425 || Losing My Elvis: When the Days Aren’t Sunny and Bright
I lost my mojo. My friend Liz and I call it “losing our Elvis.”
You know those seasons in life when things seem to be going well? You’ve got momentum and courage. And opportunity. Your marriage is solid, the kids are in good places, your prayer life full, the pen moves and words flow. The days aren’t necessarily easy, but your feet are light when you are dancing with the Holies.
Then suddenly, Elvis leaves the building.
In a whoosh, like a magic trick gone awry, the tablecloth is yanked off the banquet table by a dark magician with an insidious laugh. Dishes are scattered, chipped and broken. Everything tumbles out of order, falling in disarray. Confusion kicks Peace in the shins and Fear moves to the head of the table and sets up new rules.
Noisy, bossy, imaginary voices spew all the answers to all the things—the rules, the formulas, the paths to success, the right way to do this. And that. You know in your core—a place more precious and trustworthy than your gut—you are hearing lies, but your heart is tender, vulnerable and scared.
Of course, this sucks. A cloud of despair hovers as you wonder what happened. Did I do something wrong? Why is the ink in my pen dry? Why is my tongue heavy and lame? My thoughts tangled?
Life moves in distorted slo-mo when you’ve lost your mojo.
So you do the only thing you know to do. You gather a few wise women to your table, and you ask them to pray.
Last Thursday, four women sat at my kitchen table and listened. And prayed humble and mighty prayers. For me. For my family. For the ministry of The Turquoise Table. For all the tables that you put in your front yards last week. By name we prayed for you. And you in Canada with the daffodils. And you in Ohio with the book. And each of you who come to this place for recipes and encouragement and community. These sage women who have raised me in Christ prayed like David weeping the Psalms. For humility. For clarity. For wisdom. For peace.
They petitioned for Christ alone to speak all the answers to all the things.
Immediately, the snares loosened. I could feel my shoulders gently give up their stronghold next to my ears. As the women prayed, I heard the Lord whisper, “Sanctification.”
Such a big and churchy word. I had to look it up. For the rest of the day and into the next, I scribbled notes and Bible verses. Like sipping the ocean through a straw, I took in all the salty waters my mouth could hold. Learning. Seeking. Desperately trying to make sense of my spiritual funk, this dark night of my soul.
Life beckoned me to move forward. I stretched out of my fetal position on the couch and ran mindless but necessary errands. In the car, I asked Siri to play my favorite song by Rend Collective.
Three times, Siri misunderstood me. Three times she queued up Van Morrison instead.
By then, I was driving and unable to fiddle with my phone, so I sighed and listened. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, I was a huge Van Morrison fan. But I hadn’t heard the song “Bright Side of the Road” in ages.
By the second verse I heard it. His voice. Like the scene in The Book of Acts when the Holy Spirit descended and spoke in a language all could understand, it was no longer the Irishman I heard but the song of my Savior singing in a language I understood.
From the dark end of the street to the bright side of the road,
(An invitation to come.)
Little darlin,’ come with me. Help me share my load.
(Come to me all who are weary and burdened)
We’ll be lovers once again on the bright side of the road.
(No longer a passing fancy from my youth, You are the lover of my soul.)
Into this life we’re born, baby sometimes we don’t know why.
(Remind me of my calling, my purpose; keep my eyes firmly set on You.)
Let’s enjoy it while we can. Won’t you help me sing my song
(With joy, I will sing for You for the rest of my days.)
From the dark end of the street to the bright side of the road?
So there I was, in the parking lot of The Container Store, singing my heart out, the minivan swaying, keeping time. I don’t remember how many times I pushed repeat so I could sing the song again. And again.
But, in the twinkling of an eye, The KING entered the building and took center stage.