“Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Raise me to perfection in the state of life to which you have called me
From the Novena to the Holy Spirit
Beginnings are simply starting points, blips on a map. You can see them as blinking cursors- bleep, bleep, bleep… staring back at you asking, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO PUSH DOWN ON THAT KEYBOARD AND FINISH. Words are like clay, and although sometimes the inspiration is not there, the heart is.
We are wanting, we are hungry to produce the eternity that God has placed there.
We clothe ourselves in a million different ways. Take on projects we shouldn’t, join groups we shouldn’t. It’s not that these things are not holy and good- they just may not be good for us in the stage of life that we are in. We long for days of freedom, or different stages of life or vocations. We pine over what could have been or maybe what will be. The past is a contender but beginnings don’t start there.
Beginnings start when we press down on those keys…
I left my non-denominational church in 2015 for the Catholic Church because that’s what God willed. I didn’t even know a Catholic. I was at the height of every dream that God placed in my heart, including the center of my soul, my writing.
It wasn’t very long before the conversation was had.
You can’t write for us anymore… as if being Catholic was some sort of deadly, contagious disease.
I had been writing devotionals for some time. My assignments were all grace. And even more difficult than leaving my church was leaving my heart behind- my writing.
Being Catholic for me was the take- up- your -cross- and- follow- me, round five. It was the leave it all behind. It was the who and what is more important- me or your writing.
Would you even give up the thing you love the most for me?
Yes Lord, I will.
And a sword will pierce your own soul too…
So I began again. Started a new blog, a new life. I tried to make my way through the forest of Catholic thought and theology. And while the knife was still embedded deep into my chest, my soul was awake.
I didn’t have a newspaper or devotional to write for, but I could read, and I spent several years doing so…
Beginning again was difficult, and many days I couldn’t even bring myself to the keyboard. Was I good enough to write in this newfound space? Would the Catholic world accept me for who and what I was? What if what I say doesn’t fit neatly into their perception of what I should be as a Catholic? I stayed quietly for awhile, reflecting on all of these things in my heart.
In the years that followed, in the healing, in the starting again, in the struggle to be me, I came out on the other end realizing a very great thing- I couldn’t be anyone else but me, and God didn’t want me to. I wasn’t going to be in a space where I wasn’t invited. And in faith, I trusted that when God was done teaching me the things that I needed to know, He would let me write again. And He did.
My second act is better than my first. My words don’t have to be clothed anymore. I say what I need to say, what God moves me to say. I am getting comfortable in my own skin. I am beginning.
Make Day 2 your beginning, not someone else’s. Be yourself and perfect that.
Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. 1 John 2:24