Maybe the best way to describe how I'm doing is to tell you that I am reading nothing but memoirs, right now. That should tell you something.
This summer I read nothing but novels- some good ones, some so "light" that I didn't even bother to write them down, some with interesting characters. All easy reading. All fiction. I only wanted to read so that I could temporarily enter another world, a story land, and have the novel end well, and with things all tidy and in place. I read on the beach when we were on vacation, and I read at night, and by the community pool my daughter swam in, and I read while waiting for the light to change.
And boy, did the light change. Not only because it's Fall, and it's daylight savings and everything gets dark and somber by 4pm or so' but also because things in my life have recently gotten...tight. Constricted. Like I'm facing a dark corner and I'm told to go in even deeper. And I say to the person instructing me, "But it's a corner you're asking me to walk into! What can I possibly accomplish being cornered and facing a wall?" That's when I realize I am talking with God. And that's also when I realize He apparently thinks a lot can be accomplished by bringing me into a dark corner, a seeming dead end.
So that's why I'm reading memoirs now. Nothing but memoirs. Because right now I can't stomach any light frivolous reading, any romantic scenes that end in roses and smiles and happily ever afters. I'm looking for something other than fiction. And I don't want to read 12 Steps to Success, or whatever self-help book is indicating that it is clear cut, that the road is straight and clear.
I only want to read about real people and hear them share with me how they got brought into a corner and ... survived it, whatever it was - drastic health issues, widowhood, a failing business, having a child, a son, born with a body that betrays him. I can hear pain in their voice. I can understand their questions, even if I can't really understand the whole scene, the whole complicated scene.
Each story is different. And no one has the same exact values as I do, the same religious, spiritual convictions. But I can still learn from them. And I am. I'm learning that it's amazing what God has put in us, and that it rises up when things get dark and possibilities are not in sight. I'm learning that being an overcomer starts, first, with a decision to be one- or perhaps just with the decision to let God turn you into one.