By Krista Keane
The blank, white screen with the blinking courser stared mockingly at me. If I listened closely I swear it was taunting me with each pulsing beat: I dare you to write something. But nothing came to my mind. I tried to type a few sentences, but my thoughts were incomplete and the words didn’t flow, so I pounded the delete button in frustration. I wanted to toss that laptop right off my desk in one swooping motion. I wanted to, but I didn’t. So I decided to do what any writer would do when suffering from writer’s block.
I got up and walked away.
Except I walked away for an entire year.
That’s right. It’s been one year since I’ve written a single paragraph. And if you ask me if I’ve missed it I would probably tell you, not really. When I used to write weekly blogs I would share stories of my family, everyday life, my thoughts on Bible passages, and occasionally my feelings about current event issues. I would always write from my heart, and not hold anything back. But then something changed. It’s not that my family became boring, or that I wasn’t reading my Bible, or that I didn’t care what was going on in the world, I was empty.
And I hated being empty.
But is emptiness so bad? Are blank pages and blinking cursers so awful? What about silence and space and solitude?
Maybe the blank page is our signal to rest and wait, to listen and receive…..Learning to be open and to wait may be entirely against the grain for us. We long to be filling up the journal with thoughts, ideas, requests. But God has something else in mind. ~Emilie Griffin
During this sabbatical from writing I discovered I had blank spaces elsewhere in my life—specifically when it came to prayer. I had communicated so openly with God throughout most of my life, but during this season, I found it difficult to form prayerful sentences. I could look around me and see many things I wanted to bring before the Lord, but it seemed I would draw a blank of what to even tell Him.
What was going on? What was happening to me?
And then someone spoke these words into my life, “God doesn’t want your shoulds and your oughts, He wants you, Krista.”
That sentence stopped me in my tracks. Suddenly I felt grace start to fill the emptiness. I felt the Lord whisper, I’m here, Krista. This season is a gift.
We must come to understand that this emptiness, this blank page, is prayer. It is more than an invitation to pray. It is prayer. ~Emilie Griffin
Emptiness is scary. It absolutely is. But when we surrender to it, and see it as a gift, it becomes a beautiful thing.
So what did I give up for Lent?
I simply gave up.
I gave up trying to fill the emptiness. And I found the most amazing grace in the stillness, the quietness, and the empty space.
You know what? It’s actually quite filling.
Resources: Emilie Griffin, Small Surrenders