To those who do the work.

The cursor blinks anxiously as I wait for the words to come. And I’ve been doing a lot of that lately — waiting. You know that saying, good things come to those who wait? I need to shed it like a snake skin, need to find some grit and resolve to rub up against so what’s dead and dying can fall away.

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I’ve been reading a lot lately. Timely words in my inbox about how to start by stopping, words about dreaming and doing. Pages and pages of words that reflect the restlessness in my soul, as if something is missing way down deep. There’s an emptiness, a stirring that refuses to be still.

There are people out there who will tell you to quit if you don’t like your job, move if you don’t like your house, get a divorce if you don’t like your spouse. And I want to throw up my hands and say hello, what about credit scores and the people who need you, and won’t you be letting everyone down if you just walk away? You can’t wish your way to the life you really want — you actually have to do the work.

I’m writing this because I am not the person I want to be today. 

But I can be tomorrow. And I want to remember that.

The cold, hard truth is that I have been lazy. Not just in the sense that I let dishes pile up in the sink or laundry sour in the washing machine. I have been lazy about my life. I decided how I want to feel, and then sat back as if the work was finished, as if burning passion inside my bones wasn’t something to be pursued.

But the work is never finished. Elizabeth Gilbert said that we have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of our blessings. There is no sitting back, no cruise control. Because the truth is, we either decide to be that person we want to be, or we decide not to. We either choose the pain of discipline, or the pain of disappointment. There’s no easy, comfortable alternative — no autopilot.

No one ever said this whole blooming where we’re planted thing would be easy. Just the opposite, actually — blooming where we’re planted is some of the hardest work we will ever do. But it is also the most holy. To bloom, we must be pressed down into the soil, an uncomfortable process that is only made bearable when our hearts are hidden in His.

Because He wants that person we want to be tomorrow, but He also wants the person we are today. And the grace of it all is that when we don’t know what steps to take, He makes the path straight. He longs to give us immeasurably more than anything we could ever dream.

What’s more, He invites us to take part.

How could I not respond to an invitation like that? How could I not write it on the calendar, set an alarm on my phone, stick post-it notes to my bathroom mirror that say wake up, this is who you are, this is your life — don’t miss it? 

See, His plan was never to make us comfortable. His plan was to make us come alive — and we are here today and gone tomorrow, so time is of the essence — that desire burning in your heart is of the essence. Don’t miss it.

The whole world is waiting and this is where you are, right here and right now.

For such a time as this.

  • Darlene Kimsey

    Esther 4:14 – One of my very favorite scriptures. What you write is so true. Thanks for the reminder that if we become comfortable in our lives and spiritual walk, we will become lazy and stale. I love you so much, Erin for the girl that you were and for the woman you’re becoming.

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  • Whoa. I am stopped, struck, forced to sit down and breathe. I’m working through these very same ideas, digging down in the deepest parts of myself, the unexplored parts, holding things up to God snd saying “What about this? Does this stay? How about this?” This is powerful stuff, Erin. Who do we want to be? How do we get there? What has to go, what do we have to slough off in order to move forward? What big and important questions. I needed this today. Thank you Erin!

    • It stops me everyday, honestly. I know I am still learning, and that I’ll always be learning, but I want this time to matter. Thank you for your kind words, Megan. Your encouragement is so timely.

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  • Caity Hummel

    “Elizabeth Gilbert said that we have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of our blessings. There is no sitting back, no cruise control.” This is so so hard to remember. Sometimes I feel like, well I’ve done enough work so I’m just gonna sit here and wait for it all to appear! Nope, doesn’t quite work like that. haha. This was great though, and I’m glad I found your site! I’m also an INFJ and in the middle of grad school for my MSW. Seems to be a band of us in the social work field hhah!

    caitlynhummel.com

  • Katie Best

    So beautifully written. I needed this today. Thank you.