A Long Time Coming

Today’s post has been a long time coming. I’ve been looking the other way trying to push aside gut feelings and ignore what’s been brewing for months. Something’s got to change. And I’m not talking about a site redesign like I mentioned a while back, though I thought maybe that would help. I’m talking about a seismic shift. One that will reorient my heart away from things I’ve let overtake me and back toward my One True North, God.

I don’t know why things have shifted. I’ve tried to figure it out, logically. Maybe the book launch at the end of May wore me out and I just needed a break. Maybe my recent diagnosis of fibromyalgia bothers me more than I realize. Maybe I’m scared of my ability to keep pace with the life I’ve built as a full-time employee, mom, wife, writer, etc.

Maybe it’s a little of all these maybes.

Friends, I’m tired. That I know for 100% certain. I’m exhausted in the deepest part of me, the part that yearns for finding the “essence” of what God created me to be. The place my soul sighs from complete comfort as it nestles into what feels right. The place I remember that I AM ENOUGH.

Enough

And I have (very slowly) realized that for me this place becomes nearly impossible to find, nonetheless dwell in, when life feels “noisy.” Do you know what I mean? The clattering of other’s expectations. The incessant ringing of an over-filled calendar. The drip-drip-dripping of each “just say yes” moment. For some of you, like my amazing husband, this is the place you thrive. I’m in awe of how God made you to dwell there.

I’m not created to thrive in this place with you.

Since this site/blog is a place dedicated to my writing, let me first address how these thoughts relate to that. I wrote a book, y’all. A whole freaking book.

And more than that, I published it independently. I’m so silly proud of myself. Nothing will ever change the fact that Someplace Familiar is out in the world for others to enjoy. But here’s the thing. God is simply not calling me to write another full-length book right now. Gosh, that feels good to type out loud (so to speak). Any project I say yes to from here on out will only be with the clear leading from God. And I’m just not feeling that right now.

What am I feeling? The call to pull back and sink into Him. 

I’m done making promises on this blog that I can’t keep. I’m done forcing my own desires to match up with what I think I “should” be doing. I’m done keeping track of some recommended social media recipe for success, paying attention to statistics of likes and followers, and most of all comparing myself to others.

Though it tastes as bitter as vinegar, that temptation of comparison has become my daily snack. I scroll through Instagram and pause too often on photos of moms who maintain magazine-ready modern farmhouse style homes, gorgeous meals prepared by home chefs who only use organic produce or even grow their own, and writers announcing their umpteenth release. And even though most of the actual people behind these photos graciously admit life isn’t as glamorous as their photos depict, I’ve chosen to believe it must be for everyone but me.

As the old adage goes, comparison steals our joy. For the past few months I’ve been seeing a therapist once a week to discuss depression, self-worth/identity, and the eating disorder I’ve struggled with for a good part of my life. While I’m not exactly sure I’d claim to be completely unhappy right now, I can’t claim to be joyful either. And I’m not sure how to completely quiet the comparisons, focus on others’ expectations, or other noises. There’s a lot of work to be done.

I’ve let my identity focus more on the  “Teresa Tysinger, The Author” or “Teresa Tysinger, The Obese” or “Teresa Tysinger, The Less-Than.” Making it impossible to focus on “Teresa Tysinger, The Child of God.” Time to change that.

So, what now? While I’ll be writing some here and there, I’m going to be focusing more on me and God. Not sure what that looks like, but it’s a journey I look forward to taking. I’m going to be saying “No, thank you” to most things and accepting opportunities that really bring me joy. This will include sending some hard retractions of things I’ve already signed up for. It’s mission-critical, and no time for feeling shy to declare what I need and what I don’t.

I’m not planning to post here for a while. I’ll be changing things up a little so that the blog takes more of a backseat and the site simply welcomes readers to information about my writing.

I won’t be posting on social media too much, either. Probably at least through the end of the year.

What WILL I be doing?  Reading. A lot. In my depression, it’s been months since I’ve felt able to focus on a book for more than a few pages. I plan to turn off screens and fill my mind with some Truth-reminders.

My chronic pain can benefit from some movement. So, I’ll be walking. Not for long and not too far each time, but enough to prove to myself I can.

I’ll also be attempting to drown myself in His Word. Letting Him remind me that, in Him, I am enough. I’ve got a few promising books queued up for study help, but if you have any recommendations, I’ll gladly take them.

