how Elora got her groove back, in so many words…

Posted on March 15, 2009

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I wrote this in July as Russ & I were headed back to Mississippi from a magnificent week at Lake J.

The blog entry basically focuses on my realization that God has created my love of words for a reason. My purpose? Make Him known through writing and telling the stories of the oppressed. Fight apathy & comfort through my writer’s lense & speak out against injustice.

The problem? I could count on both my hands the journal entries/blog posts I’ve written since July.

It’s not like I haven’t any stories. I mentioned one in my last entry – Blue. The guy on 183&57th. Or Marisa – my precious fighter who will change the world, I have no question in my mind. Or countless students who have passed through my door – offering stories of resilience & hope that would rival any lifetime/disney movie.

But their stories have remained hidden.

Some of it has to do with what Russ &I  have been through these past six months. Pruning is never an easy experience to go through – and it is even harder to write about. The feelings of regret & pain & hurt begin to rear their ugly heads and suddenly I am caught frozen in front of the computer screen.  My fear of transparency gets the best of me.

I can’t write this – someone may see it.

Which is funny, really. Because the one thing I crave for my writing is transparency. Authenticity. I hope others leave a piece I have written knowing that I was completely honest & held nothing back. All my life I have been labeled as the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve, and this has done nothing but help me in my writing. People know my emotions when they read something of mine. They know what I am wanting them to do or say. But I have been holding back. I haven’t been completly honest. God has been doing so much & breaking my heart for His glory in so many ways…and all I can do is just stare at the computer screen in dumbfounded wonder.

I was talking to my sister this morning. She’s pretty brilliant. You should get to know her. Her name is Christina & she is about to graduate A&M and enter the big scary world with bells & whistles. Anyways, her & I spoke for what had to be close to two hours about the church & our hopes & dreams for what God is doing in both our lives.  Eventually, the conversation turned to writing because she too finds solace in worshipping through words. I asked her if she had recently read our other sister’s latest entry on facebook and she responded she hadn’t been able to & that was on the list of things to do when she got home for Spring Break. And then she stopped and sighed…

“I haven’t been able to write in forever, Elora.”

Her confession hit me a little harder than anticipated, because even if she isn’t publishing something via her facebook notes, she’s always writing something on her Mac. Her computer is stock-full of thoughts & dreams written along her journey. But, I completely understood. I knew where she was coming from because I have had the same problem.  I responded with a similar sentiment and told her that every time I try and start writing, thoughts of me being good enough or smart enough or having something worth while enough rush through my head and absolutely cork any inspiration I had in the beginning.

And then it hit us. With the stunning clarity that can only be attributed to a quick slap in the face from God, we knew what has been happening.

Because you see, I am from a family of artists rich in talent. My father? One of the best legitimate artist I know. Seriously. He can draw breathtaking sceneries of trees. My grandmother? Prolific writer. Her mother, Blanche Parrott, had a lifetime dream of becoming a journalist before dying at a young age. My nana? Smooth & creamy alto of a singer. I have memories of her singing me to sleep, her vibratto caressing me as I fought to keep my eyes open.

All of this heritage? All of this artistry & creativity? Has culminated itself into my siblings & me. All three of the Jacobson sisters have a penchant for writing. My two sisters – Blanche (18) and Christina (22) have such a way with words that consistently I am found speechless with their insight. We’re constantly brainstorming & calling eachother with our latest conquest of words. Blanche & I have more than once written about the exact same thing at the exact same time. Eerie. And even now – God is doing something strikingly similar in each of our lives. Breaking us and molding us and pushing us to speak out and live for him in creative and revolutionary ways.

Lately, my writing has been stagnant. I’ve had a few where I knew it was something God had spoken through me, but other times I feel as though I am just going through the motions: “I did this & this & he said this…” and that’s not my heart. I want to write for a purpose. I want my writing to bring Him glory & force people out of their comfort zones & into His presence. I’ve been too distracted. What better way to stop a message of hope than to distract the messenger?

This past summer, I had such a desire to find stories & tell them & bring people to my Jesus who loves justice & rescuing those in bondage & captivity.  And then, life happened. Disappointments happened and I forgot my purpose.

I believed a lie.

And this irritates me so much because what have I missed? True, I’m not traveling the world like originally planned and telling stories of those in rural towns & villages across the globe. I’m not there yet, and that’s okay. But, there are stories around me. Stories of injustice & hurt & anger and questions of why…

Stories that could bring Jesus glory because even after all of this hurt, there’s redemption.

So, this is a manifesto of sorts. A declaration against my own fear of imperfection and failure and even of success.  A promise to fight apathy inside of me before fighting it in my neighbor. Because until I fix my own inconsistencies & focus on His purpose – until He wrecks me of all my preconceived notions of how my life should be played out – what can I truly accomplish?

I’m not expecting to gain recognition. Please don’t misunderstand my story-telling as a plea for a book deal or an opportunity for more subscribers (as if I had any…) I just know what God has asked me to do. I can’t ignore His calling anymore. And if there has been anything God has taught Russ & me these past couple of months, it’s that His will always resurfaces. He always prevails. We may try to run or go about doing it in a different way than He asked, but His purpose always rings true.

So this is it. I may have one story, I may have thousands before this is all over.  But my prayer is  they are read by those who are searching for a higher calling – a more dangerous & fulfilling way of living.

These are not my words, and these are not my stories.  Let’s begin the journey.

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