Having Faith is Not Fun

I think people have a particular vision of what faith looks like.

Times are tough and she’s on her knees full of hope.  She’s given her burdens over to an unseen authority because things happen for a reason. At very least, there’s a flow, and she knows this and will “go with it.” Faith. Relief. Contentment.

Bullshit.

I’ve had a lot of faith lately and it looks nothing like that.  I’m certainly not on my knees (although that might help); I’m not grateful; and nothing is flowing.  I have my butt glued to my chair, and I am promising myself a dark chocolate Easter egg from my son’s basket if I just write that next dreadful paragraph.

Most days, I hate my writing. I often doubt it’s worth my time. Life is happening, real life and not fiction, all around me and I’m off forcing prose into my inadequate fake world.

My faith is dark and ugly and expressed only in the action of doing the writing — day after day with no real indication I am cut out for this, meant for this, or that this brings value to me or the planet.

Occasionally, I dare to hope just a little and then make efforts to squash it out.  Faith means not requiring validation, feedback, or pay. It means being okay with no voice of God in my head or Holy Spirit in my heart. It means being okay with my motivation — a near-evil gnawing notion that NOT doing this would be worse. And, of course, that promise of chocolate.

All this said to announce I made the semi-finals in ACFW’s Genesis contest. I’m entering year 3 with my butt on this chair, plugging through my 1K a day, and that phone call came as a huge relief yesterday after a near spirit-breaking week. There was no squealing or jumping after I hung up. Just a potent exhale and a decision to keep the faith a bit longer.

So, no matter where you are in your artist’s journey (and we are all artists), I say keep your butt in the chair. And tell me, what does your faith look like?

9 Comments

  1. Faith for me is brushing off the dust and continuing my work after ditching my project for the umpteenth time knowing that one day God will say: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

    🙂

  2. By Rod Serling (Twilight Zone):

    “Writing is a demanding profession and a selfish one. And because it is selfish and demanding, because it is compulsive and exacting, I did not embrace it. I succumbed to it.”

  3. The title strikes a chord. It isn’t fun. For me, what keeps the faith is recognition that the alternative ain’t gonna cut it.

    Congrats, writer!

  4. Yay, congrats.

    Right now, faith is opening to the terror my work triggers, instead of burying it the way I have all my life. No wonder I procrastinated so much.

  5. And people wonder why I am a “glass half empty person” – and I’m not even a writer!
    Congrats, Melissa!!

  6. My faith sounds a lot like yours. It’s grim, somewhat cynical and skeptical. It’s a journey of the road, with potholes, dust, side-swipes, traffic jams, bad radio signs and that feeling you get when there’s nothing in your cd case you want to listen to.

    Yet there’s the sunrise/sunset moments. The joy of meeting fellow travelers on the way. That cup of coffee and the rest stops.

    But there’s the quest, the seeking, and no destination in mind.

  7. I think that there is little difference in your writing fiction and me writing in the academy: both are undoing us, both are scratching an itch, and both are making our hearts bigger–all at the same time.

    It is faith, but I’m uncertain yet if it is Christian. Can you help me on this?

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