A Bibliophile’s Sabbatical

Confession: I have not read a single book from start to finish in over a year.  Just to give you some background I have read or been read to since the day I was born.  A quarter of a century.   My loss of interest in reading happened rather suddenly.  At first I thought it was the books; however, as time went on I realized that it was me.  I had lost all interest and desire to read. 

This was a secret I kept in the dark for a year.  Bringing it before God and silently wrestling.  Various scenarios of what could be wrong with me ran through my head.  Recently I met a new friend.  She asked what I enjoyed doing.  I said reading.  (It is what I have always said... at one time it was true.)  This lead to the dreaded “what are you currently reading?” question.  Not being able to lie I shared my secret… and she laughed. 

I froze in shock.  She smiled and shared that perhaps I had entered into a season of going out… and connecting.  Seeing that I wasn’t quite following she followed with “What happened when you read as a child?”  Slowly I started to catch on to what she was getting at.  Reading transported me far away.  We had just talked earlier about how I desperately needed to figure out community.  Is it not amazing the perspective others can give us!

This has lead me to the decision that I am taking a sabbatical from books for an undetermined amount of time (I hope to read again someday!).  Instead I am choosing two things:
  1.  To community (insert scream of terror and yes community is a verb).  
  2. To write (to take some of what is in my head and practice it being OUT).

This being said, you may see me a little more often in this tiny nook of the web!

They Love Me, They Love Me Not

As a child did you ever play the game where you take a flower and pick off the petals one by one alternating with “they love me” or “they love me not?”  I did, always wondering if they cared for me too. 

Fast forward several years and you find college me no longer playing children’s games, but still wondering “do they love me?”  January of 2010 I wrote in my journal:  

“…if I am healthy I won’t worry about whether or not people love me, or whether or not I am a part of their life, or whether or not they hate me…” 

I recognized that this thought loop was not healthy, but did not know how to change it.  At this time there was a family in my life who I was beginning to care about deeply.  In February of 2010 two of us sat in a library when I blurted out something along the lines of “I was wondering if you love me?” She reassured me that they did in fact love me and then informed me that this was a question I should not ask again.  Instead every time I found myself wondering about that very question I needed to remind myself that they loved me.

As a born people pleaser (My new friend this week says no one is born a people pleaser) As a person who developed a desire to please people I did not ask again and every time I started wondering I told myself “no they love me.”  Now did I believe in these steps? Absolutely not.  I felt ridiculous and saw no change in my thoughts and feelings, but time after time I told myself “no they love me.”  Thousands of times I did this.  Thousands.  What I did not see was that the time between my wonderings slowly began to lengthen and the truth began to seep into my heart.  

Sometimes change takes a long time and it happens so slowly that you will not even realize it is taking place.  I realized this when I saw them recently and realized I wasn’t spending my time wondering if they loved me.  (May I add that it is so much more fun to hang out with people when you are not wondering if they love you!)  There was even a “new me” in their life and I was just so excited that this individual had the opportunity to be a part of their lives. Freedom.  It doesn’t always happen overnight, but it’s worth the process!

As I reflected on this I realized I have wasted valuable time by not believing that the little things can add up to make a huge difference.  Over and over again I have heard “…take every thought captive to obey Christ.”  My God concepts are often inaccurate, something I think that many of you can relate to.  What if every time we recognized an inaccurate thought about God we replaced it with the truth from his word?  Our minds and heart might not change overnight, but over time I think this truth would seep into us and create a deep change in our relationship with God.

Disclaimer: You might never be completely cured of the “they love me, they love me not” syndrome.  You might need tune-ups for the rest of your life.  Like after getting your car stuck and being completely embarrassed, but do not be discouraged tune-ups only take 30 seconds.  You can still live in freedom!  Sometimes I think we always expect to be cured but in the fallen world this side of heaven we may only reach remission.