Sitting down to begin writing the next book in the Independence Island collection, my hands hover above the keyboard, itching to begin. I have one problem—my mind is blank. I have my notes beside me and I can’t seem to make sense of my chicken scratch. I know what I want to happen, but I can’t make my mind form a sentence. With a frustrated huff, I place my hands on the desk and plant my forehead into my keyboard pad.
“Lord, why can’t I think?”
Unwilling to quit, I open another document because I also have an article to write. Going through the same motions as before, I prepare to offer some kind of mediocre brilliance. I end with the same result—nothing. Except I can’t even think of an interesting topic to share.
Twirling a section of my hair, I sit and gaze with contempt at my computer screen. Condemning voices rule my mind, reminding me that I have taken too much time off writing or that I’m just not good enough, and so begins the spiral down to a dark pit. I know that the voices are wrong, but it doesn’t shut them down. To hide from them, I go to the worst place possible—Facebook. Yeah, not exactly the best place, I know.
Cat videos, political clips, that virus that shall not be named, and the occasional religious meme (Many of which I don’t exactly agree with but that is for a different post) flash through my feed. Hours pass and nothing has been written and guilt pours into my mind. Just as I am about to hit the bottom of the rabbit hole, a verse comes up on the feed and I stop.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
I sigh at the reminder, turn off the Facebook, turn off my computer, grab my phone and walk to the other room, falling into my bed. Yes, it is the middle of the day, but I need the check-out. I search for my worship playlist on my favorite music app and submit to the red-letter words of Jesus. Father, quiet my mind so that I may rest in You. Refresh me so that I can be productive for Your glory. Sleeping isn’t necessarily the plan, but just laying in the quiet and soaking up the words of the singer leads to one of those power naps that make my husband jealous.
Twenty minutes or so is all I need. I wake up to worship still playing, something by Brandon Lake or Elevation Worship most likely and thank God for providing what I needed.
Not yet willing to rise from my comfy bed, I ask God to show me what was happening, “Help me understand”. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 quickly comes to mind. Specifically, the last line of verse 5, “Take every thought captive.”
See, I had let my mind wander away from what God wanted to do that day. By not recognizing and stopping the darkness from overpowering me, my ability to be productive in my writing that day was stunted.
Now filled to the brim with hope and determination, I went back to my office, turned on my computer, went downstairs for water, then returned to my office to work and had a productive afternoon. A chapter to the book, a blog piece, and a #Becausefiction article. Some may say, “It’s the nap that did it. You were just overtired.” I can confidently reply, “That was not the case at all.” When you submit a gift to the Lord and commit to doing something for His glory, you will see an attack from one who doesn’t want you to fulfill that commitment (This is spiritual warfare). By succumbing to the downward spiral, I would have let that ruin my day and my writing.
So, let me encourage you today to take every thought that is not “Pure, holy, and just” and give it over to the Lord. Then get up and do your thing “for the glory of God”. Like the Brandon Lake song “Gratitude” says,
“So come on, my soul
Oh, don’t you get shy on me
Lift up your song
‘Cause you’ve got a lion inside of those lungs
Get up and praise the Lord.”
I think in this case, my lyrics would say something like
“So, come on my soul
Oh, don’t you get down on me
Lift up your words
‘Cause you’ve got value in you
Get up and write for the Lord.”
I know, it’s weird but it works for this moment.