The past few weeks I have struggled to write. I open Microsoft word, I type a sentence and then…
I have followed this agonizing pattern for weeks. I’ve deleted entire paragraphs, even full pages.
Nothing I wrote seemed right.
I could feel this huge wall there and I could not manage to break through it.
Writer’s block had hit and I couldn’t push past it.
I felt frustrated.
I continued with my futile attempts to write on my own. The same pattern continued. I walked away from my computer frustrated, ready to give up on writing altogether.
Finally, I started
lamenting complaining to God.
“I can’t seem to write anything. Nothing seems right. I sit down, I read verses but nothing fits. Nothing is inspiring me to write. Please help me figure this out! Why on earth can’t I write? You gave me this gift, and I am struggling to use it.”
When I finished my lament, as plain as day, I heard the word Abide.
Then God led me to this verse:
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)
Ding! Ding! Ding!!!
I now understand why I have struggled so much to write.
I have something to confess, something that I’m ashamed to admit:
I have not been present enough (if at all, yuck!) in my time with God.
Although I have my morning devotional routine, but real, sitting at Jesus’s feet time- I haven’t truly done it. When I am doing my morning routine, I have my audio bible on as I start my day. To be honest, I’m not fully listening; I am preparing breakfast, setting out lunch, thinking about my day. The bible is being read to me but I am not taking it in like I should. I’m not looking at the words and I am not truly engaged in the teaching.
In the evening, when I sit down to read my bible, I find myself distracted by other things: work, worries, social media, my phone or TV. I’ll go back to reading it for a while, but then it’s bedtime.
I thought I could slip by with doing just enough, that small amounts of God time would sustain me.
But I was wrong.
I haven’t been truly present in my God time and it’s hurting me.
It’s hurting my relationship with God.
It’s stealing my gift.
It’s stealing my joy.
I need God time.
So I took an afternoon off and spent some time with the Lord and focused on the word abide.
To abide means, to stay, remain and dwell. I can honestly say that I haven’t done any of these well enough in the past 2-3 weeks. What I thought was just writer’s block was just me not spending enough time with God.
God explains the importance of abiding in John 15, but I am going to focus on verses 4-5:
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. “
God is our lifeline, our true vine.
Like plants need water and sun to survive (I have killed enough plants to attest to this), you need God.
You cannot bear fruit unless you abide.
If we do not abide, our relationship with God starts to wither away and ultimately, ends. (John 15:6)
Now that I was able to pinpoint the problem, I could repent. I often viewed repentance in a negative light, but it’s not.
To repent is basically to turn back. To confess that you’re headed in the wrong direction and you need to be shown the proper way to go.
Repentance allows me to turn back to God.
It restores our relationship.
It restores my gift.
It allows me to bear fruit.
Now I am able to write again.
God continues to give such beautiful promises in John 15 if we abide. If we abide, we can ask Him for what we need and God will do it (verse 7). If we abide, it is proved that we are His disciples, God is glorified and we will bear much fruit (verse 8). If we abide, as God has loved Jesus, He will love us (verses 9-10) and our joy will be full(verse 11).
It is so important that we stay connected to God.
I know that there are many distractions that can steal away our time with the Lord. But I…we have to be intentional and set aside time to be with the Lord. He is our lifeline and we can do nothing without Him.
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Alexis is a 35 year old lover of Jesus, loose leaf tea, roller coasters, writing stories and going on adventures. Originally from Marietta, GA, Alexis now resides in Fresno, CA. You can always find Alexis outdoors enjoying a walk in her neighborhood, scoping out the newest food truck, hanging out with friends or planning her next trip. Her church, The Revival Center, and family mean the world to her. They have supported her through the loss of her mother and her own cancer diagnosis. Alexis enjoys encourging others by reminding them not to look at what they see, but to always look to God, who is working in the unseen.