The Holiness of Dry Times
By Stephanie Gretchen Burgevin. Stephanie is a writer and retreat leader. She is an associate faculty member of Shalem and a graduate of their Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program and leads spiritual and secular programs. Stephanie manages Shalem’s blog. You can see more of her writing at blessedjourneyblog.com.
My guess is that we’ve all experienced them: dry times. Those periods when the well within you has no more to give. It can happen emotionally, professionally, spiritually…basically in any area of life.
I have been a writer since I was about 12. Getting it down on paper was how I got through middle school, high school, the struggles of growing up, joys, pains, and momentous occasions. Then one day I just couldn’t write. Whoa! This was a major shift for me.
I’ve experienced dry patches in all areas of my life and have found that it doesn’t matter how hard I try to get the magic back. I can push and go through all the regular moves that normally helped get my creative/professional/spiritual juices flowing only to be met by a hollow response.
Frustration, panic, anger, fear, sadness, dejection…yep, felt all of those. The darndest thing is that we can’t DO anything about it but maybe be open. It’s about Grace, and perhaps patience. Taking a look at myself and realizing that for reasons I don’t understand, now is not the time to write. Now is the time for something else perhaps, like stopping, and waiting, and being.
It eventually comes back, maybe in a different way or maybe as a different leading. There’s been an internal change that I may or may not be aware of, but something has shifted and thankfully Grace has visited again. Eventually peace is restored.
As always, it seems, the trick is being patient and staying in the trusting mode, knowing that Spirit is right there even in the dryness.
What has been your experience?