rainy day resistance

Written by Shelly Miller

Editor, Living the Story Shelly Miller is smitten with the art of story to transform a life. She writes about her own struggles as a child of divorce and alcoholism, and the way God redeems it all as a clergy wife raising two teens. With experience as a full-time missionary, advocate for orphans in Rwanda and leader of women’s ministries for small and large congregations, she is passionate to help people realize calling despite circumstance. When her husband H isn’t leading a church planting movement in North America, they drive five minutes across the street to take a walk on the Atlantic, with a camera strapped to her shoulder.

March 4, 2013

rbraindrops

Wearing her pink and green pajama pants and an overcoat, she scuffs through the kitchen into the garage. Kicks off her fuzzy slippers and pushes her feet into dirty garden shoes; balancing one foot at a time while holding her camera inside a plastic grocery bag.

“What are you doing,” her husband asks while stuffing a piece of toast in his mouth.

“I’m going outside to get a picture of something,” she tells him.

He’s used to this, the way she takes random photos at odd times. But today, Saturday morning stillness sinks to the bone like a leaky faucet dripping through a grey cloud canopy, tricking our internal family clock. The rise and fall of each youthful chest keeps rhythm to the chorus of lazy rain drops outside.

An hour ago, she stared out her writing window sipping tea, asking God questions. Watching red breasted finches hold onto the feeder swinging like a merry go round holding small children.   Mesmerized by the way raindrops chandelier on the ends of branches, lighting up what’s living poking through winter’s decay beneath.

At her back, a stack of note cards, pens and book tents cover her writing desk. She longs to capture rain dangling on trees in the South like Christmas lights glowing in summer. Instead, she stands in the confines of the door frame or sits behind sealed glass. The same way she wants to write a book, by admiring the words of others.

Is she good enough? The question haunts her when she looks at the cursor flashing like a tired Aunty leaning on the kitchen counter, arms crossed in the wait.

She admits thinking about a dream and idealizing it is actually more fun than living it. That waiting for the right time, for the rain to clear, is like telling God when she’s ready to give birth. Is there ever a perfect time?

rbraindrops2

A chill bites the back of her neck as she clods across the soggy yard in front of the neighbors. She stands under a halo of bare branches catching cold spit wads on the crown of her uncombed head. And as she frames a magnified shot, she hears the answer to her question.

“Yes, you are enough. Because I am enough.”

Her son sits at the counter scooping cereal into his mouth bleary-eyed, watching her push the towel around the camera lens absorbing the specks of water. “Can you pour me some orange juice Mom,” he asks politely.

“In a minute,” she says, “I have to go write something down first.”

Sometimes you have to take the first uncomfortable step outside of resistance to realize your dreams.  That first step, its the hardest one to take.

How do you overcome resistance? What does resistance look like in your life?

 

18 Comments

  1. Kris Camealy

    I love your heart, Shelly. I had a similar moment a couple of weeks ago, when I asked God if He was satisfied with me–with the work I had done (particularly relating to my book) and I waited and listened, chewing my lip and weeping a little, and He spoke swiftly and answered–even as the question had barely left my lips. He is satisfied with me, with the work, with US, because of Jesus. Even in our frailty and fumbling, we are enough–the work is enough, because HE is enough. This speaks so loudly to my anxious heart today, thank you. (hugs)

    Reply
    • Shelly Miller

      I can’t imagine a writer who hasn’t had these moments we’ve had Kris. I wish they weren’t part of the process, but I think the wrestling with our own frailty is what keeps Him clearly focused. I have be reminded of my own weaknesses on a regular basis it seems. And that is a good thing . . .in hindsight of course. 😉

      Reply
  2. Eileen Knowles

    Beautiful, Shelly. Recently, I came the realization that I’ve spent too much time chasing the dreams of others. I tend to get caught up thinking that “success” must look a certain way. But God reminded me that He has very unique path carved out just for me.

    Reply
    • Shelly Miller

      Oh, I’ve had that realization too. Sort of, “what makes you think your process will look the same as everyone else” kind of aha moment. It’s so easy to get caught up in methodology and forget the element of faith.

      Reply
  3. Jillie

    Oh Shelly, this is beautiful. I hear you and I feel you, if that makes sense. I just know in my heart that you would write an amazing story. Because I know you would not be writing it in your own strength and effort. You walk closely with our Lord, and your words to us are His words to you. It’s obvious everytime I read you. You would lean heavily on Him, I know this. And because of this, you cannot fail! He is in you and with you. Write that book, my dear friend. Write your story…to His glory!

    Reply
    • Shelly Miller

      Thank you Jillie. It has to be inspired by Him, it just has to be or its no good. And I am, writing the book. *squee*

      Reply
  4. kelli woodford

    self-reflection can be a good thing. but it can also be a cancer.
    when we get so obsessed (which i seem to do on a daily basis) with our own ability or lack thereof, we forget that the “enough” has already been declared. the work has been done and we are safer in trust than we ever dared hope for what lies ahead.
    love you. love this.

    Reply
    • Shelly Miller

      Love that first line Kelli. Self reflection can be good but also a cancer. And with all things there are inherent strengths and weaknesses aren’t there? A realization that keeps me on my knees most days.

      Reply
  5. DeanneMoore

    I haven’t overcome resistance yet but the very reality that there is resistance is a clue to a greater truth—-there is something bigger that is being resisted, something that threatens the comfort of watching birds from the window, that threatens to undo all we have carefully pieced together and wrapped ourselves up in. We know that we are only enough because He who made is enough, beyond enough. Comparison and Comfort hold hands call out “red rover, red rover, let Dea come over…I struggle to break through because I could have slipped over easily through the arms of Faith and Truth…and sadly I made the choice to be held back. Praise God for a new day.

    Reply
    • Shelly Miller

      Such wise words Dea. I read them three times. You are so right that resistance is a clue to a greater truth. Its the testy precipice to greater joy if we decide to jump into it and not allow comparison and comfort to talk us out of it. And yes, thankful for the mercy of a new day. Whew!

      Reply
  6. Cara Sexton

    So much more than good enough, but isn’t that the question we are always asking? Love this piece, Shelly. Well done, friend.

    Reply
  7. Sandra Heska King

    When did you crawl into my head? You know I get this. Fuzzy slippers and all.

    Except I keep my muck boots in the house. There are spiders in the garage…

    Reply
    • Shelly Miller

      Oh yes, I see myself in your posts about grabbing your camera, asking your husband to stop on the side of the road. We are kindred when it comes to photography for sure.

      Reply
  8. Diane Bailey

    Beautiful! I am enough, because He is enough.

    Reply
  9. floyd

    I give people credit who stop, think, and analyze before they jump in. Some of us would see the raindrop and run without bothering to get the towel or the garden shoes… That’s when the regret wells up inside much like the mud between our toes…

    You have a great perspective; when He’s ready you’ll be ready. None of us can contain His enough and it shines in your words like His light. “Whom shall I fear?”

    Reply
    • Shelly Miller

      Oh wow Floyd. Your comment blesses me. It’s obvious you stop and think too, that you actually discerned all of that. Thank you.

      Reply

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rainy day resistance

by Shelly Miller time to read: 2 min
18