Warring with Words

I was once in the Army ROTC.

If you think I’m an unlikely candidate for soldier, you are absolutely right. It was all because of a wild dare by my college roommate. The next thing I knew, I was in Kentucky going through ROTC’s Leadership Training Course. I was a Private Benjamin of sorts, complete with fingernails painted a stylish taupe, a neutral lip-gloss, and hair slicked back into a neat bun.

ROTC training was hard core! It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but totally worth it, even though I decided not to become an officer in the military. Over those six weeks, I learned so much about myself. I learned persistence, diligence, and how I was stronger than I ever thought. The lessons have proved invaluable in ministry life, especially.

I’m calling on all of those skills and experiences now. This morning, I realized: I’m at war. Sounds so dramatic, doesn’t it? But I’m serious. I am warring with words.

Six chapters are written in an eight chapter workbook of sorts, which is meant to help women process through miscarriage. The emotions I’m carrying now are heavier than any ruck sack I toted back then. This work weighs on me, reminding me of the importance of finishing well.

I often feel inadequate for the task, just like I often did during my summer days in Kentucky. At the ROTC training camp, we once were given a mission to rappel down a three story wall. I recall it vividly, because I looked up at the top and thought, “there is no way!”

As if my thoughts set the direction for my body, the first two times down I was unsuccessful. When I reached the bottom the second time, I remember locking eyes with the Drill Sergeant. He wasn’t mad, but I sure was. I barked in his direction, “Going again, Sir.” Before he could protest, I bounded back up three flights of stairs.

On that third descent, my feet found a surer footing as anger at failure kicked in. The adrenaline surge pushed me to complete the wall. I still remember the feeling.

These days, I’m not rappelling walls, but I often feel overwhelmed by the writing task before me. With scripture and words, I’m taking new territory in the deep woods, where the enemies of wholeness in Christ might try to hide. And right now, it feels like war.

I’m not alone on this mission. There is another foot soldier of sorts who reenters his own pain (he and his wife have experienced multiple miscarriages) to edit my words, shaping them for clarity and context. Several comrades manage the little troops while I try desperately to finish the day’s work. And, I have you.

It occurred to me today, when I realized how much is at stake here, that I might let you in on the fact that I’m warring with words to finish this book. The mission feels really hard, people. Figuratively, I’m bounding up the stairs for my third try down this “wall” of Chapter 7.

That’s why the posts here are few. Thanks for being patient with me.

Soon, I hope there will be something that many of you can hold in your hands and use to move forward; something you can offer to friends who are in need of healing from loss.

In the meanwhile, would you pray with me and for me? Specifically, please pray for words of real hope for those who are hurting, perseverance to finish, God’s strength in my weakness, and a way forward to publish this work. Thanks, friends!

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