I had a speaking engagement today – something that I haven’t done for a long time. When I first started talking, I felt like a rusty old tool coming out of a dusty tool box but I was pleasantly surprised how quickly it all came back. While I was involved with the Navigators for eighteen years, I had many opportunities to speak to women and this morning reminded me of how much I enjoy the experience of sharing my life and telling my stories.
I talked about hope – one of my favorite topics.
Last May, I was really struggling. Something needed to change – I felt like I was slowly dying inside. I recognized that I was in the second half of my life and I wanted every day to matter. I had recently read Dale Hanson Bourke’s book, “Second Calling” and I could really relate to her observations that “ in the first half of life, what’s important to us is usually what is important to others. We call it being flexible, responsive, caring. We multi-task and juggle responsibilities, often without much analysis or perspective. …but the second half of life is not about “doing” – it’s about “becoming.”
I was deeply tired and disillusioned with my job. I was asking tough questions about who I was and wondering who I was becoming.
One morning, I read this verse in Proverbs…and I wept.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
Without question, the longing in my heart was to write and to tell stories. I knew that the consequences would be far worse if I didn’t take the risk. God says that a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Freedom. Joy. Anticipation. Growth. No more deferring. Despite my insecurities and my feelings of unworthiness to take the year and bring in no income, I knew it was time for a change…and I knew that I could trust God with all the unknowns.
I needed to hope in what I knew, rather than act on how I felt.
So, I started writing. It’s been a glorious eleven months – rejection letters and all.
I’m going to keep writing and rewriting and anticipate great things.
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. William Wadsworth