I have had a life long dream about being a writer. But although I write practically every single day of my life, writing an actual book has – so far – been beyond my capabilities.
As I get older, the longing to share my experiences and the important lessons I’ve learned over the years becomes more intense. They are recorded in my personal journals, but who’s going to take the time to read through those? I have boxes and boxes of journals. I’ve been writing almost on a daily basis since I was a teenager, and most of what I wrote in my earliest journals is really not worth reading. It’s mostly just personal stuff I was trying to work through. But there are nuggets of gold hidden in there – especially in those journals I’ve written since I came to know God in a personal way. The things that God has shown me. The words He’s spoken to me. The life changing revelations I’ve had while reading my Bible. The amazing experiences and God-encounters I’ve had. And miracles. So many miracles!
Yesterday I went to visit a friend in hospital. Joe (not his real name) has been quadraplegic for a number of years now after a random and tragic accident. Joe is one of the kindest and godliest men I know. A font of wisdom, and a passionate evangelist. In spite of having to use a respirator to breathe, he continues to preach and inspire us to share the good news about Jesus with people. But lately, Joe’s been spending the majority of his time sleeping. It’s no longer easy to engage with him. His wife called him out of his sleep to acknowledge our presence. (I was there to visit and pray with two other friends.) Joe opened his eyes and nodded and smiled warmly at us, and then promptly went back to sleep.
But I had a sense that he was not sleeping at all, that he was fully conscious and listening to our prayers for him and his wife. And after we’d finished praying, Joe kept straining forward, lifting his head and his upper body partly out of his wheelchair. His eyes were closed and his mouth did not move, so he appeared to be sleeping, but his head was nodding slightly – which is what he does whenever he is speaking passionately. And, whether with my natural ears or my spiritual ears I don’t know, but I was able to hear his voice very faintly – as if it was coming to me from across a great distance. Whatever our friend Joe was trying to say, he was passionate about it and he struggled very hard to communicate it to us emphatically.
I left Joe feeling a little sad that we weren’t able to hear him and wondering what it was he was trying to tell us. And this morning as I thought about him and prayed for him, I was convicted that, while I still can, I need to share what I have to say. Whatever it takes, I need to keep straining and struggling to get across the message that God has given me to release, to my family – and there is so much I want to tell them – and to future generations.
I know that this deep longing I have to write something that will impact people for good was placed in me by God. But feelings of inadequacy and of not being good enough, have effectively kept me silent all these years. No one but me has read my writing so far, except for a few blog posts here and there, but it’s time for that to change. It’s time to overcome the negative self-talk, the procrastination, the perfectionism that cripples me, and just let the message out. Not for my own sake; and not for fame or riches or vainglory, but in order to give glory to the One who has placed His message in me. The One who has given me hope and peace and joy and, most of all, love. Who is constantly transforming my life and healing me, in order that I can finally be free to become the person He created me to be, and to accomplish the things He planned for me to do since before I was born. (Ephesians 2:10)
As I remembered my friend Joe and his struggle this morning, I prayed desperately for God’s help in communicating what is on my heart with others. And He reminded me again that I can’t do this without His help. He is still waiting for me to surrender completely. This is what I heard Him say:
“Daughter, stop striving. Step being so hard on yourself…you cannot do this on your own, so let go. Trust Me. Trust yourself. For you are my child, and my Spirit rests in you.”
And so, today I let go, trusting that He will use me. That He will guide me every step of the way as I seek to do His will.
I share this personal moment with you with the hope that it will remind you too that it is only by trusting in God – and who He made you to be – that you can find peace and the fulfillment of His plan and purpose for your life. You are His masterpiece!
2 Corinthians 3:3; 5-6 (MSG)
Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it…We wouldn’t think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn’t written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It’s written with Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives!