A year ago today, my life shifted course. It felt instantaneous, the moment I realized my little personal world as I knew it would never be the same; and the trajectory of my writing journey had never felt as lonely or uncertain as it did in the very instant I grasped the concept that I was free, but I was also headed down a road only I could travel.
A year ago today marks the end of what still sometimes feels like one of the most significant friendships I’ve ever had. It was the calmest and most silent breakup. Like a switch had been flipped by God Himself, it was just over with not a word exchanged. Though, I know it was more complicated than that; like we’d both had enough, and neither of us had the energy left to pretend anymore. She was certain of her truth and I was certain of mine. To this day, I’m convinced she doesn’t know my truth, and I will not be arrogant and assume that I know hers. But what I do know is that after a year of silence, it still hurts in ways I wish it didn’t.
A year ago today, I was at a fork in the road, and I chose to take the road less traveled. Even though the path was unpaved and overgrown with uncertainty and the daunting possibility of utter failure, I couldn’t keep running down the road riddled with flashing lights, every corner crowded with the bewitching lies of comparison, judgment, and unchecked ambition—all moonlighting as a community that was as welcoming as it was damning. One path gave me the option of being guided by chains; the other promised freedom—and yet, freedom is never free.
It’s funny how each new day can seem overwhelming, and the only way to get through it is one step at a time. So you keep your head down and keep going, until one day you look up and realize how far you’ve come. I used to be running toward a future I thought I could write, until I accepted that dreams don’t come true that way and I’m not in this alone. I’ve got a God who has a plan, and I can’t override what He’s got going on. What He had for me this year wasn’t at all what I expected or what I would have planned for myself. It hasn’t been without its challenges or pain, and somedays giving up seems way easier. But there’s a strength of character inside I know does not belong to me, but to the God who made me and has a purpose He planted inside of me—a purpose that cannot be fulfilled if I give up. So, I keep going.
I’m still not where I want to be. I bear the festering battle wounds that come with trying to forgive those who hurt me. I bear the doubt that sometimes shows up as a result of adopting a new writing process. I bear the frustrations of seeing the end goal but having no idea how I’ll actually get there...and then I stop and remember, I’m not alone. Even when it feels like I am; even when it feels like I’ve been abandoned; even when I miss what was once familiar and is now nothing more than a painful memory—I’m not alone. My struggle is not unseen. And I’ve come so far, led by more grace and mercy than I deserve....
So here’s to another year. A year where, perhaps, the silence will fade into the cacophony of life as it goes on. A year with new ideas and risks and their accompanying rewards. A year of more healing and renewed strength. A year of adventure along the unpaved path created just for me by the greatest Author of all time.