The black line of the cursor blinks, keeping time against the blank white screen. My freshly polished nails rest on the smooth keys, in ready position waiting to tap their familiar beat. But my fingers don’t move. Nothing moves except the cursor I’m staring at. Hypnotized, I sit frozen on the outside. On the inside my soul begs for words to emerge, thoughts to form. But there’s nothing but a paralysis of sorts.
I can’t name it. I can’t see it. But my mind and heart feel heavy and oppressive with both the presence of too much (of what exactly I do not know other than to feebly describe as a sensation of millions of molecules darting around in a blurred, cramped chaos) and the presence of a fear induced stillness, like being lost and confused in a void of emptiness and loneliness.
I’m a paradox of being too full and empty at the same time.
I’m a paradox of too much inner movement and absolute outer stillness.
How do I start?
At first I think the question refers to the words I want to write, but it beckons me and takes me deeper. This isn’t about the words.
Questions multiply and breed spiderwebs of thoughts. They further complicate, confuse, and frustrate me. I’m stuck, but I struggle to escape and write.
I am not stranger to deep sorrow or walking through the valleys trials bring. There was a time years ago when I wrote through the wounds of brokenness and each word wrriten was like a healing stitch administered with skill and ease.
But in this season… it’s so different. In this season my heart gives birth to words and they are met by shards of glass, shredding and destroying them.
Friends gently remind me, “You don’t have to write about this season you’re in.” They are kind and speak wisdom. And they are right, but they don’t know that I can’t write around it. Somehow I have to find a way to write through it.
And yet, I’m still left asking, How? What do I write? How do I start?
I break my trance from the computer screen and lift my eyes. I gaze out the window to my left. I don’t know why. Just something we do when we are in a contemplative state, right? Or maybe I do know why. Maybe it’s because I’m searching for something. Because maybe I’m hoping I’ll find relief or the answer out there somewhere beyond myself, beyond the four walls surrounding me.
Out the window, fog. The veil of white hides and blurs the shapes of the trees and other familiar objects. It obscures the world and my vision.
I turn and look out the window to my right. I’m surprised by the sight of blue sky. It’s a strange and unexpected greeting. I try to recall the last time I saw that crisp blue, and I can’t remember. It’s as though I’ve forgotten what’s beyond the grayness of the cloudy winter skies.
An eerie sensation fills me as I find myself very literally in the middle of fog and clarity.
It’s His presence. I hear His voice. He answers me.
This state of being as I try to write, this season of life, is much like being enveloped by a winter fog. There’s a cold, oppressive veil covering my eyes leaving my bones chilled and vision hindered. It brings with it a layer of darkness that distorts and tricks, confuses and scares – that makes me forget about what lies beyond the fog and that the fog is temporary.
More recently it seems as though there are some moments where the fog grows more transparent, where the clouds break apart, and where the sun tries to shine through and reveal the hope of blue skies. But I turn around and the fog remains, and with it hopelessness and fear.
I stand in the in between where the fog baits me and light beckons me.
I type these words, and as I do the room glows bright.
The sun has broken through.
He speaks, I am here. Hope is here. Chills run through me.
I move toward the source of the light. I bask in the glory of the sun. I watch the fog lift. He reminds me that the fog of this broken season will lift one day. He has not left. One day I will see the glory of His Son break through this hard season.
I sense my faith being tested. Will I be faithful to the One who is faithful to me? Am I living in hope that the Son will lift the veil of this fog in my life? Can I live in both expectation and brokenness? How do I start?
He’s the answer. He’s always the answer. I both seek Him and wait for Him.
I live in expectation right where I am, in the brokenness, in the pain, in the fog. I’ve known the answer all along. But I needed a reminder that God’s light will break through, that the fog will lift, and there is hope.
Did God just move heaven and earth to speak this to my heart?
I stand at the window watching the sun shine down. The oppressiveness lifts. The words come. They weave around the shards of glass. They seep through my broken heart.
This is me. This is where I begin. Lost in a fog. Living in expectation. And I write right where I am.