“I always tell my writing students to write what they’d like to come upon. And this is what I need to come upon today…”
I read this on Anne Lamott’s Facebook page recently and it’s been so helpful as I sit down at my desk to write and still don’t know where to begin.
It’s been so helpful to share my story here lately, this story of God rescuing our family and moving us to a new city. I can look back now with a bit more clarity and write it out, thereby gaining even more clarity and insight. I lack that ability except in hindsight. I was just trudging through it while it was happening.
Last week I asked my husband how he was doing. Not just “How ya doin’?” but “Are you reading your bible? Are you praying? Are you doing things that make you feel closer to God?” I felt a bit ridiculous and middle-school girlish in asking him that way, but it’s an important question to ask, especially as life is hectic and crazy right now and he has a lot on his plate. I feared he might be just “trudging through.”
This morning, I sat down and asked myself that last question: “Are you doing things that make you feel closer to God?”
And then I wrote what I needed to come upon today.
I wrote about the Holy Spirit.
I once asked my friend Susanna if it is difficult for her to lead worship at church and not feel like it’s just a performance. Can she worship when she’s onstage, all eyes fixed in her direction, microphone in front of her? I never could. I grew up singing in church and even helped out a bit with RUF, but it was always, always a struggle for me to have a worshipful attitude. Susanna told me that sometimes she’s more focused on the technical side of all the things involved in leading our congregation, but for the most part, she feels closest to God when she’s singing.
Some music helps me feel that way. Some author’s words do, as well. My own writing often helps me feel closer to God. Sunsets serve that purpose for me. And sometimes I feel close to God when I pray, but not often, truthfully.
What struck me this morning is something that I’ve “known” my entire life. God’s presence, through the Holy Spirit, is a reality for me. While there are things and experiences that may help me to be more aware of that fact, it remains- He is with me. He will not leave me or forsake me. I need not discount the things I listed to help me remember his presence. I need only remind myself that what I am seeking I already have. What I want goes with me wherever I go.
John 14 says, “The Father will give you another Helper, to be with you forever…You know him, for he dwells in you and will be in you. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”