Tag Archives: trials

Trials of the quest

Okay, so I’m channeling Joseph Campbell this week, but it is called the monomyth for a reason. Let’s face it, Campbell was one smart dude and so as my quest to renew creativity begins, I should have expected resistance–which on one level I did, I guess I just didn’t expect so much of the resistance to come from me. After all, I’m the one who decided to start the quest, why would I resist it?

Physical Trials

We all experience some physical trials on this earth. After all, our bodies are essentially dying the moment we are born (cheery, I know). One of my physical struggles has always been seasonal allergies and sinus migraines. I know that sounds super lame given that there are a lot of people battling much, much more. I’m not diminishing that in any way and can only pray I have half the strength of these individuals if I ever face that kind of physical trial.

My allergies have always been a pain–they come every year so you’d think I’d be prepared, but living in South Carolina–well seasons are incredibly fluid sometimes. Like last week, for example, we experienced temperatures upwards of 70 degrees so the trees started to bloom, and yes there was pollen everywhere…and it is February. By the end of the week, we were back in the 30s, so my body just completely rebelled. I haven’t really been able to breathe out of my nose for a week, and all that has settled in my chest and it’s just uncomfortable, which turns into exhausting so the things I can normally do become more of a chore and sometimes I just don’t–which in turn makes me feel like a slacker.

Photo by Sorin Gheorghita on Unsplash

Despite this, I pushed myself to go on a walk earlier in the week when the weather was nice enough to do so. I LOVED IT. I actually really enjoy walking whenever I push myself to get out and do it, and it is as Cameron says in The Vein of Gold a walk in our souls is really for our souls. I did not meet her challenge to walk 20 minutes every day though. That is going to be for this coming week–even more challenging since I have meetings/social gatherings/obligations every night this week. It’s good, but it is definitely stretching me.

Mental Trials

I get into my own head way too often. Sure, social anxiety has become a norm for me. Once I drove all the way to a social gathering where I didn’t know anyone and I was determined to go make new friends. I walked up to the door and my heart raced so bad I found it hard to breathe. I turned around and left. Ridiculous, I know. I’m not sure what it is about my make up that makes me do stupid things like that, but I literally have to battle with myself to go to social events.

I know, I’ve heard it before, but Ashley, you are a teacher. Isn’t that a constant social event. Quite frankly, no it isn’t. But that might be part of the problem. I’m by nature an introvert and I spend all day with people and it’s great. I love my students and most days I love my job. I work with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met and I love them! But when I go home, going back out in the world is hard. Some people call it recharge time, but I really shouldn’t need that much recharge time.

Sometimes I will lose this battle and stay home when I should go hang out with people–people I know and love. As a result, it makes them think I don’t want to hang out with them, which isn’t true–I just need a push. Someone to tell me I’m wanted there and that they will help me, make me feel comfortable, and like it is less of a chore. Only people really close to me know that they need to push a little harder to get me out–most people just shrug and assume that I’m happy.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

This is my mental trial, and I’m working through that this week too–especially as I’m trying to revive my creativity. Writing conversation and situation requires experience.

Pushing myself is hard.

Emotional Trials

With the physical and mental trials, there are always emotional ones too–for me it typically results in bottled up feelings that explode in situations where an explosion really doesn’t make sense. I’ve been doing a pretty good job at keeping the mood journal up and that really helps me to process through, but this week pushed me a lot.

I’m going to my first writer’s group meeting in several years this week. I’m excited and nervous (talk about emotional trials). While I know this is just a trial meeting for me to observe and decide if it is a good fit, it still makes me feel a little nervous–so say a little prayer for me on Tuesday!

End Results

The GOOD news about all these trials and internal battles, I was able to channel it into a lot of good writing this weekend. I wrote at least 6,000 words yesterday and the result is 34,000 words written and mostly polished on my novel that has just been gathering dust for going on 2 years now. My new push is bringing some of that drive and passion back, but it hasn’t been easy. But really, when is anything worth doing easy?

Battling Each Day: Psalm 35-36

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Every day is battle of some kind and every day we must make a conscience choice about who is going to fight our battles. I have an independent streak that is a mile high and a country mile long. I hate, hate, hate asking people for help because my pride says that I should be able to do it all on my own.

That’s stupid.

Most of the time when I am pulling inward saying, “No, I got this,” there are several people pushing from the outside and begging me to let them in and let them help.

Because people rarely feel put out when you are genuine about needing help. They are actually begging to help because they love use. They love me and they want to do whatever they can to make my journey an easier one.

So David, a great and mighty warrior, calls out to God for help and vengeance. It’s not a sign of weakness, but one of honor and humility. If people genuinely want to help us succeed, then how much more does God desire that we call out to him?

I find a lot of hope in the idea of an equal opportunity God who listens to ALL who call to him–not just great an mighty warriors. Our world is so full of Inequality and hatred and scorn that pure, simple acceptance is a concept many of us cannot even fathom let alone accept.

Categories are only useful when organization is meant to be efficient, but when it is used to degrade and inform people they are not worthy to be accepted or MUST be in a certain place because of certain pre-conceived ideas, that’s when we move into a flawed system. I have been privileged most of my life and as such have not experienced unadulterated hate, racism or discrimination as some people in this world have. That is not to say that my life is perfect, because I have experience my fair share of unkindness solely based on my family (or lack thereof), status, accent, or gender. And each of these incidents resulted in a deep soul wound, emotional scarring that over the years I’ve taken and laid at the fee t of the only person who is truly all accepting.

But I fought against a lot of things to get to that point. Pride, hatred, self-doubt, etc.

“Both high and low among me find refuge in the shadow of your wings” the Psalms declare and I rest there–healing as the Lord protects, guides, and fights for me. Preparing me for the world and whatever blessings or trials may come next because the Lord is good and his love truly endures forever.