For When the Words Don’t Come

I sit and stare at a blank screen, distraction free, all white space except for the two light gray words in the bottom right hand corner encouraging me to “just write.”

I have thoughts and ideas suitable for full-length and substantial posts.

But the words just don’t come.

Moving from thoughts and ideas to coherent and well-written sentences seems impossible, burdensome, heavy.

I love the process of writing. The release that it brings. I enjoy the experience of blogging.

But I feel weighed down by the practical issues and responsibilities of life this side of the computer screen. Somehow unable to reawaken the creative energy necessary to keep going, to press on, to continue when the blank screen stares back.

I have even uttered five of the saddest words to my soul, “I want to quit blogging.”

But I don’t really want to quit. I simply feel uninspired, unmotivated and exhausted. I’m in a lull of sorts.

And while picking up and heading to the beach – allowing the expanse of the ocean, the peacefulness of the shore to restore my perspective – sounds close to the perfect solution, that is simply not a possibility at the moment.

One of my dearest friends suggests that I should read. Anything. Finally taking her up on that advice, I read something relatively easy and mindless. And it feels good. Refreshing even.

Yet I still find myself coming up short in the words department.

My mom suggests that I should focus my thoughts on gratitude. So I begin a list of the small, trivial, forgotten and everyday things for which I’m grateful. I quickly list 25 items in a matter of moments.

Knowing I have been blessed far beyond what I deserve and saddened by the reality that I fail to acknowledge it far too often, I purposefully and intentionally seek opportunities to get out of myself. To serve others. Even when all I want to do is retreat. To fold in rather than reach out.

I take action and make commitments. Some of them relatively easy, others seemingly big and life-changing.

And I give myself a break from the guilt that so often wears me down. Of not doing enough. Of doing too much. Of lacking proper balance.

My thoughts turn to Scripture, so I read John 6:22-71.

“Jesus answered them…’Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal…For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to this world…I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst…It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.'”

– John 6:26, 27, 33, 35, 63 (ESV – emphasis added)

And I am reminded that Jesus is the bread of life.

When my words just. don’t. come.

His words are life.

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