It’s been awhile. Normally I would say this is because I am putting all of my focus on penning my book, “The Fruits of our Labor”, but that hasn’t even been the case. For the past 6 months, I’ve been suffering a drought otherwise known as writers block. I placed the blame upon the chapter I am currently writing, which is the fruit, “Goodness”. It should be easy for me to share how Goodness is God in our lives, but in order to share my revelation of just how good He is, I have to travel back in time and reminisce on memories that don’t feel so good. This is necessary because these seemingly “bad” times are when I truly learned just how good God is. It’s not easy writing, but I have to get through it as these are my first steps in walking out a life proclaiming 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” God took me through my struggles and ultimately brought me out of them so I can help bring comfort to others going through something similar. I can’t do that by staying silent.
Though it’s been difficult to pen, God has once again proven His Goodness! This weekend at church I had an amazing God moment that I like to say brought back my “flow”. You see, words used to flow from my fingertips easily. But as of late, they have just trickled out. I was able to form sentences into paragraphs but I’ve been unable to turn those paragraphs into a chapter and it’s been quite frustrating for me. Though I’m hardly at a chapter yet, I wanted to share the beginning because I think it’s an amazing testament to the work God can do in our lives if we only surrender our life over to Him. I hope you enjoy this preview of Goodness 🙂
* Note – phrasing reflects how it would read at publication 😉
I’m the daughter of a plumber. His father was a plumber and a number of uncles and cousins are also, you guessed it, plumbers. It’s not at all glamorous work and it doesn’t produce a glamorous amount of money. The family joke is that it’s a pretty, well, you know, crappy job. This family trade provided a comfortable life for my family, but trust, it didn’t come comfortably to my dad. He worked incredibly hard to provide for us, and his stained work jeans and gritty fingernails were daily proof of all of his hard earned efforts. To this day he is still the hardest working person I know!
That being said, I was never ashamed of my fathers line of work, but I also was never particularly proud to come from a legacy of plumbers. It’s not a line of business you tend to brag about. As a comical defense, when asked I would tell people my father was a “drain surgeon”, which really wasn’t at all a lie!
My dad is retired now and I haven’t much thought about his job (That is unless we have a plumbing problem!) but I was reminded of it recently one Sunday morning. As our preacher preached on building a stronger faith, he referenced Colossians 1, outlining 4 ways we can live a life pleasing to God. They are listed in verses 10-12 as bearing fruit in every good work, growing in our knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power to have endurance and patience, and to give joyful thanks for our salvation. Any time bearing fruit or the Fruit of the Spirit in general was mentioned at church while penning this book, my attention was heightened, always willing to grasp some low hanging fruit (pun intended!)
When Pastor Charlie questioned the flow of the Spirit in our lives, suggesting we may have something blocking one or more fruits from flowing freely within us, I immediately got a visual of my father and his line of work. I was taken back to the disgusting sight and smell of the tangled muck my father would pull out of our drains. A hired plumber would never share this with a client, but my Dad would show us his findings, warning us to not clog up his pipes again! Having such a strong visual instilled upon me throughout my life, I had an “aha moment” that Sunday…this is exactly what sin within us looks like. Nobody means to clog a pipe, just as nobody means for sin to become a blockage in their life, but over time, these things can happen preventing flow in our lives.
There wasn’t one particular thing I felt was blocking the flow of the Spirit in my life, but rather a strand of sin here, and a strand of sin there that had eventually tangled and turned into something bigger. Something problematic that was jamming up the flow of the Holy Spirit inside of me. Though I couldn’t quite place my finger on what exactly it was, I knew something was definitely clogged up inside of me because I was walking in a 6 month drought of producing this chapter. Words that built into a chapter used to spill from my fingertips in a months time, but now they were just trickling out little by little. I could string sentences into paragraphs, but I couldn’t put it all together, blaming my lack of production on the personal nature of the content.
It was two weeks into the New Year and my resolution that year was to deep clean a new area every day. In that moment, I wondered if God was prompting me to deep clean something within myself. When invited to bring it to the alter, I did. As I kneeled down to pray, I decided to not pray at all. I instead opted to follow Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”, fully trusting that He would go to work upon me. After a few moments of stillness I started to feel tears seep out of my closed eyes. I didn’t go to the altar feeling sad or the least bit emotional, yet there I was with tears flowing from my eyes. God did some plumbing work upon me that day, unclogging whatever had backed up in me! I love that He marked it with the exclamation point of tears streaming down my face, proving that He brought back my flow!
So there it is, the start to “Goodness” that took me six months of silence and one Sunday of surrender to pen. I hope it’s as powerful in wirtten word to you as the experience was for me. Psalm 65:11 proclaims, “You crown the year with Your goodness, Your ways overflow with plenty.” I can’t help thinking what a fitting start these words are to this chapter, and what a fitting start this revelation has been to this new year! I am so excited to experience God’s overflow with plenty of words as I work to finish “The Fruits of our Labor” this year!
Be Blessed + Be A Blessing