Monday, May 1, 2017

Why I Write

I was a young mother – in my 30’s – 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 was facing. 
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 God was referring to 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 rebirthed 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 those experiences 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 convince 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.  

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