The months following my leap of faith felt like a steady fall. A fall from certainty, from sanity, from all that I’ve allowed myself to believe about purpose —a fall from grace. I prayed, constantly, beseeching God for the return of the peace I once felt, for direction, comfort, a sign, anything. What I got instead were lessons and tests, temptation and opportunities to be broken and stripped of all that my character had been compromised of.
I’ve learned that moments like these usually derive from some forgotten prayer for more that God sought to answer more thoroughly than I anticipated. Manifested prayers for healing feels like heartbreak and shame until you’re purged of all the guilt that once haunted you. Manifested prayers for a new life feels like the subtle shame of bad habits brought to the light and the convictions to change them. My main bad habit was complacency in absolutely everything, all other bad habits were merely subsidiaries of my complacency in absolutely everything. I was emotionally homeless, looking to make a bed of comfort any place I could. Far too often, those places consisted of dead-end jobs and toxic relationships with individuals of equally disheveled energy.
My more intentional prayers for change came after I had written my first book. The conversations I subsequently had with friends and strangers who read Control left me feeling a bit hypocritical. Yes, I did make significant changes in efforts to regain control of my life. No, I was not doing all that I could to live the life that I wanted. I hadn't even done as much as I could to become clear of the kind of life I wanted.
When asked, I'd explain that I wrote Control for myself. I didn't know exactly how true it was until that guilt of hypocrisy began to do a work in me. Leading up to quitting my job, I had some work done to my energy. It was, in large part, reluctant because I didn't realize all that I had been wrong about —and I don’t mean wrong in a true or false sense. I had desires that I was unintentionally working against. I became self-righteous in pushing people away because there were some that I knew letting go of was the right thing to do. My forgive and forget was more of a I forgive you because I’m choosing to forget you. Major portions of my attitude were nipped and the rough edges of my aura tucked. I felt like a new person every week. That in itself was bittersweet —I decidedly enjoyed my new features though I felt unsettled anticipating things to change constantly. I heard once that God will do work on the inside before he changes the outside. True to form, he molded my spirit into a thing that no longer felt comfortable in the spaces I had allowed myself to occupy and that's when the convictions about my physical complacency set in.
I must note that although conviction sounds a lot like condemnation, it is immensely different. The convictions were a favor to me, a push to get me higher than the middle I was unintentionally settling for. I was convicted about my friendships, the ones I tried to keep and the ones I was ready to let go of were mislabeled. I was convicted about my passive attitude about the things I desired. "If it's meant to be" was my go to, I used the concept of the will of God as a crutch to not go for the things I wanted. I was convicted of the deprecating thoughts I'd think of myself in the name of humility. These convictions were emphasized by the daily spiritual meals I began to feed myself by way of spiritual podcasts and soulful literature. The way my day to day life and lessons began to align with my conversations, my reading, my listening and my prayers were a clear sign that God was present.
I began to feel so comfortable in the intentional growth I was experiencing that I became flustered when the messages became redundant and I found that I was no longer growing in the same ways. One of the messages I heard during this time emphasized the importance of not looking for God to work in the same ways he has before, that "He is doing a new thing". Somehow, even with that reminder written in marker on my dresser mirror, I was expecting the same things from Him, still. In retrospect, the shift was from God doing inside work to Him prompting me to begin the outside work. I guess I forgot that I'd have a part to play in my own process of change.
I saw an interview some time ago between Pastors Steven Furtick and T.D. Jakes and there was a portion of the segment where Pastor Jakes spoke on life having a rhythm. By the end of it, I was both inspired and worried that I had missed my moment for some things that I wanted and that I was currently missing more. Like double dutch and revolving doors, if you miss your moment, you'll have to wait for the next. There are things in life, however, that don't come back around as quickly.
The day I walked away from my previous job with the few remaining contents of my locker, my last bit of pay and no sure next step, I felt life come back to me. The uncertainty felt like possibilities and in that moment, I was sure that good things would follow my leap.
There are things that get left out of a lot of leap of faith tales. The preceding hesitation seems to be accurately represented most times but the ugly of the moments between the act of faith and the major break seem to get lost in transcription. It does no one any good to leave out the grime. Representation of struggle matters just as much as anything else. What I’ve come to learn about faith is that it’s something you do, not something you become. There’s no end to the acquisition of faith, it’s something you must find in each moment —in some moments, you don’t find it until right before you’re tempted to break.
To Be Continued...
Kimolee Eryn is an artist and writer who believes in creating for a purpose beyond the purpose of creating. She believes that a life should be lived not just to sustain itself but to cultivate peace, love and growth in all adjacent beings and hopes to exemplify that in all she does.