When a Writer Doesn’t Write

It’s no secret to people who know me that my last year has been a hard one. And I was sincerely hoping that one year after burying my mom that, not that I wouldn’t still be grieving, but that things would at least be looking a little less bleak. But my husband lost his job earlier this year and the process of unpacking that has been painful….to put it politely.

For a writer who isn’t writing, and to now be in a situation in which I’m not at liberty to wrestle out loud, I’ve been stuck for a long time. We were lying in bed one night and I was just sobbing. I finally composed myself and said, “I just can’t decide which is worse right now: watching my mom die from ALS, sincerely thinking that Child Protective Services was going to come to our home and remove our own children after being falsely accused of some things by a birth mom, or being completely blindsided by people we previously trusted, as we were in January.

Craig looked at me and said, “Megan. You can’t rank those things. They are all bad. They are all so terribly bad. The only thing we can do right now is control our response to them.”

And I know he’s right, but honestly…when you’ve been so badly treated by people, the only initial response is anger. It’s like I’m grieving another death in my life. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it. Now I have to believe it, but I don’t want to believe it, but I am believing it and I’m so hurt because the people who hurt us are people who know better.

I’ve been sporadically seeing a counselor this year. I think I’ve gone to her three or four times now. Even she said to me after a few meetings that she wasn’t sure I needed to come. She said something to the effect of, “You’re processing all of this well, it’s just that you keep getting more and more really bad things thrown at you to process.” Indeed.

So here we are, with our Oklahoma chapter coming to a close. We still have two foster boys who were supposed to go back to their parents last week but now can’t and so they are still with us and will be until we move, at which point we will have to hand them over to another family which will be another loss that we have no control over. Here we are managing yard sales and packing and cleaning and house prepping and getting ready to start one of the processes I hate more than almost any other one: showing and selling a house. #StickAForkInMyEyePlease

I’m not sure about the blog. I pretty much gave it up this year and I may still do that even now. The things I need to write…the things I need to communicate…and the people with which I want to communicate with…are all off limits.

It’s a masked life and I don’t do fluff and rainbows very well.

Instead, I bury myself in the psalms and I continue to cry and pray and put my head down and push through it. God, please bring us through to the other side in one piece.

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple…Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!” ~Psalm 27: 4, 7-9

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9 thoughts on “When a Writer Doesn’t Write

  1. Aubrey says:

    Megan, I don’t have any words of wisdom. I only wanted to say that I actually do think of you and pray for you when you come to mind. I hope that things will turn around for you soon. I never understand why some people seem to have these terrible seasons where nothing goes right, but you certainly seem to be in the midst of one. As we were in the season of Jeff’s unemployment and presbytery issues, I often wished for an anonymous place to vent. Actually, as a pastor’s wife, I still sometimes wish for that and have often considered starting an anonymous ministry wives blog or something, but then having three kids and a job gets in the way. Anyway, Feel free to email me if you ever need to unload. 🙂

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  2. Megan says:

    I do wrestle with that even still – I could write privately, but there’s a part of me that wants to interact over it. Anonymously would be another option too, but I think there’s a part of me that wants to be known in the midst of the struggle.

    Yet…that may be the only option. Email might be the best bet…with people we neither work with/for or go to church with.

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  3. susan says:

    I have echoed some of these very thoughts myself…the desire to want to share things and interact about them and yet the great need to deal anonymously with those situations because of a church or small town context. I have often wanted to start an anonymous pastor’s wife’s blog. It seems to me in the Church, we should be able to walk through the messy together. In tough situations like you are in, I all too often feel the injured party is asked not to feel for the sake of the peace and purity of the church. I wonder in those times, if the event was correctly done (i.e. job loss), then the two parties should be able to discuss it openly and process openly. When people are asked not to talk about it, it makes me feel like there is something to hide. And in the end, the one who has had the loss loses his community that God put us in to deal with a crushing blow. Wish we were near one another. I am praying for you and for Craig and your family as you process so many hard things at one time. Love, susan

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  4. Martha Brady says:

    i still remember a horrible season many years ago. going through a time when venting isn’t allowed is horrible. i hate not being able to defend my self and/or those i love. it feels so unfair…it IS unfair. there is no way around it.

    somehow, we get through it and learn more of GOD’s grace…and the bonds between us and our spouse are deepened too…if we are part of the fortunate few.

    i can’t imagine the pain you are going through right now with all these things piling up…but i do know that some day…it may be a long time from now, you’ll look back and see that even in all this, GOD showed HIs loving hand to you and yours.

    you frequently come to mind and i pray for you as you suffer and weep. the morning is going to come…and joy will come with it.

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  5. Bethany says:

    I’ve hurt a lot for you all the past couple of months. Craig was the best boss I’ve ever had and that situation is so unjust. I would never claim to know how it feels to deal with everything you’re going through; you’re definitely in a harder place than I am. That said, in the last few months I also have lost someone I cared about to ALS and have faced a betrayal that I can’t speak freely about, has had a lot of repercussions, and might end a relationship. It’s good to be reminded that I’m not the only one dealing with a lot of crap. I’ll be praying for you all.

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    • Megan says:

      Bethany – I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to chat with you on Saturday. I’ve been wondering about the family you helped in which the dad had ALS and I’m guessing he’s the one whose battle has ended? I’m so so sorry. And sorry, too, for broken relationships.

      I keep wondering what the lesson is that we’re just not learning yet because I’d like to learn it already…

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      • Bethany says:

        Yes, he’s the one. Easter will be more meaningful this year than ever before…

        I can think of some lessons in my situation, but this sure isn’t the way I’d prefer to learn them. : p

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  6. Laura says:

    I get a little angry too- that we as the body of Christ don’t know how to do messy together. I work around cancer patients all the time – what if the body just cut off the offending organ during cancer treatment? Preposterous!
    Write if you need to. Write me. Write on the blog but mark it private so it doesn’t go ‘out there’ right now. You can disclose later if you wish. Just write. I know its not the same as wrestling. I do get angry. Where does a (minister) go for support? Where does a (minister’s) wife go to recover? Never doubt that the Spirit is at work in this pain. I know that doesn’t make the pain any better. Oh, sister dear… And the worst is probably that you feel so.very.alone. You know others have walked hard paths- but they aren’t your paths, and knowing that doesn’t help much if at all. It may even make you feel guilty because you don’t think you are walking very well. Don’t compare. I don’t know how to tell you you are not alone! You are not forgotten!

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