Slow things

I keep sitting down to write but these words won’t come.

I can feel them. They’re trapped. I want the flowing and the pretty words. The wise words and the words that express everything I need to say.

But they’re dammed up inside of me. Not like they used to, when all I felt was frustration — not frustration at the lack of words, but frustration at life. At feeling invincible, like no one saw me — feeling that I didn’t matter.

It’s different now. I matter to Him. He sees me.

And suddenly, all of the words that I have, that I long to write, they’re beautiful. I want to write stories and posts and poems that give people hope. I want to share the joy of Jesus with others. I want my “little darlings” to be soft and tender and poignant and raw and moving.

How frustrating for me to feel like I have all of those things trapped inside of me and yet they can’t get out. I know they’re there. I know they will come. I don’t think I’d love words so much if they weren’t intended to be used or said or spoken. But I’m ready to use them.

Now, please, Lord.

I’m not patient, so why must these words be patient? I want them to flow freely. I want to close my eyes and let my fingers fly across the keyboard. When I first realized I knew how to type without looking at the keys, I was in bed, in the dark, trying to fall asleep. My eyes were closed and I pictured a keyboard and there, in my mind, I could see each letter. I wrote words and sentences and paragraphs as I drifted off to sleep.

That. I want to see the words as easily as I did then. Perhaps — certainly — it was because I wasn’t searching for them.

And as I write, maybe that’s the lesson I am meant to learn.

Perhaps — certainly — it was because I wasn’t searching for them.

They just came to me, sweet and slow. They weren’t begging to get out, banging in my skull. When I didn’t think and I didn’t fight for them, they came.

God reminds me as I write of the slow things.

Certainly His salvation was not slow for me. My acceptance of it was, but His plan for me all along — it wasn’t ever slow. It was before I was.

But these things beautiful and lovely in my life? Most of them came in slow ways, as I waited with high hopes and heavy heart break. I wanted and begged for many of them and others I went into against my better judgement or by the will of others.

When I was suffering, when I longed to be free from those who hurt me and the hurts I choose to haunt myself with, time slowed.
When I walked away and said “I quit,” when I couldn’t look Him in the face, movement nearly ceased.
When I begged for Him to change me, and change seemed to come too painfully for my liking, time was frozen, drifting by so slowly that it stilled to be entirely still.

I am reminded, over and over again in the course of my life, of how He crafted the ways in which He would use these slow moments.

He said, “I will use all things for good for those who love me, who are called according to My purpose.”

I have waited for years. Not patiently. Almost never patiently. I have tried to use my life, the long way around that I’ve taken, my own way. The way of the world. And I’ve grieved because of it. I’ve suffered and cried as I’ve tried, swiftly, to rush my life and my dreams against the grain of His goodness.

He said, “Be still and hold your peace. I am fighting for you.”

I’ve bought into being strong. There was no need to be slow and patient because I had strength instead. I rarely allowed my proud fighting spirit to freeze, to let Him take over for me. I punched the promises of Jesus as I struggled to beat the rest of the world into knowing my might.

And He said “I will use it for good. They meant it for evil, but I will make it good.”

I’ve wept bitterly. I have been broken. I have been angry and I have hated and I have lied. And I have used it for evil. Every hurtful thing, every word and action — I have taken them and used them in a world in a way that is evil and against His word. Yet He was taken them back and returned to me the very things I used to harm for His good instead, for the saving of lives.

And still, He said, “I am redeeming you, girl. I’ve bought you with a price and you’re Mine. You’re more than paid for. Don’t you know, love, that you have been mine since before time began? Now stop fighting. Be. Still.”

He is my slow and still and sweet thing. Not because He is slow and still, but because He asks for me to be slow and still, and He has waited for me since before time began. Before I numbered these hours and years, before I could be impatient about the words and the world, He knew me. He said, “I will wait for her.” He is long-suffering and He knows me by name.

I will take the long way for Him. I will watch Him as He continues to write me, the words of who I am, slow and still and every so sweetly, for His grander glory.

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