Wednesday, March 7, 2012

31 Days to Become a Better Writer - Day 2


Today's Challenge:
Write a paragraph or two, about the equivalent of a blog post, so we’re talking around 300 words. It can be about anything you want. Then save it where you won’t lose it. Later, at the end of this series we’re going to look at it again and make it better, but you can’t improve on writing that has yet to be written, so get to it!

This isn't at all how I expected it to be! For years I had searched, struggled, longed for an answer. I knew God was calling me. But to what? I plodded along, sure the answer was just around the next corner. And yet, the spotlight never stopped looking.

Then, as quietly as a child sneaking out of her bed, the answer crept up on me. A chaplain! Working with those who are ill, drawing their last breath, saying goodbye to one they hold dear. Walking the journey with them, even if the distance was short, being the presence of the Liberating King, offering my time and myself to listen, to hold, to comfort, to be.

Crash! The sound of things falling apart. I am the one who is ill. My broken body full of pain, fatigue, depression, anger. A cane and then a wheelchair is required to do my work. And still, even then, less and less of the time am I able to minister.

Now I spend much of my life in bed, the exhaustion and pain overwhelming all of me. I cannot make plans for I am unsure from day to day whether I will be able to function as a human. My husband caring for me "in sickness", "in sickness", "in sickness"...where is "and health"? My twelve year old almost a woman daughter now brings me food and drink. A strange and twisted reversal of roles.

The answer that I had searched for no longer is correct. My body betrayed me, and yet the desire to serve, to minister, to journey is still ever present. Can you still use me God? How can I be? This isn't at all how I expected it to be!

Whoa! I started writing and all this just came pouring out of me. I almost just deleted it all because it feels so vulnerable to share these words. I'm sitting in the coffee shop writing this and wiping the tears off my face. But I'm choosing to hit the publish button anyway.


  1. You're already a good writer....

  2. Your post makes me want to hug you! You know the answer, I'm sure, but I've a sneaking suspicion that you need to hear it - YES, God can and will still use you! Most likely even because of this. He knew this too.

  3. Tina BlankenshipMarch 7, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Oh C.c., I wish I could give you a real life ((hug)). At the beginning of this I thought, "Oh, I want to share the words of a Bible teacher, when she talked about "Between the rains". How we journey to find our purpose in life.

    Then as you revealed your struggle with pain, I related on a deeper level and something unexpected popped in my head to share. I hope you don't mind.

    I too was all set to start a brand new Bible study group for wounded women. I thought I was all set, and had been studying on how to best help these women heal. Then one random day I learned I had breast cancer. And the next year of my life was spent in the recliner. Whether it was chemo, surgery or radiation I could barely climb up out of that chair. And I questioned like you are in this paragraph. I felt that in order to be a good servant, I had to be doing something. And I couldn't. I was dealing with today. I can't think about tomorrow now. And God met me in a real way. I learned that for this season of my life He wanted me to BE STILL AND KNOW. I have struggled for years with feelings of inadequacy, believing that God can't really love me for I am unworthy. At a place where I could DO nothing for him, he let me know that he loved me anyway. I was loved for who I am, not what I do.

    I'm currently doing a Bible study on James written by Beth and Melissa Moore. I don't know your feelings about Beth, but in last weeks study, she wrote a gem that spoke volumes of healing to me.

    "Listen carefully to James and other inspired writers of Scripture, there is RARELY nothing you can do. (Emphasis mine). Being still and knowing He is God is a long shot from nothing. trusting in a God you cannot see is a long shot from nothing. Holding your tongue is a long shot from nothing. Being patient is a long shot from nothing. Counting it all job is a long shot from nothing. Submitting is a long shot from nothing. Confessing sin is a long shot from nothing. Resting in Christ is a long shot from nothing and hear this one really loudly: praying is a long shot from nothing.

    I realize that you were expecting a critique on your writing. Guessing from my response you did just fine. I apologize if you didn't want to hear all this. Your vulnerability touched my heart and I responded.

  4. "This isn't how I expected it to be." Thanks for being so honest in your post. I understand those feelings. I, too, am living a life that I didn't expect to live. Homebound and nearly bedridden from a chronic illness is not what I thought I was preparing for all those years ago at Bible college! Yet I know that God has a plan and a purpose, even in this.

    My the Lord use you greatly through your blog to touch the lives of others who need to hear your words. Keep serving Christ!

  5. Tina BlankenshipMarch 7, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Oops, I didn't catch my typo. Please "Count it all joy." Not job. (Sometimes a typo makes me laugh)

  6. I have Rheumatoid arthritis. I know exactly what you mean about life not going according to the plan. Some days are just plane tough.

  7. Thank you for your loving words Melanie!

  8. Thank you for your words Tina and your caring heart! You were a blessing to me today!

  9. LOL! I didn't catch it the first time I read it Tina and had to go back and look for it.

  10. Sounds like we have a lot in common Rachel. I have a BA in Religious Education and an M.Div. in Spiritual Care. And now I sit in my recliner or lay in my bed with a body full of pain from fibromyalgia. Thank you for your words of encouragement and support!

  11. Yes they are Stephanie. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  12. UGH, I just commented but I think I deleted it all, bleh. If it's there, just ignore this one LOL.

    I know I talked to you about this already, but I just want you to know that I'm here for ya, hon, just like you're always there for me and I know it. :~) And you know what? That's your ministry, right there. And you know what? I'd be that you do just as great of a job ministering to those of us online as you did to those in the hospital.

    I don't have all the answers. Shoot, I'd probably be a boring know-it-all if I did, so I won't disappoint ya on that one. But I do know that you're here, right where you are, for a reason. And I for one feel *so* blessed that you are.

    Love you, friend!

  13. Thank you so much love! You are a true blessing to me and I'm so thankful for your friendship and that we can walk this journey together. <3 you!

  14. [...] 31 Days to Become a Better Writer – Day 2 This isn’t at all how I expected it to be! For years I had searched, struggled, longed for an [...]


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