This was the most popular Writing Wednesday post of 2011.
I didn’t grow up a writer. In fact, I never had the thought of writing anything of significance until around age 21. And even then it wasn’t all that inspiring. My thoughts went like this, “maybe one day I’ll write a book on balance” or relationships”, or marriage, or whatever was inspiring me in the moment.
I didn’t think much about it. I figured it wasn’t that uncommon for a young, passionate girl to have big dreams.
Dreaming of writing a book can fall into the category of dreams much like a singer wanting to sing like Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston. But like we see on American Idol, or currently the X factor,having a desire to do something doesn’t mean you can do it- or that you’re any good at it. You can’t help but feel bad for the guy/girl who additions for American Idol full of passion and a dream to become a singer, but is really bad at singing. It is clear they will never make it!
A dream must necessitate talent if you want it to become a reality.
I’ve wrestled with the question, “Why would God call me to be a writer if it wasn’t something I did during my childhood?”. I had absolutely zero interest in writing growing up. In all my English classes or papers I wrote as a student, wouldn’t someone have noticed if I had a natural talent for writing?
Maybe then I would have at least considered it.
Recently, I feel like God finally whispered to me the reason why.
During my sophomore year of college God got my attention in ways He never had my attention before. And He took me completely out of my comfort zone to do it.
That semester I participated in a study-abroad program in Oxford, England. I spent many days walking to school with a portable CD player in my backpack (iPods weren’t around yet) and some worship CD’s playing. Listening to worship music was new for me, and that in and of itself, was a big deal.
Through it, God started changing my heart.
A fellow classmate let me borrow a CD with a song called, Heart of Worship. I’ll never forget listening to that song on repeat the entire bus ride to Buckingham Palace. I asked her who sang it and she said this guy named Matt Redman. She told me that his church was near London, and asked if I was interested in going. ”Sure”, I replied.
It was one small stepping stone God used to draw me closer to Him.
During those daily walks to and from school or to and from the city center, God began softening my heart to new things. Things I never thought of before. I began noticing people sleeping on the streets and felt compassion for them. I noticed the musicians that played in the Metro stations and began to look them in the eyes.
I could see deep down into their souls, and they were empty.
New desires continued stirring inside of me. I suddenly became aware of problems, and wanted to do something about them.
Three months after I returned to the States, I moved home (Charleston, SC) to pursue ministry opportunities at my home church. I started leading a small group on my college campus, I submitted myself to the leadership of my church, and prayed that God would use me however He wanted.
Around that time I began thinking things like, “maybe I should write a book about…”.
It’s been 11 years since then, and since I first dreamed of writing. Most of that time was spent trying to talk myself out of writing or telling myself I could never really do it.
But in the meantime, I started a blog, wrote a couple articles, and led a few small groups using lessons I had written myself. People began telling me that something I wrote changed their life.
But it was still hard to believe with the nagging question always in the back of my mind. Why?
The last two years I feel like I just threw my hands up the air, and said, “what the heck, I’ll give it a try”. And the deeper and farther I go, the more I enjoy it and the more passionate I get about writing.
Lately I feel God whispering in my spirit, “I put that desire there”.
And when I read verses like this it all makes sense.
Ez 36:26-27 says, “And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.”
What desires has God placed in your heart that weren’t there before?