What I was afraid of has happened. Writer’s block! For weeks now every poem, blog post, Tweet, or Instagram post…nothing! The question that had haunted me for awhile was what if, the pain and struggle of life and things I had put off working through and healing from, were what fueled my creativity? What if I work through things and God does heal my heart and my creativity is gone? I know it seems silly, but my creativity, especially my poems were often out of a deep place of emotional turmoil. And the fear of loosing that was real for me.
But I took a step of faith, and God broke through, wounds in my heart were healed by Him, and I experienced joy like I had never felt or expected. It was amazing! For months I lived in this joy beyond content with the life I now was experiencing. I found inspiration in writing and share the joy God had given me and the healing He brought me through. Then inspiration began to die off and writing became harder for me. For the past several months posts have been harder to writing and frustration has grown in my heart.
Then about a month ago all inspiration and creativity completely left. I blamed it on that I wasn’t feeling well…so I was just off. The weather had gotten colder and I found myself coming home and falling asleep right after dinner. I was just immensely tired. I then used that as an excuse. I was too tired to stay awake even on Saturday to write. And I was definitely too tired to go to a coffee shop to try to write. I was just too tired. And at first I focused on giving myself grace and learning to be okay with missed weekend posts and silent social media accounts. I even began to wonder if maybe my blogging time had come to an end. But that was hard to believe since there was still this strong tug in my heart to create. To share God’s love and truth through words and creativity.
This past week I started listening to some Christian Artists podcasts, and watching the recording from past years of a Christina Creatives conference called Canvas. This time last year I was doing all that and God use those speakers to ignite a passion and creativity like I hasn’t felt before. But as I listened to one after another share their stories of creativity, ministry, sharing the gospel. I wasn’t feeling spired. I sat down to write just to have one word on a blank computer screen 3 hours later.
On Thursday while on my short commute to our campus ministry meeting, I had a breakdown. It was completely unexpected and with so not enough time to work out the emotions, pull myself together, and go be around people in a functioning capacity. I found myself going back to the fear, that what if pain was my muse? Devastated, I started pouring my heart at to God. I poured out how frustrated I was that the joy and peace I have now was at the cost of my creativity. I poured out how I didn’t think it was fair that I had this taken away, but still left with a deep desire to create. I couldn’t get away from the thought that I was made to create. The turmoil and frustration grew and I started repeating, “what is the point of any of this? Why does any of my life matter?” I arrived on campus and pulled into a parking spot trying to calm myself down. I was hit with exhaustion again and grabbed a Mt. Dew. That moment I realized, I was depressed.
I often struggle with seasonal depression. The colder months with less sun and health issues that make the cold very difficult for me make the winter months a struggle. And even in the summer when I’m outside and it’s beautiful, I still have depression pop up. But this was worse than it had been in a while. The scary thing was that I didn’t even realize it until I was having a complete meltdown in the 15 minute drive to campus. I walked in to the campus center not feeling a whole lot better. I had realized I was seriously depressed, but I didn’t know what to do about it. And honestly, I was too tired to figure it out.
On the way home, I connoted my earlier heart pouring and realized that I couldn’t use the too tired thing as an excuse any more. I realized that even though I had continued to read my Bible, I hadn’t really journaled or spent extended time really enjoying time with God for a few weeks. I was going through the motions, but not really being fully engaged in the time in God’s Word with Him. I took a deep breathe in, and I now had a game plan. I needed to be intentional with my time in the Bible. And I needed to do whatever it took not to just come home and fall asleep. Even if it meant a small cup of green tea when I got home. I needed to not just binge Netflix either. I needed to spend more time either in God’s Word or praying. My apartment also needed me to act like a grow women and get things done.
It has only been a few days, but making these changes along with realizing I was isolating myself and then making the effort to be with people, has made a big difference. I’m not sure if I’ve broken though my writers block or if my creativity is back in swing, but my heart is back in focus with Jesus. I’m seeking Him for my every day, and I’m trusting that whatever He has for me He will give me the right inspiration and the right time for. As for my theory of my pain being my muse. I have realized that my muse, my inspiration should and is Christ! So as long as that is who I am seeking, the words or creativity, or whatever He has for me will be there. It will be there if I’m on the mountain tops or in the darkest valley.