I'm over half way there. Living on a prayer. Sorry, I couldn't resist. My rough draft is over 35,000 words, and I'm shooting for around 60,000. It's amazing to be past the halfway mark. I really am living on a prayer with this thing.
In all my research and sitting in silence, putting myself in the shoes and souls of lives that have been torn apart, I starting to spiral down to an unhelpful, paralyzed state.
In the midst of this oncoming depression, I met with my dearest friend. She reminded me of something we'd talked about months previously. She said it's good to have empathy and compassion, but I'm not expected to carry the burden of all the hurt and brokenness in the world. Jesus is already doing that.
When Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart. . ." His followers would have known just what He meant by "taking His yoke." In those days, they would hitch young, inexperienced oxen to older, stronger oxen with a yoke made specifically for the pair. The older ox would lead the younger ox through the field, at the right pace, so the younger ox could learn to not tire itself out. And the older ox would actually carry all the weight.
In saying, "take my yoke upon you," Jesus is saying, "let me carry all the weight. I'll guide you and lead you at the right pace. Just follow me."
I have always struggled with the dichotomy of how much I have, how easy my life is, compared to most of the world. How do I deserve such a life? I can only hope I use this life well and that my will is conformed to God's will for His Kingdom and His people.
Remembering Jesus's words has been SO freeing for me. I'm still diving into what it would be like to live as a survivor outside one's war-torn country, in a foreign land, but I've given the heaviness over to Jesus. It's helped me stay in a clearer head-space to write well.
Here are a few lines I wrote yesterday:
"All the air had been sucked out of Jack’s lungs, as if he’d been punched in the gut. He hadn’t been able to breathe right since she’d told him. All he could do in that moment was pull her into his arms and will his mind to accept her words.
She’d never looked so broken, his Jaybird. In that light dress, her skin brown from the relentless sun, even her new, short hair suited her delicate face. She was so beautiful. Jack was afraid her eyes would never look at him the same way again.
They were empty and scared, like a hunted animal’s."
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