as we listen to what God has next for us.

January is such a winding and long month. The 28 days of February already feel brutally long too.

So yeah…I know who I am and I know God’s path for my life. It has a whole lot of ordinariness to it. And winter blahs and painful repeats.

I’m still in it. Be brave.