I haven’t been around these parts of town much and this place feels sort of barren.
I’ve been in other places. In grocery lines. And homemade bunkers to shield myself from the New England snow. And shrouded in blankets. And running and dancing in Central Park. But I haven’t been here.
I thought I would come to you with handfuls of apologies but then I stopped, and I breathed, and I said to myself, “There is no reason to apologize. You’re growing up and you’re learning to be committed. And you can’t really apologize for growing up.”
I am committed to you. And I am committed to this blog. And I’ve wanted to write more throughout this season but I am doubly committed to a book that this blog made possible. I’m three weeks away from the deadline. I’ve been writing, writing, writing until my little fingers turn blue and I am just crazy about making these pages perfect for you. Maybe that sounds strange, but I think about you every time I sit down and try to lace another chapter through my bones. And keeping you in mind helps this whole process seem worth it. Gritty, but so worth it.
And this is what commitment looks like and I could have never imagined it would be this way 5 months ago when this whirlwind started. I didn’t know I would cry so much. Care so much. Learn so much. Heal so much. I didn’t know I would forget to eat. I’d forget to walk outside. I’d get so hung up on one single sentence that it was all I could say over and over again. I didn’t know this book would latch to my heart like a sloth, that it would grow me in the strange way that symbiosis works for other organisms. I didn’t know commitment looked this way. Void of fireworks. Void of pretty filters. Void of coffee always overflowing and laughter rolling upward to the ceilings. But joy, joy, joy and multiple forms of Hallelujah when you finally swing to the other side.
The skins of that word used to scare me.
On the surface, she seems fine. But commitment is the farthest thing from beautiful when you feel stuck in the mud, and the wheels ain’t turning, and you’ve got no choice but to keep going, and keep going, and keep going until you can make something move.
I guess I’m now starting to understand why commitment seems a little jacked up and flimsy in the world today. Because real commitment– hands all in with no hope of turning outward– is not always the picture-perfect, edited thing you’d thought it would be. A lot of times it’s tears. And it’s telling yourself you will get through something, even when you aren’t so sure that you will. And it’s lacing up your boots to get through these battlefields that seek to own you with doubt and insecurity and hopelessness.
And through all of this I’m learning that distractions are real. And distractions sounds like too helpless of a word that, at the root of it, means “an escape from what you are called to do”. The Facebook streams. The Twitter conversations. The filtered little things we peer through the lens of Instagram to find. The magazines. The Netflix. All of it could start as a simple distraction to you but grow bigger and bigger until you are stealthy in escaping through those channels everyday.
There’s thinking you will do something and then actually doing it. The two are completely, completely different and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And when you start doing it– be it putting your whole heart into a relationship or all of your lungs into this lifetime– you will want to turn back. You will want to run, run, run away to a time when it was easier and it was comfortable and nothing made you fearful or made you feel like something was crawling beneath your skin.
Please stay. Stay until the words come. Stay until you know what you feel. Stay until after you figure out what it is that you feel and you decide that that feeling scares you half to death. Stay when it’s hard. Stay when something inside of you thinks it might just be getting to the good part.
Don’t just stay when it’s blissful. Blissful ain’t never built a life in the way the bricks of struggle & challenge & strife build out a character inside of you.
You might want to leave but maybe that is all the more reason to stay.
Even when the world doesn’t get it and they shut out the lights and they all go home. Are you following them? Are you following them home?
Stay. And be committed.
Only then, only then, will the breakthrough come.
All this to say, I’ll be back soon. I’ll write soon. I’ll swing to the other side soon, soon, soon. Until then– I am waiting on joy, joy, joy and multiple forms of Hallelujah.