It was Sunday afternoon and I was sitting on the couch drinking my Kava Stress Relief Tea. I would explain why I was drinking stress relief tea but it’s still 2020, so I feel like certain things speak for themselves. An old friend called and even though I was right next to the phone I got so excited to speak with her that I spilled the entire mug of tea all over myself and the couch. Needless to say, the stress relief tea inadvertently induced a fair amount of stress (and mess, as well as possibly some third-degree burns).
I finally got the edits back from my publisher and I have been working furiously to finish them by my deadline. Editing is nothing like writing. When I write I feel as if I am creating something and when I edit it’s like I’ve become a psychotic serial killer cutting my carefully chosen words and obliviating their well-meaning existence. The hope is that I am creating something better, but like a serial killer, I am not quite sure if I’m just deluding myself. It’s grueling. Most days at least one eye is twitching, my brain throbs, and sleep is sporadic.
The purpose of editing isn’t meant to be sadistic though. It’s meant to make things better. In writing, and in our relationships with God, we have to let go in order to make space for something new. If you are like me, letting go is hard. We get attached to things in our lives. We get attached to our carefully-curated self-image, our jobs, our words, our plans, and the people we love. It’s a normal part of our story. Yet, what we sometimes fail to recognize is that the best part of our story comes after we edit. When we take out obstacles in our lives that our keeping us from God, we can draw closer to him. When we let go of what our lives are supposed to look like and how our relationships are supposed play out, we make room for new experiences and more authentic interactions. Yet, so often we are desperate to move forward, while at the same time refusing to let go of what keeps us stuck. It’s so hard to let go that we stay trapped in our same old story. I know letting go is scary. After all, I used serial killers to describe it. But with careful discernment and trust in God’s providence, you can do it.
The more I edit, the easier it gets. I become less attached to what’s there and more hopeful about what I can create instead. Editing isn’t about cutting things out as much as it is about clarifying what you want to stay in. I don’t know where you are right now in your own faith journey, but God’s mercy allows not only for your edits but an entire rewrite. His mercy makes every moment new. This year has been hard for many of us. Editing has taught me that I can write a better story for myself – and you can too. Sitting here with one eye twitching, inhaling the lingering scent of Kava root infused into my couch, I trust that God’s got our happy ending. In the meantime, there’s more editing to do.
What do you most look forward to from making edits in your life? Do you want your life to be more restful, adventurous, prayerful…? For me, I want to be more patient with myself and others. Of course, I don’t want to pray for that because you what happens then!
I hope you are well. I wish I could post more often than I have lately but I really do want to make this book useful to you. Right now, that involves a lot of dying to myself and trusting that what he will resurrect in its place with be amazing. I hope you find this true for you too, my friend. ~ love, Lara
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