A Season of Struggle

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Not going to lie. It’s been rough as of late. Even before I left California on the 800+ mile journey back here to Arizona at the end of April, I was battling emotional demons. I didn’t want to leave California. I didn’t want to move. Not really. It seemed smart logically, but the fact is, California has always had a special place in my heart. It’s where I was born. It’s where I ventured to numerous times in my adolescence. It’s where most of my extended family lives. Most of all, the weather and geography are more than favorable compared to Arizona. I prefer forests and oceans to desert and dirt. Any day. Anytime.

That being said, the move was something God had initiated. It’s the only real reason I agreed to move. But now as I’ve been settling down here in Arizona once again, surrounded by family and friends, I’ve had a hard time shaking the intense depression that has been plaguing me. When I say depression, I don’t mean suicidal, I just mean heavy…intense…sorrowful. It’s not just sorrow over leaving California, it’s sorrow – and confusion – over where I’m at in life.

It’s been years since I heard God whisper in my ear that the medical company I was working for would be my last 9-5 job until my writing could pay the bills. Years. I am actually coming up on Year 6 this July. Six years of journeying through faith, trusting in God to provide for our family on an income of one. And God has done it. He has done miracles and He has done things I had never seen before and probably may never see again. There has been beauty smeared in with these ashes, and I am so grateful that I serve a God who loves me and my family enough to sustain us through this incredible journey.

Cactus Shadow

But I’m exhausted. I’m tired from the journey. My endurance has run its course, and now I’m left with fatigue. I thought when God moved us to California that it was the start of things finally moving with my writing career. I thought it was the end of the family drama in Arizona. I thought it was a move from the desert to the Promised Land. Like Moses, I feel as if my arms are being held up by those who care about me enough to hold my arms up.

It dawned on me the other day that I haven’t published any new fiction in the last couple of years, aside from some pieces in a short story anthology. But God has been working, on me, on my family, and on my writing career. The emergence of The Crossover Alliance publishing company is one of the main events that took place while I was living in the Bay Area, a new venture in my writing career.

But if I’m really honest about all of this, I’d have to say that none of this is about a career, but more about a calling. Careers almost always involve an interest of money at some level. A calling overlooks the money and runs with a severe and heavily-focused purpose with little interest in letting anything get in the way. A calling requires sacrifice at the most inopportune of times, cuts off friends and family when they poison the waters, and will require all of you even on days you don’t feel like all of you even exists. With a calling, there is no 110%. There is everything or nothing.

My writing is my calling. And my calling is more than California. It’s more than jotting down words on a page to entertain. It is reaching a dark world with the light of Christ via a pen, keyboard, or any other writing/typing utensil I can get my hands on.

As I emerge from this funk I’ve been drowning in, I sense I have become a different person. These last six years – and especially the two years I lived in the Bay Area – have refined me into a new person, one with an iron will, a steel faith, and a laser-sight focus on God’s promises, with little interest of letting anything get in my way of obtaining them.

Oh, and that’s another fact of a calling – it will change you regardless if you want to be changed. But know that you will always be changed for the better, not the worst.

One Comment

  • Lana Gates

    Nicely done! It’s nice to see you writing again. And it’s nice to see you emerging from your funk. Honest writing is good writing. People can relate to it. Thanks for your transparency here.

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