Day 16 – Writing 101: This is the last week for my Writing 101 adventure. I’ve almost stopped a few times. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that I don’t like to quit anything. Along the way, I’ve actually learned some things. Not all of my posts have been the greatest, nor are they anything I would normally write on this blog, but all of them have taught me something.
Today we finish up our 3 part series on lost and found. You can read the previous two pieces here and here. Let’s see if I can wrap this up in a way that it deserves. I continue on about God’s faithfulness, but his faithfulness goes beyond what I’ve written in the earlier posts.
I was bitten by the writing bug somewhere in early grade school, when I was between seven and ten. Even back then I was a pretty shy person and didn’t interact with the other kids often. However, I discovered that when I would write and tell the stories that swam around inside my head, the other kids loved it. So did my teachers.
This, I thought, was what I was made to do. I was a storyteller.
OK, I may not have thought it exactly like that back then, but close enough.
My dad encouraged the stories, but he also reminded me that they were just stories and my focus should be elsewhere. And so the stories took a sideline. I wrote some things here and there, but it just wasn’t who I was.
Flash forward a few years, or perhaps a lot of years, and the ghost of writing past was a frequent companion of mine. The desire to write, to be a writer, was constant. But it was a dream. Just a dream.
It was a good dream. Everyone told me it was, and that I was a good writer. However, I was made to be something other than a writer.
At least, I believed everyone thought I was made to be something other than a writer. It was never said “Don’t be a writer”, but I was told I was supposed to be a lot of different things and writer never made it to the collection.
I believed I was supposed to be a lot of different things.
My faith was, and still is, very important to me. So important, that every decision I make is based on what I believe God wants me to do. In this pursuit of what God’s will was for my life, I believed that this dream of writing needed to take a backseat. It was fun, but it was a hobby. I wrote a handful of short stories, got them published, but that was it. There were more important things to do, to pursue, to become.
And, honestly, it killed me.
I sacrificed my dream and I went after what I thought I should pursue. I scribbled ideas down at times, and left half-manuscripts stuffed into a backpack, but my focus was on the bigger picture. School, family, career, ministry. Not writing.
Out of those four, family is the only solid that has remained in my life. The only one where I’ve never doubted their place in my life or questioned if there was something else. They remain that solid, that unchangeable. Apart from Jesus, no one and nothing will ever hold a place in my heart equal to my wife and kids. There is no question.
School, well that’s another thing all together. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get a degree at all, and I didn’t have a clue what degree I would pursue if I ever decided to try. The time came when it looked like I needed a degree or two to do what God was asking my wife and me to do. I attained the degrees, my wife and I jumped through all the hoops we were asked to jump, and the doors slammed shut in our faces for that particular journey.
Was it a waste? All the time and money I spent on gaining not one, but two degrees while holding a full-time job and not checkout from being a husband and father? What was the point?
Career and thoughts of ministry pursuits have been fruitful for me, but equally confusing. The problem here lies in the fact that I have a very bad habit in not being able to make up my mind. I drive my wife insane with my ever-changing new and big ideas of what I want to do with my life. I think my only saving grace in this is that I have a strong belief in responsibility. That, and the grace of God, keeps me with a good job. I may be flighty in my wants and desires, but I’m not going to drag my family from one idea to the next without any stability.
The problem was that with every new idea or desire I had, none brought the same joy and fulfillment as my dream to write. I was convinced that my dream to be a writer was not what God wanted for my life, but I could not be satisfied, really satisfied, with anything else. I kept promising him that I would push my dream to the side and follow him into anything he wanted, but I was suffering. I know that sounds overly dramatic, but that doesn’t make it less true.
I was suffering, and it was all for nothing.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
I was suffering because I was sacrificing my dream and it was not because God asked me to do it.
All of these things, every one of them that I’ve written about in this post, were because of what I believed God was telling me or showing me. They were not because God was actually telling me or showing me them.
And one night, I finally came to that understanding. I think it was around the same time that I wrote the Children’s book I’m still working on right now. God and I had a one-on-one, and he told me a few things about dreams and sacrifices.
There was a reason I loved writing. He created me to be a writer. That’s how he wired me. I still have a lot to learn about the art of writing, but I am a writer. All this time, I was working against God while thinking I was trying to follow him. He created me to be a writer and I was trying to put that on the alter of sacrifice.
I’m slow on the uptake, but he is patient. Too often we push aside our God given dreams and talents because we believe they’re in the way of what we’re supposed to do or supposed to be. I’m not one to say that “this is what God really wants for your life”, because I’m not you and I wasn’t there when he created you. However, I am saying that you should think twice before you consider your dreams or desires to be fluff or secondary. Talk to him about it and really listen to what he says. I promise it will be enlightening.
God showed me that he was faithful. He wasn’t faithful to help me out of a difficulty I was facing this time. He was faithful in helping me to finally understand who I was, who he created me to be.