When I was fifteen, a tragic event made me pick up a pen and write for the first time. It was my own style of poetry. It was balm for the sadness, the loss, and the memories.
I hid those writings because they were private, for me alone. I had no plans for it, but it was satisfying. I wanted to continue writing. That was fine until my mother found one and brought it to my attention. I was horrified that anyone would read something I wrote. It was something from deep within me, and in those early days I found it hard to express. I was young and inexperienced. I never kept a good diary as a youth, but Mom encouraged me. I took a writing course, and kept on writing.
Eventually several of my stories were published, but I’m not concerned about publishing as I once was. My greatest dream as a young person was to write historical novels and become famous!
Fast forward many years later…
As I grew older my goals changed. Oh, I still have a dream of writing and publishing a historical novel, but my greatest goal is to tell truth.
In 2012, I signed up for National Novel Writing Month in November. I sweated out a novel in a month. The next year I sweated out another, and they both sit there—staring at me.
Edit, edit! They say…as they stare at me from the corner…collecting dust. And I am at a loss.
How do I stay on task through a lengthy project? How to I know when to stop writing, stop editing? So I’m stuck.
My blog keeps me busy posting once a week, and sometimes it’s tedious. It draws me away from the long goal. It’s quite possible I can’t keep my mind on both.
I just finished a long essay on a difficult time in our lives that has haunted me for years. It was a huge changing point for us, and it took many long years to come to this place of peace. As I wrote it, I could finally see what God was doing for us, through us and to us.
Though after fifteen years I could say I had finally “let it go”, it still haunted me until I wrote it all down. I relived that time in my dreams.
All the events in our lives are ordered by God, even though we make our own choices in life, God knows the way we will go. He has prepared everything for grace, and grace is given, as it is needed. We needed a ton of grace then, but I didn’t always see Him walking with us.
It all has unfolded into seeing years of His faithfulness. His patience…his unfailing love! It is a lesson I never want to repeat, but he engraved it upon my heart.
I’m sharing this hard piece with a small group of writers in a few weeks. I have never met but two of these writers and I found it very difficult to push the send button to their emails. I felt like I was fifteen again.
It’s scary to spill your guts. It’s unnerving to say what is deep within you and then wait for a response. Those questions in my mind…
Did I really say what I was feeling?
Did I make myself clear?
Did I run on and on and on?
Is it good writing?
What are they going to think?
God reminds me when I’m being too hard on myself. I know because I am too anxious and he wants me to rest. He wants me to remember that He is the Rock upon which I need to cling.
At my desk I have a smooth, nearly egg-shaped rock from one of my favorite places—Lake Ontario. It sits on my desk to remind me of the Rock of my Salvation. (It also makes a great paper weight)!
It’s smooth and shiny, but when you pick it up, you see it has small pits or holes in it. It could be the rock was tossed against others as it rolled in the lake. If you went to the same beach where I found the rock, you would find many similar shaped rocks.
I like to think we are those rocks rolling in the waves of life. We are beat upon by swells and go under. We beat upon each other in life and come out with bruises.
But God always delivers…
“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no rock like our God.” I Samuel 2:2 NIV