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.
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.