Recently I have been in a rut. Creatively, emotionally, spiritually, I've felt stagnant in every one of those areas. I thrive on the new. I gather inspiration from things that pop up unexpectedly, from conversations or interactions that I randomly witness at school. I thrive on things that are random. Recently I haven't had enough of this. I haven't had enough random. I haven't had enough unexpectedness. I have been living in a constant loop of normalcy and it's hurting me.
We are created to create. When we are children we all love to paint, to draw, to build, and somewhere along the road our love for creation is tragically diminished and replaced with a need to sustain. We become creatures of habit with age. We become comfortable with the norms of our daily lives and so, we do everything in our power to keep our little world the same.
I got my first camera when I was 12-years-old. I became obsessed with taking photos of simple things. I used to tell my mom all the time that I didn't like taking photos of people because they were never candid enough for my young heart. Instead, I took photos of dandelions, or the sky, or random parts of trees. I was more than content with taking photos of the most simple parts of nature because I found them to be beautiful. I've grown in my ability to capture the beauty of people but it made me think when I thought about the childlike infatuation I used to have about the simple things. I would never take a photo of a dandelion now and love it like I used to. Why?
Ruts are something that are extremely hard to get out of because biologically our brains are programed to stay in them. This is so interesting to me.
Beth Moore (my GIRL) spoke on this one time. She explained how negative thinking is a pattern that is so hard to get out of because thoughts, and neurons that go with them, shoot through your brain when you think them. This actually creates a rut within your brain over time. These negative thoughts actually carve out paths in your brain. Thats why they are so hard to cancel out. Because the positive thought patterns and their neurons can't intersect the negative thought paths because they have become rutted.
By no means do I understand how this works scientifically but it makes a lot of sense. We all struggle with this. In many ways. Right now I am in a season where I am constantly growing and trying to fill in these ruts. However, with growth comes pain.
“The pain of recovery is sometimes worse than the pain of the injury. Allow Jesus Christ to heal your soul.”
My high school boyfriend tore his ACL, MCL and Meniscus in our junior year. I remember when he told me what happened, immediately thinking that he must be in so much pain. BUT then he went to soccer practice and ran on it. I was so confused. He said that when it tore it hurt but then as long as he didn't move it side to side he was okay. He could still run even with the injury. Soon after he got his surgery. I have never seen someone in so much pain before. He was strong, and not someone who complained about pain ever, and I watched him do his rehabilitation exercises. I watched the pain move throughout his body. The pain in this situation was far worse than the initial injury.
This year I have learned this in very real ways. I have learned how this doesn't only apply to physical injuries but also applies to emotional and spiritual injuries. I have used this quote time and time again this year because it is so painfully true. It can be disheartening at times when we think that things are starting to look better, when we start to feel joy seeping back into the cracks of our brokenness. But in all honesty, it takes far longer to heal than it does to break.
When I first heard this quote it kind of scared me. I was done with the pain, I was ready to be new. I wanted to get rid of the freakin semi colon that refused to turn into a period. I needed everything to stop. I needed a finish line. But after a lot of pondering and acceptance, I realized that the pain of recovery is beautiful. The pain of recovery is educational. The pain of recovery is inspirational.
In Lynchburg VA, there are tons of antique shops. There is one in particular that I adore. It is filled with little treasures, with old record players, vintage clothing, crumbling board games, and the best part—rose pink carpeting. I went in one day and was looking around and found an amazing Lomography Film camera. For those who have no idea what that is, its basically just a film video camera. Anyways, I lost it. I was so excited. I grabbed it and started messing around with it. When I looked more closely to it i saw that the lens that was on it was cracked. It had been broken at one point. The crack wasn't just on the top layer of glass either. It was deep within the lens, almost invisible.
But, when I looked through the viewfinder I was in awe. The crack on the lens created an amazing pink tone that cascaded over only the left bottom corner of the picture. It made the image even more beautiful.
That's when it hit me. It made sense to me. Our brokenness, our cracks, our deepest wounds that aren't easily fixed on the surface are the ones that make the images, the actions of our lives so much more beautiful. He uses them. He uses the pain. It's so encouraging to me that we serve a God that knows pain. We don't have to try and express our pain to a God that has never felt it. He felt it. He knows.
Ruts can create beauty. Sometimes, ruts can inspire. Being stuck in a rut of pain has caused me to look for beauty. It forces me to look for the good. To know that it will get better. To know that I can reverse the rut. Every artist goes through dry seasons, every writer has writers block, every athlete gets injuries, every person gets broken. Without these things, what would inspire us?
Take your broken heart and make it into art
She says it best. Use it. Make the pain worth something. Let the pain change you, let it mold you into something so beautiful its chilling. Don't let the pain go to waste.
Beauty from ashes babe, He has no limitations.
Hawaii is only beautiful because it sits on a land of volcanic ash. Beauty doesn't end, it grows. There is no period and sometimes, thats okay.