I recently started a writing practice called Morning Pages. The premise is that you write as soon as you wake up in the morning, for either a set number of pages or time. The belief is that in the mornings you write about what is on your mind, with no filter. There’s no right or wrong way for morning pages, you’re not allowed to critique what’s laid on the pages. You just write one long, steady steam of consciousness. I’ve been told that morning pages can be cheap therapy, and goodness knows, I could use some cheap therapy.
I’ve only just begun and only about once or twice a week, but the time I have spent in my writing… Wow. There are some revelations and moments of clarity that I’m not sure I would have received otherwise. And while you’re urged to not go back and reread these pages, there is one day in particular that I find myself still thinking about and reflecting on what was poured from my heart onto those pages.
Some of it is not so shocking, such as realizing that I am a fearful person. I fear the unknown, I fear failure, I fear success, I fear change, I fear not being enough. I’m not sure what that says about me as a person, that I fear both failure and success, but there it is. And because I’m fearful, I only offer excuses as to why I can’t start what I feel called to do. And it was in the listing of those excuses that I noticed a recurring theme.
I can’t move forward until…
- …I am a stronger Christian. I need to be in this ideal place in my relationship with God before He’d ever bless any of my endeavors.
- …I’ve overcome my depression and anxiety. I’m tired of this monkey on my back, I want it gone. How would I possibly be effective in anything when I feel so paralyzed by anxiety.
- …I’ve developed more patience with the children, have more grace for Jon, am a better wife, mother, friend, laundress.
- …estranged relationships have been reconciled, forgiveness extended and received.
The theme is me… my efforts, my works, my expectations, my control. I can’t possibly move forward until everything in my life is packed nicely into a tidy box and wrapped with a pretty bow. Why on earth would God use anyone whose life is such a mess? So God, my answer is no for now, thankyouverymuch. Not until I get my life in perfect order, which will probably be never, but thanks for asking.
It was in that moment that I heard a whisper.
“What if, instead of waiting for you to be healed, whole, and ready, what if I heal you through the process being obedient to me?”
And I sat dumbfounded, staring at the sentence I’d just written down.
What if I put one step in front of the other, and started being obedient to God for obedience sake? What if I moved forward, with zero expectations, still a complete mess, and HE healed me through my commitment to obey Him? If that happened, I couldn’t take any credit for the healing. I couldn’t pat myself on the back for a job well done, because it would have to be ALL HIM. And none of me.