I'm supposed to be taking a break from writing so that I can read and reevaluate my writing goals. Of course, I've cheated a little bit. A couple of short story ideas have come to my mind. Though I've tried to rein in my enthusiasm, I have written a little bit on both of these stories.
Last night was one of these times. I only wrote a few paragraphs, but something interesting happened. It's a strange thing that has happened before, but it always takes me by surprise. It always serves to both strengthen me and humble me.
Let me back up a bit before I continue. Let me just go ahead and back up about a decade, give or take a couple years.
When I was about nineteen, I had a crisis of faith. I'd been a Christian for about ten-twelve years; I'm one of those people who isn't sure exactly when I was saved--but I think it was somewhere around the age of seven, even though I wasn't baptized until I was nine. But at nineteen, I wasn't sure what I believed about God anymore. I wasn't sure what I believed about anything anymore. There finally came a point when I shut myself up in my little brother's treehouse (seriously, the only place I could find privacy) and left notes for my family to leave me alone until I was ready to come out. I took with me my Bible, a notebook, a pen, and all my doubts and questions and fears. Then, I did business with God.
I was very honest with God about everything I struggled with. Even with all the blessings in my life, for some reason, I just couldn't find a reason to keep believing in what I had always known to be true. So then I told God, "I don't think I can believe in You anymore."
I was an atheist...
...for about ten minutes.
I sat alone in that treehouse trying to contemplate what this new life of disbelief would mean for me. I discovered it was kind of boring.
So I picked up my notebook and started flipping through it. I'm not even sure why--probably just because it was there and I wanted something to do. My eyes fell upon a poem I had written probably about a week or two prior. I read the words and had the unusual realization that I had not written that poem.
It was in my handwriting. I remembered the occasion when it had been written. I remembered sitting out and watching the sunset and taking the pen into my hand. I remember moving the pen across the paper. But the words of that poem were foreign to me; the words of that poem were beautiful. It was a poem of praise and wonder and simple, pure love.
And I didn't write it.
So I got down on my knees and shed tears of joy for the knowledge that I had a reason to believe. God had not abandoned me as it seemed. Rather, He was trying to teach me something through a dark period of my life by seeming distant. He wasn't really distant. I believed, and my faith became stronger than it had ever been before. God wrote through me.
He still writes through me today.
Let's come back to the present now.
Last night, I only wrote a few paragraphs on a short story. When I looked back over the words that had come out of my pen, I read such truth in them. I knew that I had not written them.
Now, I have been told that writing cannot be a Spiritual Gift because it's not listed as a Spiritual Gift anywhere in Scripture. I'm not sure where I stand on that. I don't know if the Spiritual Gifts listed in Scripture are the only ones that a person can have. I don't want to speculate too much on that, because honestly, I don't think it really matters.
For whether or not my writing is a Spiritual Gift or not, I know for certain that there are times when I'm not the one in control of my writing. It's both humbling and inspiring to know that I'm not the one in control. It means that I can't take credit for it, but it also means that I don't have to worry. If God is in control instead of me, then that takes a huge burden off of me. I can't do anything without Him, but nothing is impossible for Him.
And just as I'm confident that He is writing through me, I'm confident that in His timing, He will bring my writing to completion. He is using me; He is using my writing. He will use me; He will use my writing. I don't know if that means I'll get a literary agent and a huge book contract and have a huge following. I don't know if that means I'll go to a lowscale publisher and just have a few faithful readers.
If one person comes to the knowledge of Christ through my writing, if one person comes to a stronger realization of who Jesus is, if one person gains strength or encouragement or a greater understanding of the truth through what the Lord has written through me...
...it will all be worth it.
Soli Deo Gloria.