Fre-smile by Frerieke

The last couple of days have not been good. I’ve basically gone catatonic when I’ve tried to work Monday and Tuesday. Monday I went back to bed and slept all day. Yesterday I zoned out in front of the TV. Last night I grabbed my journal and began being an investigator, trying to find out what was going on with me. Then I heard “What stories are you telling yourself?” I had to stop and think for a while. These are the stories that I have been telling myself:

I can’t do this. I never finish anything. It’s too big. Who do I think I am? I will be ridiculed. This book comes out and everyone will know I am a fraud.

I decided this story needed a little reality check editing. In The Life Organizer Jen Louden says, “Delineating between facts and stories is one of the most powerful life practices you can develop.” We need to find those facts and tell a new story. Here’s my new story:

I am writing Career Women of the Bible, and I’m almost finished with the book proposal. I have finished one book proposal: Spiritual Direction 101. I have finished a book, Your Daughters Shall Prophesy: A Biblical Theology of Single Women in Ministry. So what if I’m ridiculed. Heaven knows I’ve ridiculed enough books and authors. It’s all kharma. If some of it comes back to me, I will be kind, and extend love and grace. I am not a fraud. I know what I’m writing about. I have both the education and experience. I’ve lived intimately with the women of Bible for the last few years. I know them, and they want me to tell their stories. My women need their lives written into being, so people can see who they really are instead of the empty caricatures we get at church.

I’m going to write this and hang it up where I work. Are you having trouble with stories? Are there some stories you want to share with us? May be we can help each other change the stories that no longer serving us.

One of my favorite hymns says:

“Let us bring the gifts that differ
And, in splendid, varied ways,
Sing a new church into being,
One of faith and love and praise
“Sing a New Church” by Dolores Dufner, OSB

Can we write a new story into being in splendid varied ways? Write a new community into being full of love, support, and the occasional kick in the pants?

Photo by Frerieke.