In the first week of October, I sat down at my computer. Yet, it was hours before a post finally came. Each letter and word felt stuck like syrup.
Last week, the struggle was even more real. I was confident that it wasn’t because I haven’t been learning or growing. This current season I’m walking is propelling me with such intense fervor and into greater depths than I’ve ever experienced. Life to its fullest. Still, I battled.
My typical schedule with intentional blocks of time for prayer and my writing ministry came and went. But by the wee hours of Thursday, the scheduled posts remained empty. No topic or passage seemed to jump out or even surface in my wrestling. Only. Silence.
The longer I sat, the more frustrated I became. Especially because my body is staying beyond exhausted these days.
When we reached 1 am, I was sobbing. The enemy launched into a full fledged attack telling me I was a failure, dumb and the like. Honestly, I debated on whether to not post at all. But even after I put my computer up twice to sleep, I just couldn’t let myself leave it without anything.
By 2 am, I was digging through all my files scrapping for something.
Eventually, something did come. But as I fell asleep and then woke up the next morning, I just wasn’t satisfied with it.
As I dwelled, memories poured of all the hours I have spent the past year and a half into making sure each week was my “best”, even in extreme circumstances like hospice this spring.
So I started asking God why this time was any different. What was wrong with me?
Less than 24 hours later, my counselor and I were working through what I thought was “another” issue: Expectations. I recollected those I had lived with as long as I could remember. Then, she asked me to share the ones applicable now. I took a deep breathe and in the following seconds, words slipped out before I had even realized.
I feel like I have to post on my blog each week because otherwise people will be disappointed. Or maybe that won’t get the encouragement they need from me.
After our session, I moved on from all the other statements I listed. Yet even hours later, these words in particular loomed like a heavy cloud just waiting to break open.
I tried to add more “spiritual” excuses and conditions. Although, the lump in my throat just kept getting bigger until I sat in my kitchen sobbing.
It was like God grabbed hold of me in that moment and was like “Hold up, Alisha. You can’t write because it’s not about you at all.”
Whoa God. That hurt.
But He didn’t stop.
Then came the slew of questions…
“Why did you start Mess 2 Masterpiece to begin with?”…“Do you really think only you can “give” them what they need?”
Each one landed deeper until finally He hit the root.
“What about ME!”
Somewhere in the process, in the platform, in the followers, in the “inspiration”, in the “comments”, my focus slid from writing what God wanted to what “Alisha” or others wanted or what I thought they “needed” from me.
Now please understand… I am NOT saying that the posts, readers, or even your dear comments were/are “bad”. I am beyond grateful for each of you and so many of the relationships we have and continue to form even through the screen.
Rather, the problem lies in the reality that I let my following in this world become a distraction from the One who I am following.
I let the pressure I placed on myself of breaking my “70+ week streak” squeeze out the Holy Spirit’s leading.
My passion for writing and ability to craft words week took over my entire identity.
God doesn’t necessarily find this condition of my heart to be a surprise as He cautions us in love all throughout Scripture.
Still, I am thankful for His forgiveness and grace. Again and again as I attempt to balance this life and all it’s messiness.
Nonetheless, after much prayer, and processing, I have decided to take a “necessary pause from the blog for the next 7 weeks. To regroup. To refocus. To realign my heart with my Author’s.
It does not mean goodbye. I just feel this is my next step of obedience in letting go of my expectations and deep seeded people pleasing, so I can make space in my hands and heart for God.
I can’t truly fly if I am stuck in “I”.
During this pause, my social media postings will also be sparse. Still, you can always message me or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will get back to you as soon as I’m able.
Thank you for your love and grace always. I love you all dearly and am already so excited for our journey together in the upcoming months. Stay tuned and know I am praying for you!
One thought on “The Necessary Pause”
I am almost finished with the 2nd draft of my book. I took a pause in writing because the last chapters have to do with my knee replacement and journey to mobility again. I am 3 weeks post-op and every time I begin to open Word to write the enemy attacks with his usual lashings of … no one cares, is that really going to be the ending to your story?, why would anyone want to read YOUR happy ending blah, blah, blah. I admire your tenacity to sit there for how long you did even when there was nothing coming. I give up way too quickly which shuts out God. I used excuses like I am hurting too much to write, I am to tired to write etc. I am an all or nothing so I too would feel like you stated, if I did not post weekly I would be letting people down. Giving myself grace has been a long lesson for me to learn. I still fall back on the people pleasing way of thinking. You have no idea how much your blog posts encourage me. Love your openness, vulnerability and strength. Love you my friend!