Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Finding my verb

I wrote this post on my blog in March of 2011. I had forgotten about it. But the call to find and use my verb has been tapping me on the shoulder again, so I thought it was very relevant to repost tonight.

I am still here.

The truth is, I'm here almost every night, staring at a blank computer space, unable to make my fingers move. Every day, a million different things go on in my head that I want to write down, but I can't configure them into coherent thoughts when I sit to write. Even more than that, I sit and wonder if I really have anything to say that I haven't said already. I can find new adjectives, manipulate metaphors, use a thesaurus...but at the end of the day, it feels the same:

My husband is dead.
It still hurts like hell.

But this weekend I've had a couple of cool experiences that has given me a voice again. First of all, people have been writing me the last few days, wondering where I've been. It's nice to know that people like what I have to say and want to hear more from me.

Second was an encounter with Mark Duckworth, lead singer of the band Salient (check em out, btw). Mark and I have crossed paths several times, singing at the same events and hanging out here and there. This weekend, we were both singing for the youth rally at my home church (I with DeeperStill - the group my husband sang with, and Mark with his band) and we all went out after the event on Friday night. He approached me afterwords to thank me for my blog and FB postings to Jeremy and expressed an appreciation for my writing. Mark probably knows that I hear that often - which I do. I've been overwhelmed by the response that my story has received and people have expressed their appreciate for me sharing it many times. But what Mark probably doesn't know is that I really took it as a huge compliment from him as someone who has written some incredible music to note my writing, which in my opinion, is not that great. He encouraged me to keep writing and reminded me that there are so many people that I am still unaware of that are reading and praying for me. I guess I needed the reminder.

Next happened during church this morning. Without going into the entire sermon, since I could never do Patrick Mead justice by trying to recap his incredible lesson, I will say something struck me today. It was a combination of the sermon and something that was said during our Missional Moment today about finding our verb as a Community of God. We are not saved by our works but we do good works because we are saved, therefore we must put our faith into action by finding our verb. I've struggled with finding mine my entire life, and today it was as if a finger was tapping me on the shoulder and I heard it:

WRITE. That's your verb. 

Everyone has a different verb, and I don't believe this will be mine forever, as I am not a writer (at least not a good one). But for now, in a season when I feel broken with nothing to offer, I felt God showing me a way to still somehow offer something in the midst of my weakness: My words. My story. My journey. As awful as it is for me right now, I know it's blessing others along the way.

One of my and Jer's best friends wrote me something a couple weeks ago that has been swirling in my head since. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing:

"I think that most people are numb to the fragility of life, and they go about in narrowly focused on their own lives, living in quiet desperation seeking real connection with people. Even with all the advancements in technology and more ways to connect electronically than we've ever had before, people still struggle to truly connect with another. 

On a broad level I think that the genuineness of your writing, and sharing of yourself through these last months has people flocking to your posts in droves because your transparency creates the type of deep connection they so desperately crave. However wrong, right, weird, well intentioned, or wild it is, I watch people find connection and MEANING in your pain & happiness. Whether or not you're seeking it, that is a truly transcendant gift." 

There you have it. This is certainly NOT the way I wanted to watch my blog grow, and how I wanted to make even the smallest impact on the world, and yet it's happening whether I like it or not. It's not a gift I asked for, but I will take it for now in hopes that it will reveal healing and purpose back into my life. I will continue to try to write through this mess I'm living in.

***As a side note, I would love to hear what your verb is and how you feel called to use it.


  1. Wow, you've got me thinking! My verb? Mourning, grieving, lamenting- all verbs stuck to me like invisible post it notes. I want my verb to be a forward action, a word that defines my effort to shed those post- its!
    Hmmm, going to have to think about it some more.
    Geez, I hope thinking isn't my defining verb but today that might just be the word!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Thank you for expressing it in this way. In my second year of grief, I find I'm really struggling to find a purpose. More than a dozen years ago, I was a very successful rising executive who's purpose was to conquer to world. My husband was by my side loving and supporting me every step. Then, I became very, very ill and he was again by my side while I rebuilt my life and found a new purpose - savoring our life together and building a community of loving caring folks. Now, he's gone and that community has done wonders for me and occasionally I can see what I can do to help them and help them help one another. My husband was their guide and their mentor - I don't think that's my role, but I am just beginning to understand that maybe my purpose is to stand for him and remind us all why we are together and once in a while be that guiding hand...You've given me more to think about...