Photo Credit: © 2006 Lynne Holder

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Brutal, Honest Truth

Recently, I wrote this response to Your Creative Flow, written by Geoff Talbot, on his blog, Seven Sentences.

Spending time writing does make me feel a bit selfish, only because I began writing as a single person and now I'm married. It shouldn't though, because my husband is a very busy photographer who spends long hours doing post-production and dealing with all the other bits and pieces of running a small business. Writing while he is glued to the monitor in Photoshop does not justify such negative feelings. It's just another attempt by my pesky little naysayer to sidetrack me.

The reason I gave in my response to Geoff's post was absolutely honest. I am married now and I need to remember that, even though I could write for hours on end, and follow the creative community and read their amazing, inspiring writings, in doing so, time has flown by (really, where do the hours in a day go?) and I haven't engaged at all with my husband. 

This habitual practice is not exactly conducive to a healthy marriage relationship.

I've since had time to honestly assess that "only because" reason I gave for feeling a bit selfish in my writing. The deeper, underlying reason raised its rather unattractive head today, and in the spirit of honesty and transparency, I will share it with my readers.

My feelings of selfishness are, to my embarrassment, related to money. The reason? I quit my job.

I felt justified in my decision for these reasons:
  1. An unethical company leader.
  2. Side effects of work stress in my body; becoming increasingly unable to sleep well, perform to my usual standards, and maintain my composure. I was ill and becoming more ill. 
  3. These circumstances were not exactly conducive to a healthy marriage relationship, either.
Fairly good justification for resignation, but one that I struggled with because, in offering my services as a consultant, and doing my creative writing and blogging, I knew that would mean an inconsistent income (even though I had been doing consulting in my off hours on a regular basis before quitting), no benefits, and added financial burden.

God did not provide a window of escape from the job with which I struggled so much, despite all the pleading for strength to carry on in my job, for someone to respect my boundaries, and finally, for another opportunity. The silence was deafening, and then, it was time to make a choice.

Would I compromise, or would I do what was right, recognizing Who my source of supply really is, and with Whom my security truly rests?

When I sit down to write, I feel more than a bit selfish. I am able to write now because I gave up the job that sapped my energy, tested my ethics and integrity, and was killing my soul--and the income that went along with it. But it was income. It paid the bills. It was a degree of security in this game we play here on Earth.

The nasty little naysayer whispers in my ear, "You should be out there working, not sitting around writing! Get a job and make some money! Quitter!"

To which I say, "Thanks for the input, but SHUT UP!"

I'm following my heart and the dreams that God has placed within me, my faith is exercised, and I rely more on Him as my Source of supply than I ever did when I played the Matrix.

Have you faced a similar decision point in your life? Have you felt the tension between keeping your day job and ditching everything to follow your dream? Feel free to share your story. I'd love to read it.


  1. I'm certain there are many women who can identify with the deep loss of pursuing our dreams - as many women as men. The almighty paycheck does that to many of us. As a woman with a supportive partner it makes it a tiny bit easier to make those hard decisions that you've recently been faced with and I applaud your bravery in choosing to make them. Change is never easy.

    God gives us all gifts and when we use those gifts it serves to glorify Him. Consider yourself blessed that you have finally come to a point in your life where you can more fully glorify Him through your gifts. There should never be guilt in being fully the person god means us to be.

    Shout it out sister! Tell the naysayer to hush again and again.

  2. Thanks--great comment and much appreciated!

    I am very blessed to have my supportive husband!