Coffee House Confessions and KitKats

Join me as I sit in a coffee house on a Thursday afternoon staring at a computer screen while I beg words to flow like they used to.  Writing used to be therapeutic for many seasons of my life.  I could nearly literally feel words and thoughts clamoring to get out as if they were spectators in an arena on fire. Any exit, every exit bulging with the contents of my heart finding a way to get escape. 

That's how it used to be.

And then writing became a drudge, a responsibility, another thing pulling for my time and quite frankly another huge expectation placed on me that I was fearful of.  So I didn't write.  I wrote down ideas and thoughts and talked a lot about writing.  I reveled in a weekend with a piddle-y word count as if I'd just penned the modern equivalent of War and Peace.  I have felt like a fraud for having made major life changes to write this epic book (that was still in my head nearly 4 years later), and in all honesty, I am a fraud more often than I care to admit.  If a writer is a writer because she writes, I am not a writer 99% of the time. 

But today I am.

I am a writer, struggling with life in my 40's that seems to have more issues than the New York Times.  In another painfully honest confession, life has knocked me on my backside for the better part of 4 years with one dramatic confrontation, dashed expectation, and devastating revelation after another.  I've come to refer to this period of my life as "the backside of the desert" still waiting on my burning bush to reveal what's next, because surely, most certainly, please God, don't let this be it.  There has to be more than this. 

There are days I feel like the optimist running into a barn full of horse hockey with a jubilant "there's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"  And there are other days when I just accept the fact that I have a barn full of horse hockey... "so now what?"

Here in the coffee shop, the baristas are chatty, the pour-over is broken, the flies are repopulating the earth and a homeless man interjects an awkward and loud laughter about every 20 minutes.  I drink iced tea to escape the 101 degree afternoon, and I let my soul breathe and reconcile the life I have to the life I expected and again to the life I want.  I have to say, if I believe everything I've ever read about or said about the God I know loves me, I can only say there might not be a pony in the barn, but there is something of value in whatever measure of suffering or loss we experience.  After all, scripture doesn't say that "good things work together for those who love God". It says "ALL things work together for good".  I think I'm coming to accept the truth that my life is a KitKat bar. 

So here's your daily dose of worthless trivia.  The layers between the wafers of a KitKat bar are made up of the broken, discarded, rejected KitKats that could have been wasted.  All that's broken and imperfect, everything that didn't turn out right, still finds it way in between layers of perfectly planned and perfectly formed wafers.  Somehow, what's garbage and what's perfect merge to make this really sweet bite.  It all works together.  Nothing is wasted. 

And so it is with me.  And so it is with you.  Life is hard.  The brokenness we feel, the flaws we want to hide, the disfunctions we wish we could just be done with - God nestles it all in between sweet layers of His goodness and His grace and His peace, covered by His presence, and it works together for good.  Nothing is wasted. 

And that's where I am and what I rest in.  God is good by His own definition of good.  He still makes somethings out of nothings. He still takes whatever is offered to Him, breaks it, blesses it, and makes it come together in one sweet bite for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  And for today, in a coffee house now filled with stay-at-home moms escaping their kids for a few minutes, it's enough to know.  No burning bush here - just a moment of reassurance in a KitKat bar that everything will be ok.