For the Soul Who Feels Pulled in All Directions

During the last several months, Annie’s now-famous statement we will make art has been working its way deeper into me as I’ve been trying new things and struggling through the learning of them.

emily freeman chatting at the sky

For the past few months, I have spent a lot of time thinking, writing, staring, planning, and waiting. I haven’t heard much in the silence and it’s frustrated me, if you want to know the truth. As I listen the fog only gets thicker rather than more clear.

I don’t like walking in the dark but sometimes it’s the only way out.

I’ve been writing and thinking about hope even while I struggle a little in the dark. It just proves the point, though, that hope isn’t bright lights and rainbows, although sometimes it can be. Rather, hope is the promise of the presence of Christ even when we can’t feel him, the assurance that all will be made right even in the midst of the chaos.

I think about my brave self, my scared self, my creative and my practical self. I know I’m really just one person even when I feel fragmented and compartmentalized.

Do you ever feel that way?

Maybe this is hard because we are aware a wholeheartedness deep within. We’ve seen her come out of hiding over our lifetimes, watched her speak even when she was terrified, partnered with her as she spoke more calmly than she felt, loved more fiercly than she thought possible, dared more fully than she ever had before.

But it’s possible we don’t remember those times as clearly as we wish. Instead, the moments we remember most are the ones where we hid in silence when we wanted to speak or spoke too soon when we wished we had listened.

We remember the times we cowered, limped, froze, feared, and lashed out. I guess we remember what we rehearse.

The answer isn’t to rehearse the times we were awesome instead. Rather for me, the answer is to practice the life of Christ, his work on earth, his work in heaven, his work in me.

We will make art and the Artist will make us and we will make art again.

He doesn’t send me out either brave or scared, ready or unprepared, full or empty. He sends me out as me and he goes with me as him. Whether I am brave or scared or ready or not or full or exhuasted isn’t really the point. I am, will be, all of those things. He does not manage or dictate or shame my emotional self.

He simply offers his presence to me no matter what.

Now.

And now again.

hopeologie

Comments

  1. Kim says

    The statement: Hope is not always bright lights and rainbows, It is the promise of the presence of Christ, even when we can not feel him in the middle of the chaos, All will be made right. Exactly what I need reminded of. Thank you for providing me with a bit of hope.

  2. says

    your words remind me of something someone said to me over the weekend – “it’s not what’s happening around you, or to you, but what’s happening IN you, so that God can work THROUGH you!!”

    and though i don’t like anything at all about the dark, i know it’s there He is doing His deepest work to make me the most usable. ~

    thank you once again for reminding me where my focus needs to be!

    holding onto hope with you, friend. xo
    amber@grace.to.be´s last blog post ..{what i wore & the worst accessory ever}

  3. says

    Oh Emily! You’ve been reading my deep and scary thoughts this morning, my just-on-the-surface-here-come-the-tears thoughts. Thank you for reminding me that “He sends me out as me and he goes with me as him…. He simply offers his presence to me no matter what.” Thank you for shining His light through you this morning.
    Kendra Burrows´s last blog post ..Waiting Silently

  4. says

    “I know I’m really just one person even when I feel fragmented and compartmentalized.” >>> You took the words straight out of my heart! Ah, I am resonating with this whole post. I am in a season of pursuing something much larger than myself and I really needed to read this. This post made my day! Thank you so so much!
    Erika´s last blog post ..Formless & Void [devotional + spoken word poem]

  5. Candy says

    I noticed something recently as we finally had some rain in California. It rained and the sun was just starting to peek through and the most beautiful, bright double rainbow appeared. It was bright and all glory, but what struck me was that in order to see the rainbow you had to be facing the storm. You can’t look into the sun after the storm has passed to see the beauty you have to face the clouds and the rain and let the sun reflect the beauty.
    So is the same with Christ and hope. To see the promise that God has written across the storms if our life we have to look into the darkness and see glory and promise reflected back. There is always hope and always promise “and the darkness shall not overcome it.”

    • Lauren says

      Candy thank you for this beautiful visual. Thank you for letting the Lord speak through you in the midst of his creation. I’ll be praying I can face the storm knowing I must endure to see His glory in the brightness.

