I've written about it before. God whispers to me through the books I read and guides me to my next epiphany. I will have passed over a book on my to-read list for ages and then one day, I look at its title and know it's time to check it out at the library. Between the covers of these books I will find EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED TO READ IN THIS MOMENT. What's remarkable is knowing--and trusting--that I would not have had the same experience had I read the book at an earlier point. That's what makes being led by the Divine Librarian such a rich, beneficial experience.
I woke early and devoured the last forty pages of the latest book in my reading treasure hunt. I have long been a fan of Martha Beck's work. My journals are peppered with her words. Her words have been a steadying force in my pursuit of a life of peace and joy and service.
I am in that in-between place. Avid readers know it: the book is finished; the story is over, but you can't resume regular life. Nothing seems worthy of your time--not unloading the dishwasher or starting a new title. Her book, Leaving the Saints - How I Lost the Mormons and Found my Faith is a riveting story. I was gobsmacked by her ability to tell such a difficult story especially knowing the pressure she was under to keep things under wraps. She mentored for me how to tell hard things, how to trust yourself and your story, how to have hard conversations. Our stories are vastly different, but we share the same human quest for God and meaning. She gifted me with another role model for bravery and courageous living. I will refer back to her words for a long time.
Her writing gives me the courage to stay on the path I have launched for myself and to know that whatever happens, I will be a-okay.
This has been quite a week. I had an unexpected exchange with someone that left me shaky at first. But with a few minutes reflection, I knew I had written the words I wanted to convey and that the earth had not shattered. Not long after, I passed a colleague in the hallway and she told me to keep owning whatever I was owning. I was gobsmacked. She has NO IDEA all the inner work I am up to these days, and her comment confirmed that the work is showing.
Then yesterday the FaceBook memory vault reminded me that two years ago I had written this. I re-read it when it popped up, and I was stunned. I remember writing those words, but I feel so distanced from that woman who trembled as she thought those thoughts and wrote those words. Dan and I reflected on that essay this morning. "You'd barely scratched the surface of what you had to write. Well, not even scratched the surface," he said.
"Right. In that moment, I was blowing the dust off the surface."
When I "girded up my loins" (my favorite expression for bracing myself and moving forward) and strung those words together, I could not imagine the peace I would feel in two years. I was wracked with worry and anxiety because I could not fathom what shape my new life would take. I couldn't foresee the hard terrain that would unfold ahead of me. I traversed that rocky path. I persevered. I got a grip on my fears and discarded them as I walked forward. And hey, here I am! Thriving and writing my way through. I am so grateful for this blog and the chronicle of my journey it has become. I am grateful every time I had the sense to write where I was--no matter how unsure or vulnerable I felt.
I have always bristled at the career development or interview question, Where do you see yourself in five years? I've never been good at answering the question. I would blame the limits of my imagination, but now I understand it's because I rely so heavily on serendipity to guide my next steps. There is so little of life that can be planned. I certainly couldn't have imagined that I'd be a divorced writer-mama. And yet, here I am. I feel more "who I really am" than at any other point in my life. And the way that feels will guide me for the rest of my life.
I have no idea where I will be in another two years, but I am thrilled by the prospects and the adventure of the unknown. It's the reason I am writing this post. Another entry into the record of time. Another mark on the measuring stick of how far I have come. What I do know is that yoga, writing, and traveling (or dreaming about the next trip) will be part of the mix.
Writing really is the solution for all my troubles. When I started this post, I didn't know what to do with myself. I wasn't sure how to move forward with my day in the happy glow of a great reading experience. "Go to your blog" was the whisper I heard. I followed my gut, cranked up the John Mayer playlist on Spotify and started typing. And again, here I am! Happy, grounded, and ready to do to what I love best--read a great book.