In The Midst of My Frustration
I’m in a season of turmoil.
Lately, it seems as if all I want to do is write. I swear, if I could lock myself in a closet for a month, with a laptop and enough coffee to get me through, I’d be perfectly happy. Just think of all the books I could write.
I’ve been hanging around Jim Palmer too much. Whenever I read his material, I’m inspired to write. And I’ve been reading a lot of his stuff lately and getting inspired to write more.
So here I am—a frustrated writer trapped inside the body of a busy paramedic.
I had a dream a few nights ago.
In the dream, I went to visit my ex-wife.
Yes, I have one. And we don’t get along very well.
It’s a long story.
So, I drove to her house. As I approached, I noticed that her driveway and front yard were littered with abandoned cars. I stopped and called her on my phone. When she answered, I could see from my vantage point that she was sitting in the yard at a picnic table. I said, “If I know you, you’re probably sitting in the yard at a picnic table.”
I drove closer to her house, but I had to maneuver my car carefully around the other cars.
I parked and got out.
“You shouldn’t be here,” she warned. “I’m going to call the police and have you arrested.”
I decided to leave. I got in my car and drove carefully out of her driveway. For an instant, it dawned on me that leaving was going to be much more difficult than getting there. The cars and how they were positioned, made it impossible for me to leave the same way I came.
Then suddenly, the whole scene changed. I wasn’t in her driveway any longer. I was in what looked like an apartment complex and the ground was covered with new-fallen snow.
There were still cars scattered here and there, but now there were people walking around and I had to avoid hitting them, too. I drove my car slowly, to the far edge of the parking lot, and tried to squeeze my way out, next to a building, without hitting anyone, but a man walked in my path and I had to stop. I could tell he was blind.
I had my window down, so I yelled out, “Do you want to be healed?”
He said, “Sure”.
So I got out and prayed with him.
That’s when the dream ended.
My ex-wife is a sore spot in my life. Our failed marriage is a constant source of pain and regret—a wound in my soul that has not yet been healed. In the dream, my visit to her place seems to represent God’s desire to take a closer look at something that’s been bugging me from my past. The subject (I believe) is not my relationship with my ex-wife, but the difficulty I’m having with my own past, my identity, and my destiny.
I sense that God is saying that we’re all bound to face discouragement, regret, and other negative feelings, which can become obstacles to progress. In the dream, the cars I had to drive around were obstacles. Regret lives in our past but can be an obstacle to our future when we dwell on it. Discouragement likewise affects our future if we allow room for it.
One of the things I’m dealing with is professional discontent. As much as I like my job, there’s a part of me that desperately wants to spend more time writing. I feel like my career is preventing me from doing that. The funny thing is; I’m not even sure that my career is a real obstacle. I have plenty of time to write on my days off. It could be that I’m only perceiving it to be an obstacle.
The people in the parking lot appeared as obstacles, preventing me from reaching my destination, or so it seemed until I realized that they have needs that I could meet.
So the real problem I’m dealing with is my perception of obstacles. I see my job as an obstacle to writing, and it’s not. I see people as obstacles to my destiny and they’re not.
In the dream, the way out of my ex-wife’s driveway (and my past) was blocked. It could not move forward by going back the way I had come. The only way forward was to get a new perspective on life.
In the midst of my frustration, God is changing my perspective and giving me fresh grace (new-fallen snow), a new direction, and empowering me to do what He’s called me to do. Despite my fears and concerns, there are still people who need healing, and there will be more stories to write. God will provide time for both. These are the things I must focus on.
On a brighter note—my first book will be out soon. Yes, I know you’ve heard that before, but we’re almost done with the editing and since we’re self-publishing, it should be available soon. I’m beginning work on the second book, which will be a compilation of stories from this blog and a few stories I’ve never shared publicly.
I don’t have a New Year’s resolution to share with you. But I would greatly appreciate your prayers. I need wisdom and guidance and I need God’s purposes to be worked out in my life.
Thanks for dropping by,
good stuff…thank you! Write 15 minutes a day on a timer. Then stop.
Great idea. I might just do that, though I may stretch it out to 30 minutes on some days.
Thanks so much for your transparency. Prayers up.
Praying for you. I sit on a very similar horn at times. I worked at a temporary job that lasted a year, running the most boring of machines. During that time I “wrote” 3 complete books. The wrote is in quotes because it was all in my head, nothing made it to the word processor. Been very frustrating ever since because I have been so busy that there has been little time for writing. From where I sit, you seem to have the best of all possible worlds to function within. You just sound a little jaded. Suggest that you intentionally change something! Anonymous above suggested writing on a timer. I think I would do it for a lot longer than 15 minutes. That would drive me nuts. a couple of hours, maybe…
I’m trying to be more intentional with my writing time. We had a very slow shift yesterday, so I spent a couple of hours writinng and finished two new blog posts.
two things stand out to me from your story,
1, You were an atheist
2, You had a failed marriage.
These two things don’t seem to be noticeable in your interactions with the world.
God’s grace has brought u this far, he shall not depart now.
grace so amazing so divine.
Omotola – thank you for your words of encouragement and your friendship.
Sounds like you have the go-ahead to write all you like. Praying for you. Sometimes we need other people to keep our arms up like Moses.
