When you're restless.

I've been pretty quiet lately. And, for good reason. 

Sometimes, I'm too down to say much. And sometimes, I'm just tired of writing about the same things over and over again.  

But maybe that's what I need. Maybe that's what you need, too. We're pretty hardheaded, and sometimes we need to hear things on "repeat". 

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Paul wrote that way. Paul, the "former-ultimate-terrorist-against-Christians-turned-ultimate-winner- of-souls-for-Christ". Yeah, him. That guy. My favorite Biblical scribe. 


I was enlightened this past weekend by a fellow believer, in the middle of a tiny Italian restaurant, way past my bedtime.  

It was the first time I had been out in a while. It was my first time eating at this restaurant. It was my first time leaving my children with someone NOT in our family. It was a night that sparked my anxiety and left the flame burning all evening.  

It was loud, hot, kinda cramped. I spent the first hour mentally talking to myself like I was soothing a newborn baby.

"It's okay, dear. Just breathe. You're alright. It's just dinner. Nothing is going to happen to you."  

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But then, after the restaurant had closed and we were about to say our goodbyes, God spoke directly to me through the couple who invited us out.  

And I knew then...this is why I am here. Anxiety up, appetite squandered, and my nervous leg shaking thing on overdrive...I encountered encouragement like a head on collision with an 18-wheeler. 

"You know why Paul was put in prison, right?", the man said.  

"Well, yea, I guess," was my reply. 

"To slow him down," he returned. 

I looked off towards the back wall to grasp where this (convo) was going. 

"What did he do while he was there?", he continued.  

Before I could reply, he answered his own question. "He wrote."  

"And what he wrote, changed the world," he finished.  

And that's when I felt it. It was completely obvious that God had put me here, in this stuffy old Italian restaurant, for this very moment. 

You see, he is right. Paul was doing amazing things for Christ before prison. He was on fire. Winning souls, declaring God's truths, shining his light the brightest of anyone else in the world at that time.  

And then, the valley came. A deep, dark, smelly cage of a space literally enveloped him every moment for months upon months.  

But he didn't sit there and twiddle his thumbs and allow Satan to stop his effectiveness. He wrote.  

And what he wrote, changed the world.  

If I don't know what to read upon opening God's Word, I automatically default to one of Paul's writings. Not Psalm. Not Proverbs. Not one of the Gospels. It's always, always one of Paul's letters.  

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I'm restless though.  

I'm not Paul and I'm certainly not near as effective as he was and still is.  

I'm ready, and impatient, and so done with being in this valley. And sometimes, I keep my words to myself. {Like I have been lately.} Because, I think, nobody wants to hear from me while I'm in this frame of mind.  

But that couldn't be more selfish of me. Maybe, just like the man that spoke the truth about Paul to me (oh, imagine if he hadn't! I can't bear the thought!), God can use me to say that one thing that will make you just feel that giant hug from God. Maybe.  

It won't be intentional. And unless you tell me so, I'll never know anything I wrote or write matters to you.  

But the message was clear; God wants me to keep writing. Even when the daytime is pitch black, and I don't think I could offer up much more than a stutter, God wants me to write. 

And so I have. And I will.  

-Alicia  

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