Edits of the Heart

Yesterday I sat here for the first time in a long time and tapped out words. I wrote a little about the last year of life and put pieces of my heart in black ink on the page. And then, as I often do, I left what I wrote looking back at me in draft form—finger hovering over “Publish” but never actually pushing the button. I wasn’t sure, so I waited and in the end I scrapped it and decided not to share those words after all.

It’s a new day, crisp with fall wrapping around us in colorful leaves, chili simmering on the stove top, and hot cups of coffee. Today I find myself here again…tapping out words. Today I’m thinking about the unspoken words of yesterday and the ways we edit hearts and thoughts before exposure to an audience. Isn’t it funny how we are? How we perhaps share vulnerable bits and pieces of our hearts and lives with others but never actually tell quite the whole story. I have spoken much truth here, I’ve never lied in this space, but I edit and backspace and sanitize those truths until I’m comfortable with them and comfortable sharing them with others.

Yesterday Roman attacked the computer because he is 1 year old and is always attacking everything. My words, my unedited words, were up on the screen and I thought he might have posted them in all his toddler shenanigans. My heart skipped a beat thinking of my thoughts and words being made public before I went back over them to pick and choose and carefully rearrange what I was trying to say. Today it just seems silly to be so afraid of my own unedited heart being laid bare but still the fear is there.

I think the over-analyzing and uncertainty is exactly what’s kept me away from this space for so long. This has been a hard season of life and one I don’t know how to share.

Do you know how it feels when you get into water too deep? I can feel the ocean floor with my tippy toes, sand moving beneath my feet but not holding me steady. I can feel the waves lapping my chin and nose, leaving just enough room to breath before I lose my footing and drown.

I’m afraid of the ocean because that’s how it feels to me when I stand in its hungry waves—like I’ll lose my footing and go under. So I don’t go in, I walk along the edge and get my feet wet, just avoiding the ocean’s grasp. But during this season of life, I fell in—sand shifting beneath my unsteady feet, waves pulling me under. I fought to hold my head above water and just not sink—not swim, just not sink.

But…but…there are so many people in my life right now who have it so much harder. So it hasn’t felt right to say anything about my own life when it’s still smooth sailing compared to the next person. And yet, it hasn’t felt right either to skip along and make things sound better than they are. So I’ve simply fallen silent instead—saying nothing over saying some half-truth or washed out version of reality.

But my heart is hungry for words. Words are always a pulsing, beating part of my soul and I can’t seem to organize my thoughts without them. When I am quiet in public, I am loud in writing my thoughts down privately. There is never silence, never an end to the words that help me think, and be, and make sense of it all. I think the public silence has been good for me; a necessary season when everything else in my life has been so loud.

Today, I’m tap, tap, tapping out my thoughts and I like the way the keys feel beneath my fingers—the way the black words look popping up against the blank white. I miss writing and communicating and I hope I find my way back now that life has begun to quiet down for a time. We will see.

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9 thoughts on “Edits of the Heart

  1. So beautifully expressed. I have been on my tippy toes in the vast ocean many times. It is a scary and uncertain place. God is good and has always brought me out safely, even one time literally! I lift you up in prayer for safety, peace and wisdom. Your photo is beautiful.

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  2. This was so beautiful, thank you for sharing. I empathise totally with that point of waving your finger over the publish button. I have come through the baby toddler phase and over the summer looked back at my journal and couldn’t believe what I had written in there. I am wondering today why some things in life are repetitive and the things that change often we want to cling on to. Both my boys are at school now and it’s a new phase. Motherhood is a tough, beautiful, relentless but rewarding role. Keep smiling and keep tapping 🙂

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    • Thank you for the encouragement. It seems no matter how much we are warned about how hard parenting is, it still doesn’t actually prepare us for the challenges…but I’m learning ;]

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  3. Last week I spoke at a women’s retreat for our church. It is something I have always wanted to do and I have wanted to do for the past 24 years, and I finally got to do it. I have wanted to write about it, but, like you, I have not been able to express it fully, purified for the general public. What I spoke about was how when we have shifting sand under our feet and the water begins to creep up around us and feel ourselves floating away, drifting and not being able to maintain sure footing, that is when we hold on to our anchor with all we have. The theme of the retreat was “The Anchor Holds”. I spoke twice, once on discovering the need for an anchor and the second on Clinging to the Anchor. This has been an eventful year for you, from just what you have shared. But, from what I know of you, you have held on tight and you are coming to the place where your footing is once more on familiar ground. You have never strayed from my prayers and thoughts. It is good to read your words once more. Your writing has always impressed and inspired me. Know you can always message me and I will listen to your heart. Thank you for these words and for encouraging me to also sit and write. DAF

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    • Thank you, Dear Friend, for the reminder to hold onto my anchor…I forget that sometimes and have tried far too hard for far too long to hold everything together myself. Thank you too for letting me know I can talk to you. Your prayers are such a gift to me and I do not take them for granted. Wish I could have heard you speak—such a cool opportunity :]

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  4. We all have our seasons of joy, despair, laughter and tears, quietness of soul and exuberance in just enjoying the beauty around us. It’s a part of this life…these ups and downs. I’m thankful you’ve been able to take the break but it’s sure NICE to see you posting again. You’ve been missed by many.

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