Thankd VB, I’ll take all the help I can get.
Praying for you PM. Can’t wait for the book.
Your transparency is refreshing. Most would be too proud to share their past in an open forum. Blessed are those who are poor in Spirit…
I too am/was in the process of writing a book. Everyone I shared about the contents of the book encouraged me to continue writing because there is a need for a book with the content I wanted to share. However, the Lord impressed on my heart to ask Him if this was the direction I was to continue. I felt the Lord was leading me away from finishing the book though I wanted to continue. I tried to dismiss those thoughts, but couldn’t get away from the gentle nudging. I felt like God was wanting me to take my “Isaac” and slay him. I finally asked the Lord, “Lord, if You want me to stop writing, take this desire from me.” And within two weeks, I was able to put it down with no regrets. This was a difficult prayer for me to ask the Lord. I wanted to continue writing. I saw this book as my “out”. I still have the book partially written and I’m waiting for the “go” if the Lord wants me to continue.
So what was the Lord teaching me? For me, the book would have gotten in the way of something greater He was about to put in my lap…the gift of healing. If it was not going to get in the way, it was going to distract me from the seeking of it (1 Cor 14:1) and He was about to reign it down on me.
For you, the Lord may be doing something much different, the Lord may be leading you into new chapter in Him…But I want to encourage you to ask Him to restore your hunger to pray for the sick in front of you (at work). Even in the supernatural we can become apathetic…strange, I know. We can see God loosen the bondage of years of sickness in just seconds or minutes and not think much of it because we see it so much.
Another comment on testing. I have been going through about 7 years of testing. It was very extreme in the beginning. I would be crying in my room because of the quietness of the Lord. A missionary shared with me something like, “During the test, the teacher erases the chalk board, tells all the students to close their books, and he/she is quiet. Then we take the test on what we have learned from the teacher.”
I’m not a prophet or an interpreter of dreams as you are, but I think you have delighted yourself in your own interpretation and the Teacher (the Lord) has taught you well. So once you have confirmation on what the Lord is telling you through your dream, it’s just a matter of receiving it as we receive His Word.
You are so encouraging to many via all the efforts you put together on FB and this blog. The Lord is using you mightily. I wish I had the time to do what you are doing. I’m praying 2013 will allow more time to be His hands and feet.
Thank you Josh, from the bottom of my heart. Funny thing – I went through exactly 7 years of extreme testing. I lost my job, my house, and eventually, my marriage, which resuted in my children moving out of state. In all those hardships, the Lord was very silent. Not one dream. But in one year He restored everything that I’d lost. I re-married an amazing woman, found a better job, my children returned, and I’ve been having constant dreams.
How suddenly the season of testing ends. And how suddenly He restores what the enemy has taken.
Be blessed bro, your testing will soon be over.
i notice in your dream that you cannot leave the past, the same way you approached it. we have to change our perspectives to grow, you are right.i have been in the same place of having difficulty with prayer, the past and regrets, as well as dealing with writing- though i am just starting and not almost done! i am wondering if this is depression, but God showed me, when i finally stopped noticing the malaise and just asked him what to do, that he wanted me to praise again. that praying and writing, though i love to , are works. and that i have become weary because i have not just sat in wonder and remembered the glory of the king. we become so over burdened when we focus on anything but communion. we were meant to live out of relationship , not memory. try just beholding and reminding yourself why you love him , the rest will get a new flow of life from going to the well.
Good advice for all of us. Focus on Him.
i say Good Word like i always do, but i get it. recently i was asked to pray for my ex husband by my 19 yr old … i have sort of half heartedly prayed for him since it involves the faith of my son. but to actively intercede? woah. the real obstacle isn’t him or the past or what he did to me and the boys. its my perspective. i am being asked to change that in order to move into a place of rest and fruit.. confirming words smart so badly **rueful grin.
Thanks Elizabeth. The truth will set you free, but I’ve found that first, it usually pisses me off.
This made me spontaneously laugh out loud, I am going through so much right now & getting mad is new to me. Blessings to u & yours
PM Thanks for sharing your heart. Ironically I am feeling the same exact way about praying for others in this season, but the writing I did in the past I have even lost a desire for that. Perhaps it is a season, one which I am looking forward to it leaving.
Thank Jim. I think it is a season, based on similar reactions & experiences that friends are sharing. I suspect that God is interested in dealing with our past on a corporate level.
Won’t that be fun?
“So the real problem I’m dealing with is my perception of obstacles. I see my job as an obstacle to writing, and it’s not. I see people as obstacles to my destiny and they’re not.”
I relate. And man, I really needed to relate with someone. (I don’t actually have anything good to contribute, I’m kinda airing dirty laundry here. Sorry!) Writing can be such a solitary endeavor. I’m rather introverted at times, so it’s generally a great release. But isolation can get so suffocating. In stark contrast, barista-ing can be overwhelmingly social. I’ve begun seeing customers as obstacles to my desire to finish doing the dishes. What?? I’ve been realizing, as roots are being upturned, that my perspective has seriously got to undergo a makeover. There’s no time like the present!
Thanks for dropping by sis. I was hoping you’d read this. We’re kinda soul mates, I guess. Perspectives & past wounds.
2013…here we come.