Sometimes good ideas come to me in strange places. Several weeks ago I was cleaning my room and thinking about the writing I wanted to do in regards to PTSD and my recovery from this disorder. The direction for the initial blogs seemed clear and titles for each popped in my head. Not wanting to forget, I grabbed a dry erase marker and wrote the titles on my bathroom mirror.
Once I accepted the call to share my disorder the first two blogs were written without major difficulty. When April rolled in and therapy intensified I was left without words and uncertain how to feel. To be honest, I’ve sat back and wondered what I’ve gotten myself into. I mean, it has become very apparent that I’ve been living with PTSD most of my life. It has also occurred to me that if I remove the trauma, the way I function will change and I have no definition for what will fill in the gaps. So, left without words, I’ve remained silent.
About a week ago, Adam (my husband) was standing near the bathroom sink, he smiled in his playful way and asked, “So Babe, is there a happily ever after?”
I looked over at him and then at the mirror where my blog titles were still written. Feeling annoyed I snipped, “If I write it there will be!”
He chuckled and went on about his business while I sat down, my own words leveling me. There will be no happily-ever-after if I don’t DO something to make it happen. The gaps where the trauma is being cut out will remain wide and gaping if I don’t fill them up with something better. Would I risk it? Wasn’t I learning each week in therapy that I’m worth it? Why am I stalling? I don’t feel fear, it’s just unknown territory and I’m hesitating…
I sat in my stupor of thought, considering the plunge into the unknown and determined that epiphanies are like pickles; they sound good in the moment but the pinch isn’t always worth it!
Adam hasn’t been the only person on my case about my writing. Friends have nudged, gently but still curious, and then there’s my therapist who keeps hinting that she wants to see what’s coming next, followed by a happy, “Your fans are waiting!”
Forced to smirk, I think, I’m just a girl chasing a dream. Does it really matter that much to anyone else?
The answer that comes as I pursue that line of self-interrogation has been consistent.
Maybe the work does or doesn’t matter, but either way, you do! Think about it, JoAnna…almost everyday your students ask about your book. Your sons have friends lined up ready to buy. People happy-danced with you when the business cards came in. You have readers for your blogs. Friends and colleagues have come to you in person and told you that something you’ve written helped them through a bad day. And what about the text just the other week, a beta reader was so excited that she’d seen one of your characters in “real life”. You are cared about, your dreams are valued, and your work is worth the effort. These people are invested in YOU! YOU ARE WORTH the chase! So, go do it!
My Jiminy Cricket knows exactly what I need sometimes!
The point? There is a happily-ever-after for each of us! Everyone has something to offer if they’re willing to move even the slightest degree forward. Don’t be misled by our charge-it-now and pay-for-it-later society. There is no Bippity Boppity Boo or silver platter! Exchange the fantasies for hard work, determined focus, and personal discipline. Taking action today will help you achieve something more than you currently think is possible, so pull up your boot straps and we’ll do it together!
In the midst of this epiphany, Adam gave me a marvelous gift. He asked me to try something each time I prayed, to say to God (and mean it) that I turn my life and will over to Him. Amazingly, it is working! It’s not that I didn’t have faith, it’s just that I needed to submit to God a little more than I had before. With this action happening on my knees I quickly saw what I needed to do on my feet–daily and weekly goals are get me across the finish line while the timing remains in the Master’s hands. My resolution is to work as hard as I pray and be satisfied with whatever comes my way because doing SOMETHING is a push in the right direction.
It is a beautiful concept that God is in the details of our lives. I believe He is at the head of the macro and micro levels of the human family. He wants us to be happy and to find a way out of the mires that hold us down, and most importantly—He can help us if we allow Him.
This week I urge you to keep chasing your dreams, fight the uphill battles and know you’re not alone. I’ll be at my computer typing away, working on all my stuff and praying for you!
Until next week,