This feels like an indulgent post. It also feels like a goodbye. Neither, I like. But often the change we need most comes with a weighty price. One that can only be paid by obeying His prompting. So, I’m choosing to see this as an act of obedience.

I hope you will, too, friends.

May God’s peace find you, too, right where you are, and remind you that YOU ARE ENOUGH too.

23 thoughts on “A Long Time Coming

  1. Oh Teresa, how I applaud you for your decision. My debut novel released in late April and I know some of what you’re going through, all the pressures, comparison traps, and expectations. Thank you for your courage and honesty! I’m under contract for Book Two and have dived in full force into completing it by my publisher’s specified timeline, but I’m eager for a slowdown and am thankful my sensible husband talked me out of a 3 book contract. I’ve sacrificed a lot of leisure activities I used to love, and yes, time with the Lord, that I’d like to return to. My dream of publication has been fulfilled, I do not wish to push myself to achieve what the world sees as success. I want to please the Father and do His bidding, wherever that may lead. God bless you as you begin this new phase in your life. You’ve blessed me with your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post for its bravery and honesty, and I rejoice that your recharge and refueling includes reading, walking, and searching for God’s promises. If anything, this is another beginning and not an ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Teresa, thanks for this heartfelt post. It’s hard to make that decision to cut back, but you need to do what will be best for you and your family. I have fibromyalgia, too, and it’s definitely something I have to take into account when I commit to do things. I have to curtail a lot of my activities and realize that there are some days that I’m not going to get much done.

    There are definitely stages during our lives, and obviously God is telling you that you need to cut back on some things and concentrate on other things that are more important at this time. May you be blessed with peace and know that you are loved. Hugs, my sweet friend, and take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just lost a long reply 😦

    I’ll admit I was looking forward to another book BUT I am glad you are listening to God and your body. I have chronic pain and know how exhausting it is. I pray you will feel better if you slow down and lower your stress.

    Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It takes a lot of courage to not only admit this to yourself, but to share it with others. Yes, I was eagerly awaiting another book, because for the record you are a fantastic writer! But if God isn’t telling you to write, then you need to listen to Him. Praying for you dear friend. May God use this as a time you can draw closer to Him. Cannot wait to see what He has in store for you. Hugs! 😘

    Like

  6. Glad you’re focusing on your heart and your health and seeking the path the Lord has for you. It takes courage to look inside and make the choice to adjust your goals. You’re brave and wise to take this time to strengthen your relationship with the Lord and ask Him to restore your joy. I’m saying a prayer that you’ll find the peace and contentment He has for you. Blessing to you on this next part of the journey!

    Like

  7. Teresa, I love your honesty. I could’ve written this same post just a few months ago. I have been there, friend! In fact, just this weekend at ACFW, I had moments of feeling unworthy – “Why I am here, God? I’m not as gifted as these other authors.” It was a prayer pause with Brandilyn Collins that made me realize it was the Enemy putting these thoughts in my head. Spiritual warfare is real. Attending Allen Arnold’s session gave me so much peace – he emphasized that the creative process is about intimacy with God, not churning out word count. We need to let God lead us, and it sounds like you are ignoring the pressures of the world so you can focus on deepening your relationship with Him. I love that. I’m praying you find peace in Him. I’d recommend Rebekah Lyons’ book, “You Are Free”. She’s also doing a free video series this week on finding our strength in God. Check it out. It’s nice if you’re more in the mood to listen than read. Take care, Teresa.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a beautiful, transparent and convicting post. You asked for recommendations. Timothy Keller the Songs of Jesus has been a balm for me. It’s a year walk through the Psalms. Small bite sized pieces of Psalms that reminded me if how loving and kind and merciful God is. Bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are an inspiration to me, friend. I wish I could give you a long hug right now. Know you are so very loved and treasured because you are Teresa. Period the end. Not because of what or how much you do. Thank you for stepping up and being transparent and brave and writing this. I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Teresa,
    This is beautiful and heart-tugging and poignant and authentic.
    The world is noisy and it infiltrates our hearts, piercing at it with an exhausting pull in hundreds of different directions. It tries to label us, confuse us, distract us, weary us, and make us forget who we really are! What a beautiful reminder about WHO we are because of WHOSE we are!!

    We are enough because He’s taken on the weariness, heartache, and brokenness for us! Praise be to GOD!

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your heart here! The greatest story you could ever write is the one you live for God’s glory!

    Liked by 1 person

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