Then the next was 4.
Then maybe an every other week scenario.
At least in my mind and heart.
But apparently in 2021 I dropped the ball…
Possibly needed too..
but no more.
As I looked back over the Sign Up Genius I use for friends to commit to a week of sharing around this virtual campfire I noticed in 2021 there were some gaps. BIG ONES. Season 3 of this blog felt like we were barely holding on and as the writing captain I was ready to jump ship. And I did …. for weeks on end. The longest – 7. I thought season 2 /2020 was hard to keep the fire going but 2021 actually proved worse. Interesting. Concerning, really. The realization that something that had once held so much joy had turned into a….
You know –
the feeling you have when you just don’t care.
A missed week would have never happened in Season One. If I knew that no one was scheduled to share I would personally find a way, a time, a story to share. I would prioritize writing over dinner or laundry. I felt a responsibility to show up every week because I promised we would. And then the every week felt too much.
Thank God for New Years.
And Fresh Starts.
And new mercies every morning.
And God’s word that always gives me what I need.
As I turned the calendar to 2022 I turned to the words of the book of Hebrews. Tom and I have been reading a chapter a day for our after dinner devotion time and I’ve been going back on my own. The voice of the unknown writer of this book seemed to be yelling.
“Goodness – turn it down” – I thought.
The words leapt off the pages of Chapter 6 in an effort to get my attention.
“But we long to see you passionately advance until the end and you find your hope fulfilled. So don’t allow your hearts to grow DULL or lose YOUR ENTHUSIASM, but follow the example of those who fully received what God has promised because of their strong faith and patient endurance.” Hebrews 6:11-12 TPT
As I thought about this blog and the dimmed desire for keeping it going – I realized it wasn’t just a blog thing. It was an over all numbness that had grown in all areas of my life in a sneaky, subtle way. It’s the way the enemy works. Often discouragement can come from one tragic event but in my case it seemed to slide in, unannounced and settle in making itself comfortable enough so that I didn’t even notice. My heart felt a bit dull and my enthusiasm for life in general a bit dim. Not stay in bed all day dull and dim…. just dull enough and dim enough that the energy needed to find writers to fill slots or write myself was gone.
The words of Chapter 6 were like a blast of cold air on my warm, cozied up in my comfort zone self.
Can you hear the longing?
“But we long to see you PASSIONATELY ADVANCE UNTIL THE END.”
Can you hear him begging me to not settle for a dimmed, dulled version of myself or my fellow writers?
“So don’t grow dull or LOSE YOUR ENTHUSIASM…”
Can you hear him prodding me now more than ever to shine bright with all the enthusiasm I have?
“Follow the example of those who fully received what God promised because of their strong faith and patient endurance.”
I could feel the writer pointing my face in the direction of the many that have endured life and pushed through the temptation to coast.
And the tough love felt so good.
Like a good coach that won’t let the team member play small.
Like a parent that will not let their child out of a responsibility.
Like our loving God that needs us to stay in the game…
Til the end.
I have two friends that became widows this year.
One because of cancer.
The other because of Covid.
Neither planned on this.
I know they would give anything to have another day with the men they loved.
The two men used their lives to shine and they each stayed as bright as possible until their life on earth came to a close.
Its people like them that I look too. Its their wives that now must chose daily to keep on that I remember. I recognize the true gift of each day I have been given. I shake my head of the fog that wanted to lull me into complacency. I boldly dismiss the lie that it’s just not worth the effort to push past comfort and the safety found in not creating, not stretching, not sharing, not growing.
The hope we have is too good. The promises we’ve been given too precious. The strength we receive so needed.
Shine bright friend, the world so needs what you have to offer.
“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and NEVER. LET. GO. Hebrews 6:18 MSG