Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
For the past couple years, I have been in a mental state of which all writers endure from time to time- writer’s block. It is a struggle that I envisioned to be, and that was usually, just a temporary brain lapse; it would soon be cured with those sudden drops of ideas to relieve me from this gray area that freezes my hands over the typewriter or pauses my pen in mid-air. The climate of the world changed with an insane amount of intensity and at the same time mother nature made the clock strike midnight on my body. Unlike when I am writing a story, I had reached a chapter that did not have an ending- menopause. My flashes of creative spark were now just hot flashes. I thought I was going to go crazy! It didn’t just include hormones but also included the world around me.
The Covid pandemic and all its repercussions only added to what felt like the deterioration of my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state. Like most of you, I adjusted to the new limitations. I looked forward to not having to put on my “mask” of showing up at work or going about my daily responsibilities with a fake smile. I was happy to stay at home and work, no longer having to deal with the office politics and cattiness that all of us tolerate but do not enjoy. The solitude would give me the opportunity to reflect, I thought to myself. With less time needed to get ready in the morning and commute to my job, I falsely thought I would have more moments to meditate and enjoy my outlet of writing. However, this did not happen. My brain only curled up in a corner like a frightened puppy.
If you read scripture and listen to sermons like me, Jeremiah 29:11 is familiar because it is used quite a bit in “feel good” sermons that send a deceiving message to the listener that they will get their way very soon. The actual context of this scripture was that God’s people were in Babylon, a place that they did not want to be, for 70 years. God promised He would bring them home again but not on their desired timeline.
Just like the people in Babylon who were forced to remain in a place that was unfamiliar, God began my spiritually painful metamorphosis. At times it still seems like it will never ease up. I have learned and am still learning, that my way is not God’s way. Yes, it may line up from time to time but if we were to do a study on our lives and the statistics of how often things work out exactly as we envisioned, the odds of skipping down multiple bunny and butterfly lanes in life are very low. What the scripture, and the context of the scripture, now clearly shows me is that God has me in a chapter of feeling “stuck” for a reason. His plan (not mine, where I instantly am freed from my writer’s block and the moodiness of my hormones) is to bless not just me but also others, right where I am. In this midst of my various episodes of feeling overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, and despair, He will show me hope and He will bond with me once again because I am still (not still by choice, I would like to reiterate once again). He wants to show me that I need to turn to Him, not fret and chase what I think is good (getting my way) but only fills my spiritual void temporarily.
My need to have worldly validation- everyone doing what I want or to be provided with external praise and acceptance- is my habitual mindset. I realize that I have been blinded by my longing for my writings to create a deep bond with others before reforming my bond with Him. My passion for writing was instilled in me since I was born; He placed it in my DNA with an intent to become closer to Him than to others, not the other way around. Once I was reminded of this scripture, I realized that God is shutting doors so that I can learn to only look “up” and not “around”. This state, this spiritual and emotional stagnancy, is to teach me and reignite my creative gifts that honor Him, right where I am. He wants me to be freed from the bondage of fear that people will mock or judge my writings. It is this fear that has me running from the gifts and tools provided for me. By having me remain in this current state of “Babylon”, my eyes can be opened to the internal confidence and joy that comes from my writing to honor God, inspire, and help others. Nothing. Else. Matters.
Once I am filled with self-acceptance that overrides any negative scenarios I imagine in my mind, I will be elevated to another dimension, another state of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual clarity. He will pen paths that take me out of my cloud of despair and into a place of higher consciousness; a level where Spirit is exalted and nothing else dictates the direction of my life. I will live in an intangible land where I am free from self-condemnation and fears. This new freedom will show through my writing. His plan for promises of hope and a good future will help not only me but multitudes of people. God’s will to use me where my feet are presently planted will result in Him bringing me back to my roots, the core of who I truly am in His eyes. He will bring me home.
My point of sharing all of this with you? If you, like me, are aspiring to create and you feel that pull to express yourself through a medium (no pun intended), but it seems that cloud of self-doubt starts to surround you, just know that you are not alone. I, too, am in the process of escaping that same cloud. His promises occur even in those areas where we feel stuck. When we feel that gentle tug to write down a random thought, no matter how slight, do not let cognitive distortion stunt a potential change in the state of your own personal Babylon. Follow your spiritual guide right where you reside and trust all the skills that God instilled in you.
I will do the same.