Surprised Again . . . But Not Really Surprised

lettersBefore I explain the title, let me explain something else. I indicated some time ago I wouldn’t be writing here on a regular schedule. What I didn’t say was how infrequent the posts would be – because I was unaware of entering a different season.

There’s been a book in me for many years. I’ve taken stabs at working on it many times. And I’ve tried to give it up completely many times. Even when I stop working on it, when I try to give up on it, it just refuses to let me go.

Keeping any kind of consistency in posting to the blog and writing the book does not work in my world. The posts generally take hours to prepare to my satisfaction, after which I’m not interested in crafting more words.

On the other hand, when fully focused on the book, my writing brain is cooked after a few hours. As I attempt to describe the season of my life in which I was caregiver to my dad, who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease, my emotions are fully engaged. Effectively, I re-live those times, putting into words the ups and downs of the natural. I am also reminded of my Daddy’s amazing grace toward me when I struggled to continue on that path one long day after another.

All my efforts recently have been on one particular chapter, requiring more time than the rest. As I walked across the parking lot of the Y toward the entrance early yesterday morning, the struggles of the chapter swirled in my brain. I even wondered whether to remove this chapter from the book – not because of the difficulty of the writing, but of the experience it revealed.

As I began to get into a rhythm on the elliptical machine a few minutes later, a man stopped by to chat.  Seemingly out of the blue, he spoke of continuing to remember with great fondness the conversations he had with my dad at the nursing home.

As often as we’ve spoken in the succeeding years, we’ve never mentioned our common bond – his mother and my father residing at the home at the same time, both being enrolled into Hospice care in the same week. His mother passing within a week, and my father remaining another few months.

On this morning, however, he mentioned my dad, leading to a brief mention of each of our parents. Then I brought up the book and my current dilemma. After listening with a pastor’s heart, he encouraged me to continue despite the struggle. In addition, he reminded me of Christ’s struggle in His life on earth, and how He persevered to its resolution.

We were both aware the Spirit had ordained our steps this morning, as well as our thoughts and words. We were surprised, but not really. I was surprised by His wonderful grace right there as I worked out on the elliptical. And yet, that’s how He is. That’s Who He is.

Now you’ll know where I am when much time passes between posts here. Until this book is out of me, I’ll be persevering to that end. And I’m sure I’ll continue being surprised by His grace – yet not really surprised.

(6/1/21 – No, I never completed the book. I did keep working for a time, off and on, until I sensed the Spirit say to stop writing. Even then, I didn’t know if it was for good, though it turned out to be. The weight of writing it had become a burden I could no longer bear, yet couldn’t seem to leave with the Lord to work through me. So He relieved me of it, for which I am thankful.)


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