God doesn’t speak to me — at least not in the way I’d prefer. According to the Bible (and Father Lantom on Daredevil), God speaks in whispers. But the world is too loud. I need that burning bush kind of communication.
Over the past couple of weeks, however, I’ve been getting little messages here, there and everywhere that I believe may be divine.
Your comfort zone will kill you.
When I saw the above image on Instagram it felt like a punch to the gut. The sign reminded me of something my therapist said to me recently: “You’re holding on to a security blanket that’s making you itch all over.” I need to make big changes in several areas of my life. My therapist knows this. My closest friends know this. I know this. But change is scary. The status quo feels safe — even when it hurts. We simply learn to live with the pain. But that shit will either literally kill you or beat down your spirit so much you’ll wish you were dead.
I’ve lived the same year twice.
In many ways, this year’s #bloglikecrazy challenge has been wonderful as it has restored my love for blogging. But oftentimes when I would sit down to write a post I would look back to see what I wrote during last year’s challenge and on more than one occasion I had to scrap my blog post idea because I’d discover I’d written the exact same thing a year ago!
Once when this happened a quote popped into my mind: “I’ve lived the same year twice.” When asked in an interview what inspired her to start her own business Michelle Rohr of The Secret O.W.L. Society said she woke up one day and realized she had lived the same year twice and she refused to let this happen again.
I have lived the same year twice. I’ve spent 2018 going after the same goals I tried to achieve in 2017. I’ve been wrestling with the questions and dealing with the same problems.
Ironically, I’ve been teaching Edgar Allan Poe over the past several weeks and in his famous poem “The Raven” the narrator keeps asking the ebony bird questions about his lost love Lenore knowing that the raven is always going to answer “Nevermore.” By the end of the poem, which Poe once said was an exploration of the human thirst for self-torture, the narrator has descended into madness. Am I mad? Am I doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result?
She changes everything.
So what should I change, God? I scribbled this in my prayer journal. Whispered it while praying in the car and yelled it a few times, too. Last month I started going to church again but I haven’t gotten an answer there. But I may have found an answer from a fake church service on TV. Seriously.
In a recent episode of Greenleaf, Lady Mae (who happens to be my least favorite character) hosted her annual “Day with Lady Mae” and the theme of this ridiculous ceremony was “She Changes Everything.” Though this was meant to be Lady Mae’s oh-so-petty way of implying that she would be the one to save the swiftly declining Calvary Fellowship World Ministries, I couldn’t get these words out of my head.
Then one day it hit me. That’s what I need to change — everything.
Nothing will work unless you do.
After realizing I needed to change everything I just felt more frustrated. How?! I asked God. What am I supposed to do?
But then I realized I already know what I need to do. I just need to actually do it! Take, for example, my frustrations with my writing career and business. I know everything I need to do to reach my writing and business goals. I’ve hand-written strategies in dozens of notebooks and typed detailed plans in Google Docs. I even have ideas saved in the Notes app of my phone. But I haven’t actually done any of it!
I will leave my comfort zone. I swear I will not live this year again. I will do the work and I will change everything.