There’s a scene in the movie “Runaway Bride” where Julia Roberts, as the lead character, tries to figure out who she is. She has run out on something like five weddings before meeting the man who is her reflection, the one who will complete her. But she runs out on him, too. In this scene, she places before herself three or four plates of eggs cooked in different ways: poached, scrambled, fried, Benedict. Before, with all her other fiancés, she’s sort of morphed into what they want her to be or maybe what they expect her to be. Now, knowing she’s really got to figure out who she is, she starts with the eggs. How does SHE really like them? I don’t remember what the answer is, but that’s not the important part. The important part is that she figures out what it is she likes, who it is she wants to be. Then she can go to her man, plan a wedding the way SHE wants it to be, and start a life with him as herself, not some facsimile of someone else.
That’s what I’ve got to figure out. For years and years and years I’ve known myself as a writer, but for years and years, I’ve barely written. Can one still be a writer if one is not writing?
For all of my adult life, I’ve been a church member, one not satisfied to just sit and soak in, but compelled to be a part of the work God is doing through the Body of Christ. I’ve sung in choirs, small ensembles and worship teams; I’ve helped write dramas and plan services; I’ve been an active part of the church community. People know with what church I’m involved. It’s obvious by the work that I do there.
For almost 20 years, I’ve been a wife. That part is obvious too: I live with my man, I wear a ring on my left hand, I sleep in the same bed, I’m committed with all my life. I’m a wife.
For nearly 14 years, I’ve been a mom. Again, something obvious. I’ve got the responsibility to clothe, feed, teach and love three little people (OK, some aren’t so little anymore.) I bore them, I birthed them, I fed them from my own body. I discipline them, I read with them, I look out for their best interests, I try to instill godly values into them. I am a mom.
For 35 years, I’ve wanted to be a writer. For 10 years, I was just that, full time, as a part of the writing team for Worldwide Challenge magazine (http://www.worldwidechallenge.org/). Then, I became a mom. Where did the writer go? Did she disappear into the recesses of life when babies came to the forefront? I know women who keep writing as they mother; why can’t I seem to do the same thing? Where is my muse? Come out, come out, wherever you are!
By God’s grace I, unlike the Julia Roberts character, have not run away from my other selves, the wife, the mom, the church member, the teacher; but somewhere along the way, I have sort of lost who it is that I really am. What puts a “fire in my belly?” As I was asked at a retreat this weekend. What do I love to do so much that I lose track of time when I’m doing it? What situations get me excited or motivated to keep working and pressing forward? What do I long for, dream about and desire to see happen?
Hopefully, those are some of the things I’m going to discover as I write this blog. What am I compelled to do? What can I not live without? What, if I didn’t do it, would cause me to die inside? I hope you’ll come with me as I strive to find out, and maybe you can learn a little about yourself along the way.