Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Roots in Minnesota

It has been over 2 years since I last wrote. Several times I tried to return to writing. I would write a lengthy entry only to delete it all. Something kept holding me back.

When we first left Iowa, I was scared. We were packing up our bags and starting something new. A new place, new people. New coworkers, new church, new school, new neighborhood, new friends. So much change and excitement! I tried to so hard to stay positive about our big change.

I used to think I was brave, but moving stirred a fearful energy in me I had no idea existed in me. I was trying so hard to be brave for my kids and husband. What I didn't realize was I needed to be brave for me too. I couldn't admit the power my fear had on me. Saying I was afraid of a new place was something I could not admit aloud. It wasn't just that I felt the need to shoulder that burden myself, I really couldn't handle knowing how afraid I was.

In some sense I was uprooted.

The crazy thing is this new home we have created in Minnesota, we love it. Minnesota has been a second home to us. It is everything we wanted for our family. The beauty here of nature is so amazing, the lakes and trees and wildlife just beg you to come outside and play. Our kids have fabulous teachers at a top rated school. Our neighborhood is so great we ended up buying our first home a block away.

We are in the right place. But I'm not sure that my heart has been these last two years.

When I first stopped writing my excuse was the lack of time. We were in a new place and I kept saying when we have time again I will write. I was just too busy. But the truth was I kept adding in "more busy" to our life. I was literally keeping myself busy to avoid writing.

Months passed, and the fear started to take over. I was in a new place with new people and if I am honest I was desperate to make new roots. I had this idea that others would judge me for my writing. I was afraid to be my true self. I needed acceptance, being myself was risky. I wanted so badly to be right and I wasn't sure if I could write all the right things anymore.

At this point I told myself maybe I was putting too much of myself into my writing. I told myself I was opening too much of my heart to others. I told myself I needed privacy to protect me. I became afraid of sharing my writing. Something in me didn't even feel safe sharing with close friends and family.

I kept wanting to write. I prayed about it. I kept feeling a pull to just write again. And yet I was paralyzed. Stuck.

To still that voice I told myself I really wasn't equipped to be a writer. I don't really have the skills I told myself. Who was I to write about God? About family? About journeying through any bit of life? I was realizing I didn't have all the answers so why bother to write at all?

I tried to journal but at some point I just stopped trying. I tried to sort out my fears through prayer. The struggle was real.

Then my fear turned into something worse.

Doubt. Self Loathing. Shame. I became afraid of myself. I had convinced myself my writing didn't matter. It got to the point where I started to wonder if I mattered. I felt small, insignificant and unworthy.

My season of new beginnings became a season of winter.

I have been hiding and shutting out the source of who I am. My essential self, the core of who I am, suffered. I am a writer. That is who God wants me to be right now.

I stopped writing out of insecurity but ironically not writing was what made me feel less secure. My growth stopped and fear rooted in it's place. Like a garden where weeds have taken over and driven out the light, I struggled. I was tangled up in the roots of fear.

But oh to write again! It feels good to write, to create. I don't know how to explain it. When I write, there is this rhythm to it, and my thoughts and emotions take on a different essence. I never realized how much I was writing for myself. Typing up something like this, it proves I am alive. I still am here.

I think I had to go through this season of being uprooted and this season of winter to really know who I am. I never considered myself a creative person. But now I know that it is my own creation that stirs up a connection in my faith. That represents a core of who I am.

In my struggle I found something new. I found some new roots.

I don't know yet what these new roots will do but I am confident they are good. I can fully trust that God is leading me into a new season. I believe this season will be one of renewal and transformation. I'm ready now to embrace my new roots. I feel grounded and whole. I feel an awakening in my soul. My heart is full of anticipation of what is yet to come.