When I blogged earlier this week, it was for the first time in months. If you’ve been a long-time follower, you know that there have been other seasons when I’ve backed away for various reasons. Life happens, people. I have learned a great deal about myself through the process of blogging, writing at my own pace, seeking traditional publication, and ultimately choosing to independently publish my book.
In many ways, I’ve gone against the flow of some of my peers enough now that I’ve learned to let go of the guilt and insecurities and instead embrace the freedom that comes with realizing I’m in charge of my own life.
Now, before I go on, let me be clear. I am in NO WAY saying that those who find themselves on the more well-paved path of any journey in life are going about it the wrong way and giving up control. In fact, just the opposite. Whatever you do, whichever road you take — be it paved in gorgeous cobblestones or totally uncharted — you’re the driver. Own it.
Some things I’ve learned about myself through the last year of navigating my path I’ve actually known deep down for a long time. I just never wanted to admit it. Because in my head, what are actually truths about me were being filtered through some crazy cultural (maybe emotional, too) machine that spewed out a distorted lie. Here are a few examples of lies I grew to believe and the truths I’ve had to rediscover.
LIE: I am lazy.
TRUTH: I have high standards and feel paralyzed when I feel overwhelmed.
LIE: If I can’t produce (book writing) on a regular schedule, I am a failure.
TRUTH: My value is in Christ and not in my accomplishments.
LIE: I am too emotional and irrational.
TRUTH: God made me a highly sensitive person and He has plans to use it for good.
I like those truths much better. They give me life instead of stealing my joy. Somewhere along the way, I convinced myself that not working at the same energetic pace as my husband, for instance, who can get more done in the blink of an eye than I can in a whole weekend, made me less-than. I convinced myself that being emotional most of the time equated to weaker.
A while back, I read Kill the Spider by Carlos Whittaker. In this straightforward personal account of battling demons, Carlos shares the brilliant concept that we’ve got to stop simply sweeping away the cobwebs and finally find and kill the spider producing them. (I admit to feeling gobsmacked by such a simple yet profound analogy!) I’ve realized that I’ve been feverishly sweeping away the cobwebs made up of lies like the ones listed above. But where was the spider spinning the webs? What does it look like and where does it hide?
For me, the spider is false identity. I’ve been putting my identity in things other than the Truth:
- Teresa the Overweight
- Teresa the Emotional Basketcase
- Teresa the Lazy
- Teresa the Overwhelmed
- Teresa the Less-Than
- Teresa the Out-of-Control
- Teresa the Quick-to-Frustrate
There are so many to name that the resulting cobwebs became too thick to sweep away. And, so, my true identity became hidden behind a thick, sticky mass of cobwebs.
I lost sight of my one true identity:
- Child of God, which makes me the Princess of the King of Glory!
Wow. Sounds like a WAY BETTER perspective to live by. It is the ONLY identity that matters. It is the true identity that informs all other parts of me. And living into THIS identity leaves me no choice but to cast off the lies and take joy in being in control of who God made me to be.
There is FREEDOM, friends, in doing things the way that feels right for you. I needed to take time off from writing until God placed back upon me the desire to create again based on His prompting. It may take me another three years to write a book, like it did the first time around. And if it does, that’s OK. I’ve got a lot of life going on in the background that’s just as important.