Words I’ve said to myself throughout my life. What I tell myself when I have a dream but am not really willing to put the work into chasing it. ONE DAY I’ll write the book. ONE DAY I’ll travel the country. ONE DAY I’ll dream bigger. ONE DAY I’ll lose the weight/get fit/cook from scratch/be in a Hallmark movie/run a race/invite friends over. ONE DAY things will be perfect. Or at least okay.
ONE DAY. Maybe.
Words I’ve hidden deep within my soul. Words I was afraid to say out loud. Words I was afraid to admit. Words I would only wonder. What would it feel like to not feel alone, to not feel the pain. To expose the secret hurting places. To heal. What would it feel like to be truly known and loved? Maybe not today.
But ONE DAY. Maybe.
When I was a child, I met a friend named Jesus. I believed. I grew. I had a hope that no matter what, everything would be alright. “All in God’s time,” I’d say.
ONE DAY. Maybe.
The internal pain was too hard. The rejection too real. The picture on the outside did not match the feelings on the inside. I believed that this was just how life was going to be. Maybe honesty about the hurts of the past and present would never heal. Maybe ONE DAY wouldn’t happen this side of heaven.
Maybe ONE DAY was supposed to be heaven.
I put on a mask.
That’s where I lived. Or where I hid. Behind the smile. In between the lines. On the surface. Under the radar. In the bottle. ONE DAY turned to weeks, months, years, and decades. Hiding and hurting became my home and my best friend.
In those years of ONE DAYS,
I lost sight of who I was. Of whose I was.
God sent four women.
Women who recognized that I was walking through life, paralyzed. Women who were willing to dig through layers of lies and the fears that gripped me. Even if they didn’t understand, they loved. And they carried me to the feet of Jesus when I couldn’t seem to get there on my own.
THAT ONE DAY
was the start of a journey.
Of admitting that I hurt and needed help. A journey of authenticity. A journey of dumping out all the pieces, parts, people and pain that I stuffed deep inside, and ONE by ONE, giving each piece over to God. A journey that included accepting help—privately and professionally.
THAT ONE DAY
of living in freedom.
It’s officially been a year of ONE DAYS with NO “MAYBES.”
On the outside, some things look different. I’ve set some boundaries and eliminated some behaviors. But the truth is, you might look at me and see nothing different at all. I have been quite deliberate about what I share publicly in this healing journey.
But on the inside, everything has changed. Over the years, I’ve made the mistake of believing that “time heals” all wounds. That wasn’t true for me. Time moving forward on the outside did not change the wounds I didn’t know how to deal with on the inside.
Things aren’t all healed. People still hurt. Pain is still real. Not everything is always “okay.”
The inside scoop doesn’t always match what you see on the outside. But I’m getting there. With Christ, and a few close friends, ONE DAY at a time.
Why am I telling you this? Honestly, I’ve debated that. I know I could go through the rest of life and not say a word about some of the places I’ve been and things I’ve done and you probably would never know anything different. It’s far less risky every way I look at it to not talk about depression, abuse and addiction.
But God gave me the gift of four friends and ONE DAY. He reminded me that we all have hurts, habits and hangups (thank you celebrate recovery!), and that we’re all stuck somewhere.
But we don’t have to stay there. No matter how lonely you might feel, you don’t have to be alone.
TODAY can be your ONE DAY.
Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
Luke 5:17-26 (NIV)
One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
Flight arrangements are made, bags are packed, rides for pickup are set, appointments upon arrival are made.
Everything is in place. For something new.
I'm traveling to Biola University to teach a continuing session on legacy writing and memoir at the Southern California Christian Writers' Conference.
Teaching at writers' conferences is a new thing for me.
So is flying to them.
So is having an agent, hanging out in publishing circles and shaking hands with authors and speakers I've admired from behind the pages of their books.
Brian and I have sent our kids all over the country and to different countries on mission trips. My daughter went to Spain for a semester without really knowing the language until she was submersed in it. We have a son who has had several random opportunities to attend things like national leadership conferences and presidential inaugural balls. One of our sons moved 14 hours away to follow his dream. We have seen each of our kids roll with several risky and exciting opportunities. Probably a little bit afraid at first. But always with our encouragement.
It's my turn to do a big-kid thing. They are sending me off, encouraging me, reminding me that this and the potential for what could happen has been a dream on my heart for a lot of years.
I don't know what is going to happen when I land at LAX. But I do know that there is a new thing just around that corner. For the people who attend the conference. And maybe even for me. I'm excited to be a part of both.
It's one of those Holy Spirit Adventures. One that I couldn't have predicted even a month ago.
"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
When I picked up the phone to tell my mom the news, I thought it was going to be as simple as just, you know, telling her the news.
Until I said it all out loud.
I wanted to let her know that I will be starting a new job, one that my agent thought would be a perfect fit for me.
"Oh, so ya..." and I proceded to tell mom that I finally got around to submitting my book proposal to an agent who offered to represent me and my work. I would have mentioned it sooner, but I couldn't say anything until the paperwork was signed and she introduced me to her Bookies.
"Right. Sounds wrong, but..." and I told her about the group of authors who are all represented by Books & Such Literary Management. They call themselves "Bookies," but not to worry, I don't plan on placing bets with them or anything like that.
"So, new job?"
"Yes! That's actually why I called!" And I explained the job in journalism I'll be starting this summer.
After all the talk about proposals, agents and "bookies," I think mom might have found that one a little hard to believe.
After saying it all out loud, I'm actually finding it hard to believe.
Welcome to a page of my journal....a place where I will randomly post stories that document my life, and some tips for helping you to document yours.