My quiet moments routine – my peace journey – has evolved. I begin each day by writing in my journal, praying, reading the next Psalm and meditating (never in that order). Lately, when I’m done with this routine, what I really feel like doing is writing about what I experienced from a verse of Psalm.
Each time I happen upon a verse, it gives me direction for moving forward in a creating peace home. And it always reminds me of a bit of my life story, and how God has pulled me through. When I follow this desire to write, I feel the calming effects of a simple verse of poetic scripture.
So today’s verse is 9 of Psalm 36.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
Currently, I’m wrestling with the decision of whether or not to pull together a manuscript of my book. I need a query letter, a one-page synopsis, and the first 20 pages. In 9 week’s time, I have the opportunity to meet with a literary agent who will have read my manuscript before hand. This “opportunity” will occur at a literary conference, and if I pay an extra fee, I can schedule this type of meeting with an agent, in hopes of getting a book deal at the most, and a lot of important feedback, at the very least.
The only problem is that I keep changing the substance of my book. I think I am really afraid of approaching such a monumental task. What if I produce the 20-pages and the agent likes it? That will be worse than getting negative feedback. My life will change completely and I will have to write a book. I am not prepared for that, which is ironic since I have wanted to write a book since I was 11.
So my goal for today and Thursday (since I need to sign up for the conference on Friday) is to get a clear-cut sign on whether or not I should go for it.
Which leads me to Verse 9 of Psalm 36. It reminded me that all decisions I have made have been illuminated when I have asked God for help. So I know that, once again, I will absolutely get my light over this decision.
What I’m grappling with this week is really not such a big deal. Writing a book now, or in ten years, or never, will not make or break my life. But the simple thought of light for light reminded me of the many times I was in complete life-changing darkness, sometimes to the point in which I couldn’t see God’s light if I were in the middle of a football field at night surrounded by a million flood lights. My darkness has come in many forms: abject depression 10 year’s after my brother’s suicide, with fleeting thoughts of my own suicide; my broken-heart over infertility and a failed adoption; and oddly enough, being completely untethered the day my now-husband proposed to me.
Somehow, I always felt a slight push on my shoulders to get down on my knees and pray for protection, healing, health and answers. And I always got them, shown through the mere fact that I am here now, blessed with a child, a doting husband – and the time to bang away at my computer – and a million other daily blessings. I saw the light and came out of my darkness, by asking for God’s light, and following it.
But, one time when I asked for God’s help, I didn’t follow the direction He sent me in. Oddly enough, I was reminded of this particular event when I went to a new church a few weeks ago. As soon as I walked in I realized I had been in this same church 17 years earlier at a healing mass, broken, lost and in need of an answer to one particular question.
I had just come home from teaching overseas (Paraguay) for 2 years. I slunk into clinical depression to the point where I had to turn down a teaching job in one of the best public school districts in my state. I became involved in a relationship with a guy who was just plain wrong for me. To date someone you’re crazy about, in the middle of being crazy, only to find out he’s a liar and a cheat and so much more, is really not a healthy thing. It would have helped me abundantly to be completely free from him.
So I went to the healing mass and sat on a hard wooden bench and asked, Please tell me what to do about him. I heard, unmistakably, a voice telling me Let him go. I felt the feeling I hope many of you have felt – a tingling, a bolt of electricity going through me, light headed, and seeing a shining light through my closed eyes. I never even made it up to the altar to get blessed by the priest. I sat there with a silly grin on my face, so grateful that I had been given an answer in such a powerful way. If I concentrate, I can still feel that feeling.
But I didn’t listen to the advice. For the next 7 years I continued to float in and out of the relationship and various stages of doubt and depression. I was so mentally and physically unhealthy. I know that if I had listened to the answer I so desperately wanted and so profoundly received, I would have shaved off 7 years of depression, met my husband much earlier in my life, and would have been able to have a bunch of babies.
But of course I am here today, healthy and happy. God knew the route I was going to take, so he planted flood lights along the way, called shot gun and took the trip with me.
Today’s indecision over my book is so mundane and trite compared to my problems of the past. I am lucky to have this as my biggest concern today! But even with something like this – that is not a life or death situation – I will do nothing unless I am flooded with the light of God’s direction.