On Writing, Loss, and Letting Go of Resentment

by | Oct 23, 2012 | Uncategorized

Last week my hard drive crashed. My first response was to hang my head over my cart of cleaning supplies in Wal-Mart and cry. The second was to get angry. At myself.

I tend to be a bit disorganized when it comes to things that feel mundane, less creative. Like going through the stack of mail in the basket on my kitchen counter, filling out ANY kind of form, filing paperwork and yes, backing up my files. It’s why my husband does the laundry. I get bored in the middle of the second load and forget about moving them to the dryer.

I wrestled through the realization that all of my pictures – including the thousands I took on our anniversary trip to the UK – might’ve mattered to me more than I realized. More than God’s providence, if I’m really honest. And I wouldn’t have known that without the opportunity to feel the pain associated with loss.

But it was later in the week, while using my daughter’s old laggy laptop, that I began to resent the circumstance altogether.  The length of time just to do a status update on Facebook challenged my sanity, not to mention how long it took me to upload photos and a blog post.

Being out of my comfort zone encroached on my plans and resentment ruled the room. Because instead of seeing it all as a gift – my computer, my time, my camera, writing – I wore the shades of entitlement.

And none of these things are mine, they are all His gifts extended.

After I wipe the smallness from my eyes, grace presents herself in the full retrieval of all I feared lost, thanks to a techie friend.

Over the weekend, I awakened before the sunrise to finish a story I’m working on for publication. Writing in the hours least intrusive to my family. And when I open my files, I realize the story I’d worked on for hours, over several days, vanishes like a ghost.

And all that time I planned for writing, it dissolves like water on sugar in the black hole my words fell in to overnight. We never found it. And I couldn’t cry.

Because the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. I chose to let go, and bless the name of the Lord.  And  push cinnamon rolls into the oven to woo my kids from slumber.

This day is a gift, one I’m not entitled to have. Glory.

Linking with Jen, Eileen, Just Write.

This is #23 in the series 31 Days of Letting Go. You can read the collective here. If you are a writer, I invite you to link up any post you’ve written on the theme of letting go in the comments here on Friday. Subscribe to receive the series in your inbox or feed by adding your address in the side bar under Follow Redemptions Beauty.


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  1. Lori

    Your words are like raindrops for a parched soul….always Shelly. You have such a gift for capturing the beauty in every ordinary little moment. But they are not so ordinary are they? Bless you…..Lori

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you Lori, I’m truly humbled by your comment. You know, I was just reading through some old comments and someone said something very similar about the rain and parched souls. Hmmm, I need to pay attention to that sacred echo.

  2. hopefulleigh

    Oh, how I wish I didn’t know the frustration of losing one’s files and pictures. After my laptop crashed a few years back, I had to change the way I interacted with computers. I back everything up as fast as I can. Because those negative feelings you experienced? I don’t ever want to feel that way again! So glad the majority of your work was restored. I love your perspective.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Leigh, the hubs has everything going to Carbonite now so I won’t have to worry about that again. It is taking FOREVER to load. Sorry you’ve had to experience this too.

  3. nacoleat6inthesticks

    Oh, beautiful writing, Shelly. Thank you for being so honest with us, for letting us peek into the private emotions. You are toiling and tending, weeding out, and God is doing all the work–these 31 Day’s are something, eh? God does such a work. I really, really loved the very last sentence in this one. Watching you shoving those buoyant, scrumptious cinnamon rolls into the oven for children during your writing time? Oh yes, glory. Love to you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Sometimes you just have to walk away and keep on livin’, huh Nacole?

  4. Lori McClure (@lorimcspeaks)

    I get this. I feel like God has been telling me to slow down a little and not forget what’s important. I wasn’t listening. I sprained my ankle the other day, and now I have no choice. It’s been awful to move at such a slow pace, but reading this reminds me to see the bigger picture. Thanks.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I did that once, sprained my ankle and it forced me to slow down too. I guess that what we don’t get in a gentle nudge comes with some pain and a bit of a limp. Glad you found grace here Lori.

  5. eil1een

    I am HORRIBLE at backing things up too. Thank you for the reminder to back to some things up. So often, when things like this happen in my life, God is reminding me not to make “idols” out of those things I love. They are important but not more important than Him. I need this reminder often. My priorities can easily get screwed up.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Eileen, I think that was the lesson for me in this too. I realized how much I do care about things, more than the things of God. Hard but valuable lesson learned.

