Happy Monday, y’all! Today’s post marks the first of a month-long Monday series I am starting called “Suffering for Righteousness.” I am starting with a light topic, and planning to delve deeper into the mystery of life with Christ – a life in which suffering […]
“What do you do?” The very well-mannered, very put-together business woman running the networking event I attended a few days ago asked me with a truly genuine smile and caring eyes.
“I’m a writer,” I said. And even though that is true now of my profession, it feels less true than ever.
You see, I think the transition to adulthood is accompanied by many major changes. Some of them sneak up on us without our permission. Others, we always knew were impending, but didn’t think would actually come to fruition.
One of these changes I am only recently becoming more in touch with is that of my childlike instincts. The nature of trust that I used to have in not only those around me, but my own gut, has changed. An ever-loud world has tested me and questioned me and challenged me, and I know that we all experience the pressures of this reality. The voices of marketing, of peers, of family, of friends, of professors, of businesses, of co-workers and bosses… each of these voices can influence us into believing that something about us should be altered.
But recently, I’ve become more in touch with some of the influenced changes that I believe have been negative, one of them being my creative writing instincts.
I used to sit down and write pages and pages of prose or fiction, no problem. The ideas would flow. I would adopt the voice of a 15-year-old boy struggling with his identity and tell his story. I would spin a tale about an old woman with dementia who had just lost her husband and was reflecting on a life with little meaning, developing this character with unapologetic focus.
I used to hold fast to a quotation by Benjamin Franklin. “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.” What a way to think about how I spend my time as a writer, who is also a Christian!
But, as time, technology, and “voices” – plus my own inner critic – have weathered me, I know that I am less inclined to take the time to really write, to flesh out stories and characters, and to focus.
I want to change these things.
I want to finish the book I started when I was fourteen that stands at 156 pages and has about 156 to go. I yearn to recapture the child in me who finished novels in the wee hours of the night and highlighted prose to compare it to the syntax of her own stories.
Most importantly, I have deep, deep desire to want these again– more than I want the approval of the world, and more than I want to give in to the secret sins of my life, and more than I want things I’m not called to.
I know that I am a writer. It’s time to discover what that means again.
Happy Wednesday my friends! A couple weekends ago, one of the last weekends of August, marked big changes in my life: it was the last weekend before Johnny moves to Winnipeg for the last time EVER, timed perfectly with our engagement party, hosted by one […]
…I have learned that I struggle.
I know that God knows that I love a good story. A self-titled (and, now, professionally titled) writer since I was eight years old, I see everything in life in stories. A good storyline complete with metaphors and compelling arch is what I appreciate most about movies and books. My love of stories is probably why I adore spontaneity and thrilling music and consider myself a hopeless romantic. It’s why I don’t summarize the beautiful way my fiance proposed in a matter of minutes, but have written it out in detail and still tell it with glassy eyes and a voice of wonder.
So, when something happens IRL that is utterly story-like, practically telling itself through its serendipity and ability to tell itself, and then comes to an end that makes it all NOT very worth telling… I struggle.
But it’s good that I struggle, because it’s brought me to an awareness of the fact that I easily see God in “the story” and assume it’s Him and assume His will before praying, actively seeking His will, and discerning.
And, what this really is, then, is me “playing God,” and taking His righteousness into my own hands.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 TIMOTHY 4:3-4
It is very easy for us to make this mistake and jump to conclusions as Christians who live in harmony with Jesus, and live for His will to be done in our lives. It is very easy to assume that, because something good and cool and happenstance has happened, the odds for the outcome of that happening are directly in my favour.
But really, rather than writing the rest of the story, I’m called to sit in His presence and rest.
He taught me this very tangibly when I first met Johnny. Boy meets girl that I didn’t force or forge and that took months of contentment in the Holy Spirit before anything happened. In those months leading up to Johnny and I actually talking, I might have presumed, through our classroom glances and mutual but unspoken affection, that we would have spoken sooner. In the books, it would have been a week into class.
But, MAN, am I ever grateful for God’s timing on that one.
Time and again, He has shown me where my love of storytelling is a gift for His glory, and where it could trip me up into playing God. And don’t get me wrong: God is in complete control, and allows all things that happen to happen– but the outcomes are not based on me and me alone. It is easy to be egotistical and assume that the odds are in the favour of my own dreams, because “God is on my side.”
The outcomes are always in my favour because God is on my side, absolutely. But those outcomes are far better chosen by Him than me. So the best thing we can do as followers is submit to THE Storyteller. He’s a pretty darn good One.
Yup. I’m a 21 year old Canadian female and only just recently got my ears pierced. And then… un-pierced. And the whole debacle is what led to some leaps in my physical recovery from eating disorders, and a greater understanding of my personal identity. Excessive? […]
When I got engaged, I pictured myself blogging about all the pretty details, aesthetically sharing the history of our venue, swatches of bridesmaid dresses, and details about the menu (which is, I must say, to die for). I thought maybe I would naturally become one […]
Jesus really doesn’t ask for much.
Well, yes, when we follow Him we surrender our lives from purpose for dead and meaningless, withering worldly things to the eternal purpose of Jesus’ glorification, and this may certainly be seen as “much” if we don’t know Jesus as the perfect Father, creator of the universe we were made to live for, or if we view this physical world as all there is, and death as the end rather than the beginning. But surrendering our lives is simply the way we were created to live, and when it happens, we are set free, and understand JOY AND LIFE ABUNDANT.
Recently, my reading of the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 9 caused me to dwell on just what Jesus asks of me, and how much of what comes next is just HIM.
A woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
I was urged to ask my Father in prayer for the heart of this bleeding woman. That every fibre of my being would know that one encounter with Jesus means healing.
Now, I think it would be quite easy to mistake Jesus’ words to mean that the woman’s faith, her own human strength, had the power to heal her. Rather, Jesus Himself honoured the belief that the woman had in His perfect power and ability and chose to heal her. The woman had her faith in JESUS ALONE, knowing it would take simply a moment in His presence to be healed. JESUS ALONE healed her, knowing from God the Father that the woman’s faith in the Son was right and good.
Lord, would I have the faith of the woman in Matthew 9. Would I know radically well that if I but touch You, Jesus, I will be healed. Not for my sake, Lord, but for Yours, and for the healing of others. Would my faith in who you are urge me to know you more deeply, widely, and fully every moment. To know what it is to live like You do.
If we have this radical faith, you see… the rest is done.
If we have radical faith that Jesus is who He says He is, we will live to bring Him glory. We will be healed. Worldly fears dissipate. Anger and sin and shame flea by His Holy Spirit. But we know that this is a daily step of faith, proclamation of faith, and death to self.
AND then we know that this is the only way to live.