It was 1981. I was in my early 30’s, a young mother of five children. I was active and involved in church with a life filled with crises. My marriage had hit bottom, my oldest child – a fifteen-year-old daughter – was pregnant, there was never enough money to meet our needs. The list could go on, but you get the idea.
I loved Jesus. When plagued with despair and depression, times when my faith
was shaken, I clung to God – sometimes by a slender thread. I remember standing
in the church kitchen on a Sunday after our ladies had served food, set up and
took down the fellowship hall. As president over our women’s group, I had been
busy. In a quiet lull, my shoulders slumped with the enormity of the problems I
One of the church ladies walked into the kitchen. I pasted a smile on my
face and engaged in small talk. Few people knew everything, but most knew some
of my struggles. Mary gazed at me with compassion. “You are such an
inspiration, Leola. No matter what you’re going through, you never miss church.
You stay strong in your faith.”
I thanked her. She left the room. I gritted my teeth, fought back tears, and
mumbled, “I don’t want to be an inspiration anymore, God. I just want the pain
to go away. I want to not hurt anymore. I want my life to be okay. Why? Why is
all this happening to me?”
There have been a few times in my life when the spirit of God has spoken
clearly to my spirit. He did then. He simply said, “Because of what I’ve called
you to do.”
For years, I thought the “calling” God referred to was this thing or that
thing. I’ve always been involved in ministry in the church. Years after God
spoke that to me, I worked nineteen years in the ministry of Teen Challenge.
Maybe that’s what God meant.
Do you feel called by God to be a writer? It was a dream re-birthed in me
before I retired from Teen Challenge. I can truthfully say it’s what God has
called me to do at this stage of my life. So why hasn’t my writing journey been
what I anticipated it would be? Especially since God reminded me, “Because of
what I’ve called you to do.” I know now that all my experiences in life, the
good and the not-so-good, have set the groundwork for my writing.
The voice of our writing is usually an extension of our life experiences. I
write/want to write about real life issues Christians face. As my own
experiences weave in and out of what I write, I understand that although God
isn’t responsible for the things that ripped my heart out, He has used it to
bring depth to my writing that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
I’m truly convinced God has called me to write. So why do I have so many
days where I just flat out don’t want to write? Days I ask myself what’s the
use. Who’s going to read my stories or books?
You know what? The enemy of my soul tells me those things. I’m responsible
to write. God gets it to whoever it’s meant for.
God, I pray for those who are
struggling right now. Whether it’s in their personal life or in their writing
journey. Remind us of your faithfulness. Remind us that what you have birthed
in us will accomplish your purpose if we stay true to the calling. Your love,
your mercy and grace are sufficient. You reign over our lives in splendor and
majesty. Thank you, father God.