Monday, July 7, 2014

Dry Bones, Dry Writing, and Heavenly CPR

Ever had one of those days? Or months? Maybe even years?

You know what I mean? The kind of dry season in your life where beautiful blossoms of creativity and peace of mind seem to be few and far between. A drought of the soul or the heart or inspiration?

For the past month, my life has been one crazy change after another. Between a move, new job, my kids’ emotional reactions to the move, and the responsibilities involved in getting settled in a new state, writing has gone to the back burner….maybe even out the kitchen door.

The learning curve on this new job is incredibly steep and after work, then unpacking boxes, then encouraging my kids, my brain has NOTHING left for my fictional worlds. Nothing…not even DESIRE! That’s a first! I’ve always WANTED to write, but I find myself too pooped to even want to write.

Which then leads me to doubt and discouragement and….worry.

Worry is such a joy-killer, because it’s really just fear with a different name.

So….um…..what do we do if we’re afraid, discouraged, and working with a bunch of dead, dried out inspiration?

In Ezekiel, God is sending lots of encouragement (and miracles) to the prophet by reminding him of who HE is. The God of miracles and judgment and healing and….life. In Ezekiel chpt 37, God takes Ezekiel to a large valley filled with dry bones….in fact, the Bible says ‘very dry’ bones. So these weren’t newly dead guys – they’d been dead for a while.

God tells Ezekiel to prophecy over the bones and….the valley of very dry bones became a living breathing army. God sums up the reason for this miracle by saying this in verses 11 & 14, “Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’” & “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.”

What does this have to do with my writing dry spell? What can overcome my fear?

God’s power and love.

His power to revive our hope and his love to overcome our fear.

God made sure I got the message this weekend when I was visiting a consignment shop in search of a good find, preferably a painting or portrait to place over my writing desk. I’d searched for two weeks with only VERY expensive pieces peaking my interest…until Saturday. Now, I don’t know what kinds of paintings you like, and this one may not be your favorite choice, but it suits me PERFECTLY!!! The painting AND the verse – because it spoke directly to the dry part of my heart and reminded me of God’s presence, power, and love.

(It fit the room well too J)

See the verse? “And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Isaiah 32:18

Peace and rest for our fearful hearts comes from knowing our Father’s love for us and trusting in his power to enable us to do what we cannot do on our own.  It not only gives us a ‘sure dwelling’ for our weary souls, but it empowers us to find inspiration in the simple, every day, and the extraordinary. We may not need a literal ‘valley of dry bones’, but if God can revive the bones in my own skin….I’m okay with that J

How about you? Have you ever had a ‘dry spell’? What do you do when you feel discouraged or worried?



Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

I love that God gave you that painting with that specific verse!! How beautifully, wonderfully fitting considering what you're going through right now with this move! That's a word straight to your heart - that this new home is going to be a place of peace and rest for your family after a season of turmoil. God is such a loving father! And as much as you are working hard to comfort and encourage your kids as they make this transition, he's working to comfort and encourage YOU! The transition phase is just a season - the words and inspiration will return for sure. Even superwoman needs a break from extra demands while moving her family, unpacking a house and startung a new job. Love you! xo

Paula Mowery said...

My sweet friend, hang in there for this new season, this new adventure God has you on. You know, what we might see as a set-back, God often intends to be a set-up for what He has next.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

So so good, Pep! Just, wow! I too am in a dry season. More often in my mind I think of it as a season of night where I feel directionless, bleak. Wandering around and waiting for that first spark if morning to end the drought. I know it's coming. And for you too! Though sorrow may last for the night, JOY comes in the morning :)

Come Go Home With Me said...

Pepper, praying for you during this season. Would love to meet for coffee. Welcome to this wonderful part of the world!

Anonymous said...

Karen and Paula,

Thanks for the kind words. I was hoping this post would be an encouragement to others because of the GREAT way God showed a 'Daddy touch' in my life this weekend when I was feeling discouraged.

Transitions are always tough - and starting a new job that has many more challenges than anticipated isn't so fun either - but our Father is always so faithful to bring reminders (in the big and the small) that He's working.


Anonymous said...

We've talked about this, haven't we? We're both in very natural 'dry' seasons right now, but in many ways they're overflowing with wonderful opportunities too. Maybe not writing opportunities ;-) But beautiful times and experiences with our 'best' creations - our kids :-)


Susan Anne Mason said...

Great post, Pepper! Love that painting - it's so beautiful!

I know it's hard not to worry, but I think you need to give yourself permission to take a break from writing.

Your life right now is too consumed with so many other important issues. Moving is one of the most stressful things you can do, and starting a new job is another big one! You don't need to add more stress to yourself by feeling bad about your writing. I predict as you settle into your new life, the inspiration to write will gradually come back to you.

In the meantime, you are doing important work with your family!

God bless,