I am writing a book.
I feel the need to pinch myself when I say or type these words. The professional writing life has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.
From my earliest memory, writing has been a passion of mine. I can visualize myself as an elementary school-age child writing poetry. Sometimes my head is buried in my paper and my writing utensil is scribbling furiously. Sometimes I am staring into space (usually up at the ceiling), searching to communicate what is on my heart. Other times I am using my fingers while pondering. Idiosyncratically, when I’d need a rhyming line I’d go through the alphabet to find a word and then craft a sentence when I found one.
In high school I kept a journal. Later, when I came home from college during the semester and summer breaks I would read it from time to time and laugh at myself. Its contents were so silly, I judged. (Oh, how I believed myself to have matured in a matter of 2 years!) It was mostly about boys and friend spats and make-ups. You know…all that matters most between the ages of 14 and 18.
Throughout my undergraduate and graduate years papers were always my strength. Although I was taught to create an outline and compose a thesis statement prior to diving into composition, I quickly abandoned all that structure. I seemed to have a natural knack for organizing and editing my written creations so that they would properly flow.
Despite all of this, I went into careers that placed writing on the back-burner in my adulthood. As a director of marketing I wrote newsletters and website copy, but I was primarily in front of people. That job was about building relationships in order to build business. As a pastor I of course wrote my sermons each week, but once again I was primarily in front of people. When it is one’s vocation, ministry is a multi-faceted job that requires the religious professional to give almost constantly. It can be simultaneously God glorifying, personally rewarding and extremely exhausting.
Fast forward through my life-changing spiritual transition.
As I sit in greater internal peace and happiness than I have ever known and physical comfort thanks to the silence of my home and a comfy blanket, I am enlightened. I see now the pattern of my careers keeping me in front of people, hence away from myself. I did enough writing to keep my soul from screaming out in protest, but not the writing I was called to produce. It was a meagre diet, and before long I was malnourished.
This type of writing, that in which I am presently engaging for my book, requires introspection, honesty with myself and truth in my narration. I can feel God calling me to cross lines I’d rather not, and bring into the light experiences that are just fine where they are, thank you very much. I even understand what God has shown me — that through my told story God will bring healing for me and potentially many others. This book is not about me. It is a vehicle for the healing and merciful work of God and the good of humankind.
I get that. To be honest, I’m still reluctant. This is because I know that as I write, at times I’m gonna hurt.
And yet, knowing in the deepest part of me that God is good, where the Spirit leads I will follow. I humbly ask for your prayers.