  6. says

    These are the words this recovering perfectionist is clinging to: “Whether I am brave or scared or ready or not or full or exhuasted isn’t really the point. I am, will be, all of those things. He does not manage or dictate or shame my emotional self. He simply offers his presence to me no matter what.” His presence with me and His heart for me are my daily bread, in my failures and in the triumphs. Thank you for this reminder.
    Stephanie´s last blog post ..Watching Darkness Fall (Or How to Unwind and not Unravel)

  7. says

    This is such a beautiful post! I stumbled across your blog a few months ago, and I’ve looked forward to your posts on faith and art ever since. So much of the writing life seems to parallel the uncertainty of faith: you can’t see where you’re going, you have doubts, other people think you’re crazy. But in the end, both journeys are so, so worth any frustration we experience in the darkness.
    Ashley Brooks´s last blog post ..Words of Wisdom from C.S. Lewis

  8. says

    You asked do I ever feel the way you do right now and my answer is “Yes.” Knowing that others feel this way too sometimes, helps. None of us wants to be alone in the dark we feel like we’re stumbling through. I’ve seen something different in your writing in these last few posts, and for me it’s a good kind of different. It’s as if you’re reading my heart. Thank you for sharing this part of your heart in this way.

    I’m excited for you, your sister and your dad as you leap off into something you’ve never done together before – Hope*ologie. No doubt it will encourage and touch many hearts.
    Pam´s last blog post ..Living out your dreams right. where. you. are

  9. says

    Yes, yes and yes to everything you said. The past few months have felt, well, like I’m in a fog, waiting. “He simply offers his presence to me no matter what” Thank you for this reminder. Even when I don’t feel, he still is. That is good to know, because some days you just can’t feel.
    Teresa´s last blog post ..Speaking Hope

  10. says

    “He doesn’t send me out either brave or scared, ready or unprepared, full or empty. He sends me out as me and he goes with me as him.”

    This is what I needed to hear today. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts.
    Rachel´s last blog post ..Women of Lent: Unclean

  11. says

    God told me to “pursue hope” at this time last year. And it was a scary step to take. It wasn’t gloriously beautiful from what I could tell. It was hard. It was painful. And yet, it WAS beauty; it was just a beauty I didn’t know before. (I just had to share; cause, what you described is so familiar sounding.)

    {hugs}
    Amy Hunt´s last blog post ..teach us to rest

  12. says

    SUCH great truth here! (As always! :) As I read your post, I kept thinking of a book that might speak to you during this time. I haven’t read it, but authors I love, like Shauna Niequist and Sarah Bessey have loved it. Its Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, Learning To Walk In The Dark. So looking forward to your new creative endeavor, Hopologie! :)
    Sarah Caldwell´s last blog post ..Sacro Speco {Sacred Space} Linkup

  13. says

    I admire you for blogging when you feel low – when I feel like that I tend to crawl away under a rock until I feel brighter! But it’s encouraging to know I’m not alone in going through those tougher, ‘who turned the lights out?’-times, so thank you. Sending a prayer up for you, friend. xx
    Kittysmum´s last blog post ..Process 22: You and me

  14. emily says

    “We’ve seen her come out of hiding over our lifetimes, watched her speak even when she was terrified, partnered with her as she spoke more calmly than she felt, loved more fiercly than she thought possible, dared more fully than she ever had before.”

    I was JUST saying this to someone this morning! That I remember being a braver me not so long ago, but with marriage and motherhood and being a grown up somewhere this anxiety crept in. So I’m learning again what it means to be in Christ, and to let him lead, through the anxiety, through the fear, to be brave for his sake and for those he wants to know him.

    What a grace to read this today…

  15. says

    I understand what you wrote. I went through a really dark weekend this weekend. And yet, it is hope that I hang on to. It’s not something I see or even feel. It’s not light or rainbows. After not sleeping at all I did want to go to church and I hung onto the songs I sang. Little did I know the next night would even get darker. It’s wonderful to have hope in darkness, yet it’s taken me years to grasp that. Some where, deep inside, in the midst of darkness, I believe in what I do not yet see. I loved when you said that hope is knowing that Jesus is with us, no matter our state. It may be dark, but He is there.
    Hope´s last blog post ..Embracing Pain

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