She did good. She stood up like a
planted flower among yellow weeds
turning to please the sun
they were all shiny
it was known she was planted
– from “Stanzas” by Grace Paley
I’ve been thinking a lot about time. How I use it. How slowly and quickly it seems to pass – and why it is that it never goes fast enough during the hard parts and the waiting parts and is so darn hasty when you’d just like it to stop. And how to protect it — saying yes or no.
At TGCW 2012, Mindy Belz spoke on a journalist’s call to speak truth. She quoted Ann Voskamp as she talked about being a “dangerous disciple of an unsafe God.” A slowly creeping realization revealed itself then.
To be planted. To be unsafe.
For a few years now, I’ve been protecting myself. Keeping in mind my own sensitivity, strengths and weaknesses during and after a period when I never knew whether the day’s events would have me feeling fine or curled up on the couch sobbing — since a disturbing scene in a movie might have me in bed all day, since I could easily let the burdens of my youth group girls weigh on me like they were my own.
Anxiety is crippling, not just in its attacks but between — less like a loaded gun and more like a spider web, a soft underbelly.
With that fragility came strict management of my time and activities. I couldn’t read about starving children or sex trafficking or abortion. I certainly couldn’t meet their victims. I relied on grace, and on the ones stronger than me to fix things, and I prayed for them.
But this year. Now. I’ve zipped myself in long enough, I think, and I’m hearing small whisperings of danger — the danger that gums you but can’t bite.
I’m moving toward being less protective of my time and stepping into more and more healing.
To prove it, this week I prayerfully volunteered for two positions that will take up a few hours each week on top of my normal duties. I’m hoping they not only help me keep moving toward freedom, but place me in positions to help free others.
And maybe they’ll give me some writing fodder, as well?