  6. traceybecker

    I spent a few months resenting the new responsibilities I had thrust upon me by someone who was supposed to do the “leader” thing while I followed. It wasn’t until I accepted and embraced the new role as leader that someone else stepped up and said “Yes. I will help you.”

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Isn’t that the way so much of life works? We think its a default plan somehow but God was orchestrating it all along. Really happy to meet you Tracey, appreciate you joining the conversation.

  7. Anne

    Why is it I so struggle to deny and acknowledge my weaknesses? When I do embrace them they may well become friends. To see the possibilities of what God can do with those things I do not do well or want to do is so hard. Thank you Shelly for taking me to a place of stopping and asking God what He can do with those things. I resist admitting to my Father in heaven what I do not do well or want to do. Do I really believe that all things are possible through Christ Jesus who strengthens me? I cannot do everything but I can do something, what would you have me do Lord. Again, stop ask and listen. Learning the same thing over and over again. Oh Lord have mercy!!!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Ann Voskamp calls it soul amnesia. I think we all suffer from that malady Anne.

  8. Dea Moore

    I love this journey you are taking this month. You are so right about “shades of entitlement.” I am discovering I have them in many areas of my life. I need to name them and let them go. I have in the past and sometimes I still do. I find it is not a one time thing. Like so much of life, it is a process that tends to be like laundry. It’s never really done.

    BTW, I am there with you on the laundry 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’ve always abhorred the way entitlement looks on other people, so the fact that I saw it in myself was really hard. And I’m sure I’m blind to so many things like this that keep me distant from God’s fullest in my life. My prayer is often, “open my eyes to what I am blind to today.”
      Glad I have a cohort in the laundry business. 🙂

  9. Nancy Franson (@nancyfranson)

    I just love it when I start the day praying over my keyboard, asking God to use my little stories in some way to minister to someone, then I find myself getting all agitated and swearing at my computer or snipping at members of my family because of some techno-glitchy thing.

    Maybe this whole writing exercise is really just about me continuing to see how desperately I need Jesus?

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I know it’s that for me Nancy. He confirms that daily.

  10. Tammy Helfrich

    The mundane can sometimes be so frustrating. Thanks for the reminder to choose to live for today.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, the mundane is like a death sentence for we creatives. But it often serves as the muse.

  11. ro elliott

    Oh entitlement is an ugly monster lurking inside our souls…God has been pulling back the curtain to see how this threads through more in my life than I would like to admit. I am seeing the log in my eye…and now I can hear my kids with new ears too…helping them see…that seeming small statement was filled with entitlement. Oh may God set us free…to live free from getting…and free to give~blessings…and well done on making the rolls:)

    • Redemption's Beauty

      We just continue to peel the onion layers off on the state of the soul don’t we Ro? Glad to be doing it with you friend.

  12. Lindsey Erwin

    Below is the thought God gave me as I woke today. I think it alines with the idea of redemptive beauty because there is so much redemption in the whole idea of everyone simply doing what they do best and letting God take care of the rest.

    Personal Responsibility – is essential to the building of a great nation. If each individual were to simply take personal responsibility to walk in all God created them to be, If we walk in the truth and integrity of our personal calling. Then we show forth the love of God naturally and lives will be built up one loving act at a time.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Lindsey, I am going to email you but just wanted you know that this word you’ve shared has blessed me greatly. Thank you.

  13. Michelle

    Visiting from SDG. I know how it easy it is to become frustrated and angry over things we thought were in our control only to realize its not. I once read an article about figuring out the difference between an lump in our oatmeal and a lump in our breast. Something that I am reminded of when things don’t go the way I thought they would and I over react. Blessings on you today.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      And I suppose stepping back from the anger helps us to realize we really have absolutely no control over much of life, even when we think we do.

  14. wynnegraceappears

    We’re working things out this October, or rather God is at work among us this October. Thank you for walking out shoulder to shoulder your words, your heart so honestly, friend. I am grateful when you are bare and real. Blessings to you. You teach, you encourage and you soar.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, we are Elizabeth. It’s a bit painful and settling all at the same time. A good place to be when in the hands of a loving Father. Thank you for the encouragement.

  15. Megan Willome

    I am just so sad about your story. Ugh.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I know Megan, me too. I’ve re-written it, still not finished. We’ll see.

  16. nancyaruegg

    Shelly, you are so right about giving God glory through the mundane and the mess. Such an attitude deflates the devil’s ability to use discouragement and anger against us. Now there’s motivation for praising from the pits–it gets on the devil’s nerves! Thank you for your honesty, wisdom, and positive example.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I think you are right Nancy, our responses have the ability to inflate or deflate the enemy. We choose.

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